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On Saturday morning I received a message from my South African friend Elmie, asking if we’re OK. Apparently there was an earthquake near Santiago! I was very relieved to inform her that we’re fine; at that stage we were happy in the Tricontinental Hostal in Valparaiso, and blissfully unaware of any earthquakes in Chile.
It was a long weekend in Chile (with Thursday and Friday public holidays) so we spent Thursday night in the beautiful Valparaiso an hour and half from Santiago by bus, known for the cerros (hills) covered in houses (shacks).
Later the day my concerned mother-in-law also wanted to know if we felt the earth tremble. There were news reports stating that a 6.6 earth quake hit Coquimbo (far North from Santiago) and that buildings shook in Santiago. Our flatmates who were in Santiago at the time, and who are not out to make money with sensationalism, didn’t feel any buildings shake in Santiago, so I don’t really believe it was felt in the capital.
A different type of earthquake is the notorious drink in Chile: the Terremoto, it literally means ‘Earthquake’ in Spanish. It’s a delicious, but very dangerous drink that causes the earth to be a little unstable beneath your feet. It’s made from Pipeño (sweet fermented wine) with pineapple ice-cream. During the Independence celebrations these bad boys were served in two litre jugs. For the next round your apparently supposed to have the same drink though only in a glass that holds half a litre. This is called a Replica or or ‘aftershock’.