Hey I wanted to fill in the gaps of our trip that took place before the earthquake. All the birthday wishes that I received from everyone were great! Andy woke me up at 7am when I was born and gave me sunflowers! Then later that night we celebrated with our roommates. Andy bought 5 pieces of cake from 5 different types of cake so we all tasted each one and rated them. It was another 5:30 am night. Work and Spanish continued as usual and we both got into a groove. On Friday night Andy went to a local soccer game and learned how to cuss at the losing team in Spanish. After we went to a local bar experienced juice beer, half beer and half apple juice and a “columna” which is a glass column that holds 2.5 liters of beer.
On Saturday Andy and I went to Valpo in search of a cemetery that Andy read about. The only directions he had was that it was near the stadium. I was skeptical about finding it and we caught a bus and walked down one hill and up another. I walked into a small plaza where there were flower vendors. You could buy any type and any color of fresh flowers that you wanted. I didn’t put two and two together, but Andy said we have to be close to the cemetery and we were. The Playa Ancha cemetery is about 100 years old and sits above the ocean so it constantly has a calming breeze. There are three main forms of burial and the most interesting to us were the mausoleums that looked like dorm buildings on a college campus, one right after the other. Due to the lack of space these buildings are very logical, but they are 6-7 stories high and each grave is right on top of the other. Many of the graves were decorated with fresh flowers and the giant palm trees really created a peaceful place. Before heading back to Vina we stopped at a restaurant to try chorrillanos, which are French fries topped with tasty onions and flavorful meat. It looked awful, but tasted so good! Later that night we hit a club called Huevo (egg, sounds much cooler in Spanish). All the roommates plus some danced on each of the floors that had a different types of music. There was a hip hop room, reggatone room, techno floor, and a salsa floor. The building was full of different rooms and floors where people danced or chilled. When we traveled to all the rooms we kept near the salsa floor. Andy was on a roll after a few piscolas and found himself in the bathroom talking to a Chilean and a Spainard. Of course he doesn’t remember what about, but Nick, who went into save him swears that they were picking him up. We left Huevo with good vibes and headed back to Vina for an after party that we still talk about today… the towering egg, cheese, and palta sandwich, Andy dancing in the kitchen and many other memories from the Huevo night.
You would think after a long night of partying the next day would be worthless, but actually we got up and took a trip to a small cove beach near La Laguan Verde which is 30 min south of Valpo. It was tricky getting there, but a nice local man gave us a ride in the back of his pickup part of the way to the beach and then we walked. The beach was a treasure and there were other visitors who traveled there to camp and enjoy the seclusion of Playa de Las Docas. Andy wrote in his journal and I took a nap on the beach before we hitch hiked back. The waves and the echo of the water hitting the cove edges was enough for me to realize that the journey there and back had all been worth it. A nice older couple picked us up on the road back along with two other couples and took us all the way to Valpo! We then hopped on a bus to Vina and were thoroughly pleased, but tired from our weekend adventures. The week to come was our last and then the earthquake unexpectedly happened.