We were no where near Chile when the massive earthquake occurred, but since we had not updated our blog it made sense that people were concerned with our welfare. We will do our best to keep our itinerary updated so folks know where we are.
We made the joint decision to make our way down to the south as soon as we could so that we could enjoy the fall months in Patagonia. Because of this and the earthquake we decided to not check out Santiago and go directly to Punta Arenas. This meant we had a long layover in the Santiago airport. We didn't realize that even though flights were going in and out, that the airport was "closed". The buildings must have sustained damage because the whole airport infrastructure was set up in large tents outside. We ended up sleeping at the "airport", literally outside under the stars and then the sun, and using the porta-potties outside. As we queued up for our flight, the lines were chaotic with people trying to get out of town, but we eventually got on our flight after a 12-hour layover. Though I caught a cold/flu from the tough travel conditions, this doesn't really count as being affected by the earthquake compared to the local Chileans. We later met a Chilean girl who had some friends killed in the earthquake as well as some fellow travelers who experienced the earthquake firsthand which definitely hit home that we were blessed to have missed the quake and were far south during the aftermath.
We are feeling a little superstitious about earthquakes right now as it seems that they are occurring prior to our arrival in different countries/regions. Quakes have hit Guatemala, Haiti (near Cuba), and Chile. Let´s hope the ¨Big One¨ doesn´t hit California!