Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cerro Alegre Shoved Aground

This morning I left my house and immediately noticed the wind. The realization that I've never really noticed wind while walking near my house hit me suddenly. Its strange how much time can go by before you notice something so simple. Even though it was very gently misting, I felt nostalgic for Minnesota fall. The wind, and Valparaiso in general, doesn't really have a strong oceany smell to differentiate the air from my memories of Minnesota.

It was raining, sprinkling or pouring on and off during the day, with large gusts of wind hitting up against the windows. The sky went back and forth from grey to pink, finally letting in a bit of sun and a giant rainbow in the late afternoon.

I sat at my desk in the office all day, cozy and dry. But the electricity must have flickered on and off around 10 or 15 times, something I'm used to because of the lighting back home (well, with lightning it usually just goes off and stays that way). I must admit I felt a little uneasy that the weather was getting so bad that I'd get trapped away from home, because coworkers were reporting that the roads were so terrible, flooded with trees and downed stoplights, that traveling would take double or triple the time.

Luckily I got a ride with someone half way, and spent the rest of my way staring out at the uneasy ocean. I have never seen such big waves along the normally calm Viña del Mar and Valparaiso shores! The waves reached the top of the pier sometimes. But in Valparaiso I stopped watching out the window, because the whole shoreline is cut off from view. Then suddenly, when we hit a stoplight, I felt mist from the water. Everybody looked over together to see a huge cargo boat that appeared to be almost on the shore, hopping up onto the metro line. A huge wave suddenly came over the top of the boat, and I accidentally let out a "GUAU" (jk, hahah "WOW!), thinking the water might almost come down on us, and a number of passengers looked at me. I took the bus to the bellavista stop where I used a huge walking bridge to climb up and get a view...

and a scurried picture, trying to catch those huge waves!

It seems this boat was the main victim of today's storm.

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