La Casa de Matias
Words by Jarad Hadi
New friends lead the way. We find ourselves spending two days in Santiago in a Buddhist temple recuperating from the past weeks action. From here we take advice from the local snowboarders to direct our path towards Chillan, a volcano located on the coastal mountain range midway down the vast expanse of Chile’s slender profile. We settle to leave at 5:30 am.
Of course that did not happen. We leave at 11:30, on another 5-hour road trip down Chile’s earth-quaked 5.
Spanish conquistadors dropped off flamenco in Santiago. Here is a live recording from a classic flamenco band consisting of Bass, drums, dancer (tap), singer, and guitar. Listen to the song while you read.
Recorded By Jarad Hadi
Mastered By Lars Ballard
For those who have not heard, an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the rictor scale devastated many towns and tore up numerous roads within Chile. One of the top 10 Earthquakes of our time can be felt waving down along the highway.
Please check this link with photos of this natural disaster.
If you feel like you can help, donating to the cause can be as simple as a text message.
Habitat for Humanity — Habitat for Humanity has a continual presence in Chile, where they’ve helped construct over 1,300 homes. They will be essential in reconstruction efforts, especially in hard-hit rural areas. Donate to Habitat For Humanity or text CHILE to 25383 to donate $10.
Chillan is full of life splattered with laughter, powerful displays of love and old stone casas reign supreme. Street artists continue to lighten the city with paint; while, vendors, jugglers and other performers line the main road. The small town has an undeniable original feel and much to offer. Passing the town, dirt roads and vast forests accompany our voyage.
As we near our final destination we devise a plan to stay in a hostel for the night. In good fortune we veer left on a bumpy road to visit our friend Lena. Jumping out of the car in excitement we meet Matias. In good spirits and with no previous introduction, Matias kindly offers us his place to stay for the night.
The night consists of sharing a plate full of jokes, friends, education, music, Chileno wine, and the best barbecue that any of us have ever seen. The spread includes peppers filled to the top with eggs and cheese, salmon, steak, mushroom, mussels and of course a fire roasted bottle of red wine. Standing around the flames Los Jaivas, a brilliant Chileno group, controls the stereo. Above hovers a panorama of stars that softly enchants us to sleep.
Early morning calls (10 a.m.) and we head to the mountain. First, I poop my pants and then we bump along the dirt road 10 km towards the base of the mountain. We are blessed with some of the worst snow conditions you could ever ask for. With low visibility and ice we lose our inhibition to document the next couple days of snowboarding and turn it into a grand time. Sliding on ice and being thrown a meter in the air is more than we need for a laugh and smile.
Eventually, we find ourselves with fresh snow and a sunny day. Not a lot of park, but a lot of parking in the parking lot. Perfect conditions allow us to enjoy the overabundance of side hits, cornices and rolling hills in privacy. With help from the native snowboarders we gain great insight on the mountain. Every run presents a chance to fly off at least 3 cornices and curve down through tress towards the bottom. Again and again.
Here are some of the throwback photographs, all shot with film, and a video for your enjoyment.
In case you missed Part 1 check it out here.