Corrugated City

Friday 17 August 2007

Valpo from Reñaca

This is the view of Valparaiso from the flat in Reñaca where we're currently staying. The view from this flat is its only redeeming feature in winter (well, ok, the free rent is nice as well). In summer it's quite a nice place to be. However, we're really getting bored here-it's freezing cold, there's nowhere to put our stuff (the cupboards are already full) and the cats are starting to wreck the place...really can't wait to move back to the house. That's only a couple of weeks away now as the decorator started on Monday and the floors will be polished late next week. Then we move back and get woken up at 7.30 every morning by the workmen hammering upstairs. A price worth paying.

And here's a photo of one of the new buildings they're building at the top of Reñaca just around the corner from the flat (in a 10 storey, staggered building-not a straight up tower). This thing is truly monstrous and hideous. The other towers aren't actually so bad, mainly because you can't see them from anywhere except right in front. This big pile of concrete can be seen from everywhere-Viña, Valpo, the bottom of Reñaca-from every conceivable angle.

Funny thing is, all these new tower blocks are being built on sand dunes. I can only assume that the engineers know what they're doing, but it's going to be interesting to see how well they stand up when an earthquake as big as the one that hit Peru the other day makes things wobble around.


Anonymous said...

(comment copied and pasted from )

I have no idea if this is true-- but at lunch the other day canal 13 (i think, maybe it was tvn) was running a special on most impressive churches around the world and the architectural feats that had to happen for them to be built. There is a glass church somewhere in CA that was built on sand and they explained that this actually made it less susceptible to earthquakes-- but maybe thats because it was glass.

Also, thanks for the add on your blogroll (on the other site). Great to see your blog and the pics. Speaking as someone who is currently living in Valpo in one of those old huge houses-- they are freezing! I can't imagine that I am any warmer than you are. Here is to winter ending sooner rather than later.



Matt said...

hmmm...that's interesting about the sand/earthquake thing. The small one we had last week really made the apartment building i'm in in Renaca wobble a lot and it's not even right on the dunes-it's on a flat piece of land behind. All the new buildings are being built directly on top of the sand dunes which are basically a big hill of sand heading down to the sea. I don't know how far the foundations go down or at what depth you hit solid ground. I hope they've got it right.

I was talking to the civil engineer who's advising on our house in Valpo about earthquake resistance and he said that we're going to see how well the construction companies have adhered to building regulations when the next big one hits this part of the country. Almost all the new tower blocks in Vina were built after the 1985 'quake so they've never been really tested...

As for the heating...when we were looking for our house last year we noticed that none of the places had central heating. When we asked what heating system the house had we almost always heard, "But it's not very cold in Valparaiso". Now, either Portenos are tough as old boots or they're outright liars. It is cold in Valpo in winter. Very cold. That's why we're putting in central heating and a fireplace into the house...!

The house you're in looks beautiful by the way. I've only ever passed through Cerro Polanco-most of my time is spent wandering around Concepcion, Alegre or Cordillera. There's so much to see and explore in Valpo that it's difficult to escape from one's own litte hill.

Anonymous said...

This comment is going to be pretty inane, but I'm mostly commenting to celebrate the fact that you've seen the light and changed the way you accept comments. Anyway, here we go.

>>>really made the apartment building i'm in in Renaca wobble

You're gonna wobble no matter what. Good retrofitting/construction just means you wobble with the earth, not against it.

Okay, I warned you it'd be inane. Anyway, just happy to be able comment once again!

Matt said...

well i haven't had my cyber-stalking weirdo expat in argentina making any more comments so maybe he just got bored. Doesn't stop him from commenting on other blogs and forums of course-i know who it is-but at least he's left me alone for a while...anyway, we'll see how long the allowing anonymous comments lasts...

i'm new to all this earthquake malarkey but have been told the new buildings should wobble a lot during an earthquake. i actually find it quite fun, although i think i'll probably revise that opinion if a real biggie hits. My doubt is whether huge 30 storey tower blocks built on sand on a hill will hold out against a 7.5 or more earthquake. I certainly hope so and can only assume the engineers have got it right and didn't just allow the projects to go ahead due to the lure of filthy lucre...

Please keep the inanities coming. That's what this blog is all about-things to do and pretty pictures. Save the serious discussions for your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I hate the wobbling, and the higher up you are, the more you sway. That said, chileno is right... you are supposed to wobble with, not against.

As for the cerros, I like some of the smaller, less visited ones too. They each have their own attraction. For example, on a Sunday afternoon, you can hear music throughout Cerro Mariposa. Someone always has someone on really loud and when they turn it off, another neighbor turns on their stereo. Depending on who is playing the music chooses the type. I was up there last Sunday and when someone turned off the music, you could hear a neighbor screaming to turn it back on "ay... la musica..."

PS Glad the stalker is gone. Nice to be able to leave comments.