After receiving an invitation from a Spanish blog reader living and working in Chile, I decided to make a little detour from my route southward. I hitchhiked to Maria in Chanco. She’s an architecture student, but currently, she put her studies on hold. That’s because she’s busy reconstructing buildings damaged by the 2010 earthquake. I happened to visit Chanco exactly six years after, also on the 27th of February.
The team of artists made a remembrance mural with natural colors found in the earth surrounding the village. Some of the mixes (adobe) contained some straw or hay to make the end result sturdier. The mural in the picture shows the earthquake, the aftermath, and the reconstruction. That reconstruction is still going on today. Jonas and I put our hands in the clay to fill in some patches of the mural. It’s not as easy as these people make it seem!
The earthquake of magnitude-8.8 was one of the strongest ever recorded. People could feel it from Concepción (my current location) to Santiago and even Argentina and Perú. Roads and bridges collapsed, which made sending help difficult or impossible. Most damages in the region came from the Tsunami following this terremoto. A nearby building will become a museum dedicated to this event, see updates on their Facebook page. (2021 update: here you can see a picture of the mural in February 2019 during the annual Mexican folklore event. The Museo de la Reconstrucción has opened and there’s a cute café next door.)
Jonas and I camped out in the peaceful forest next to the village for one night. It’s already colder here at night than in the Santiago region and I’m a little worried about the weather changes that will come. Several of my drivers have told me that in Puerto Montt – the last big city I’ll visit on Chile’s connected territories – it practically rains every day.
The upside is that nature will become even more awesome and intense, with many glaciers, lakes, and (active) volcanoes on the road. There are the world’s biggest privately-owned national parks, like Corcovado NP with a volcano of the same name that has inspired many folks. There’s this cool documentary called 180 Degrees South (available on Netflix!) in which I first heard about this place. It’s my recommendation for a movie night!
Clothing-wise I’m not 100% ready for the weather. But I’ll do some thrift shopping in Concepción before heading off to the cold and wet further south.