Twelve days before we are scheduled to leave on our trip to Punta Arenas, one of the worst earthquakes in history hit Chile. Bill and I have been sitting at home watching the news unfold, hoping the damage won’t be catastrophic and wondering what this means for our trip.
The first thing I did was contact our four connections in and around Punta Arenas: Mackarena, Maritza, Marcelo and Ben. I’ve heard back from everyone and all have reported that Punta Arenas didn’t feel a thing. Apparently, they didn’t experience so much as a shiver while their northern friends were holding on for dear life. Each reported that they had family in the affected area but that everybody they knew was accounted for.
The next thing I did was email Dimas’ family. My readers will remember Dimas and Ana Rosa as the lovely people with whom we stayed in Brazil last June. Their son lives in Sao Paulo and we’d heard that the quake had been felt there – all the way across the continent. We wanted to make sure they were okay. They’re fine. Again, they didn’t feel anything.
So, as we continue to watch and read about the dire situation in Santiago and surrounding areas, since I’ve ascertained confirmation that everyone we know is safe, we have come to the question of what this means for our trip. Many of you have asked me this question. So far, all I know is that the international airport in Santiago sustained some damage, but the runways all came through the quake(s) without much trouble. The airport was closed for a couple of days, but today it opened for international flights.
We are scheduled to leave on March 11 from Seattle and to reach the airport in Santiago on March 12 for a jumper flight down to Punta Arenas. At this point we have not changed our plans, but we’ll be in contact with our airline up to the minute we leave. Thank you to those of you who didn’t know whether or not we were already in Chile and worried about us. There are many people to worry about, but we are not among them.
I’ll keep you posted as we get closer to our departure date.