Home > Argentina > San Juan shook us up a bit.

San Juan shook us up a bit.

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

San Juan came as a pleasant surprise after the rough gruff town of Tucuman, having been destroyed in 1944 by a devastating earthquake that killed 10,000 people, the place was re-planned with wider streets, tree-lined avenues and an irrigation system that keeps the place clean and fresh – two unusual luxuries in Argentina.




the barrels are so big they used to dine in them

pretty, but no wine tasting to keep our attention

The main purpose for the irrigation is not the comfort of the streets, but the vineyards, so on the recommendation of the hostal, we head out to a nearby vineyard and museum on the bus. The English speaking guide had a day off that day, so with hand gestures and an odd assortment of basic level English and Spanish, we had a tour – it was pleasant, but it was not long before we were on the bus back into San Juan.

San Juan is pretty and easy going, but the best bit for us was hidden in an old railway shed with no signs  and no tourists;  a simple rendered building with a couple of security people watching over, so as we had heard it was worth going, we went in. There is a small exhibition showing colonial San Juan, after which a nice smiling man ushers you into a small room with 4 chairs. You sit down and start watching a small film about San Juan.

With no warning, the lights flicker, go out and BANG! The whole room jolts once, pauses for a second and then starts shaking violently, the noise is unbelievable with dogs barking, belts clanging – the shaking gets worse – the chairs start to move across the room as the chandelier and pictures swing wildly around. The kids have their hands on their ears, bouncing around –  and as quickly as it started – it all stops.  Twenty seconds of a richter 8.0 earthquake! It is Argentina’s only earthquake simulator and as well as being pretty exciting, it brings home pretty well how scary earthquakes are.

After that, nothing in San Juan was going to match up, so a little stroll around the new Rawson art museum, and we headed for the bus to Mendoza.

all shook up - uh uh uh

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  1. November 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Hi all, its Gemma and Leon from Liverpool.Sorry that we missed you on Tuesday morning.We were very disappointed not to see you before you went.Hope you have a safe onward trip and please do stay in touch.We will set up Leons email immediately and send it to you.Take care and it was great to meet you all.Very admirable what you are doing.An inspiration to families everywhere.xxx

    • November 2, 2011 at 11:22 am

      Thanks for the message. It was fairly early when we had to catch the bus back to Santiago, by the time we got tickets there were few buses left. The kids both wanted to come upstairs and say goodbye but we would not let them! It was great to meet you both too, Kai was really pleased to have met a buddy, I think he is missing mates back home a bit – even though he won’t admit it. Good luck with the school in Talca, I am not sure I could be brave enough to do it – but for Leon it will be a great experience.

      Enjoy your year!

      Alan, Jo, Kai, Elena and Theo

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