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The Beagle then sailed north to Valdivia. On February 20 1835 Darwin once again experienced natures terrifying power. While exploring inland the ground shook as an earthquake struck the west coast. Two hundred miles north at Concepcion the cathedral was left in ruins and a twenty- foot tidal wave hit the city carrying a schooner into the center of town. Fires blazed everywhere. Amidst the wreckage however Darwin made another important discovery the beds of dead mussels were now above the high tide mark. The ground had risen several feet proof that Lyell was right. Indeed over millions of years the continents rise and fall creating and destroying mountains and reshaping the world in small imperceptible steps. As winter approached the ship again made its way north to Valparaiso and Darwin set out for the Andes with guides and mules. Making his way back to Santiago he pushed on through the mountains to Mendoza Argentina shivering through night frosts at 13000 feet and fighting against the thin air freezing winds and icy clouds. He spent one night in a small village just south of the city and remembered it well. He wrote in his Journal At night I experienced an attack for it deserves no less a name of the Benchuca a species of Reduvius the great black bug of the Pampas. It is most disgusting to feel soft wingless insects about an inch long crawling over ones body. Before sucking they are quite thin but afterwards become round and bloated with blood and in this state they are easily crushed. It is now known the Benchuca bug can transmit Chagas disease a debilitating potentially fatal disease that causes symptoms similar to many of those Darwin reported after he returned to England. His lifelong health problems may have started in Argentina. Turning northwest he crossed back through Uspallata Pass and stumbled across fossilized trees a petrified forest at the top of the world. The trees once must have stood on the coast when the ocean had come up to the foot of the mountains. Buried when the continent sank then thrust to the top when the continent rose up again the trees were tilted at impossible angles jutting out from the rock that had crumpled like paper. Darwin was slowly working out the puzzle. He fired off a letter to Henslow about his absurd and incredible discoveries. After Valparaiso the Beagle visited Iquique Peru then set off for a destination now forever linked with Darwins namethe Galpagos Islands. 19