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Update...5 July 2001|
Easter Island and Chile June/July 2001
Chile/Easter Island Map
Desert Northern chile
Easter Island
Statues Easter Island

Lonely Planet info Chile
US State Dept Warnings

India/Bangkok Travel Diary: 24 Nov 2000 to 31 Dec 2000
Burma/Laos/Thai Islands Travel Diary: 1 Jan 2001 to 20 Feb 2001
Singapore/Borneo/KL/Bali/Australia Travel Diary: 21 Feb 2001 to 29 Apr 2001
New Zealand Travel Diary: 29 Apr 2001 to 12 Jun 2001
Tahiti Travel Diary: 12 Jun 2001 to 28 Jun 2001

29 June 2001 Easter Island Five hour flight to Easter Island, sit next to Tour Operator from Brazil. kind of gross breakfast food. Go with Michiganers, Barbara and Andy, to Hotel Otai, great hotel with gardens and view of ocean. Navigate while Barbara drives Jeep and head to Volcano Rano Kau with a spectacular crater that is filled with water and plants, we climb up to Orongo which is dramatically perched between the crater and a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was the site of old rubble houses and remnants of the Birdman Cult which flourished on the Island. Incredible views out to Motus (small islands). We sat and observed a rare Humpback Whale breeching for about 30 min near one of the motus. Then we continued driving along the southern road and watched incredible waves crashing against the Island`s southern coast. Great dinner of tuna ceviche at little local restaurant near ocean with Barbara and Andy. Superb superb day!

30 June 2001 Easter Island Take organised tour that started at 10am. There were 22 of us packed into a mini bus. Great group of people: James Brown, from Mississippi who was fulfilling a lifelong dream to visit Easter Island; Art and Amy, a cool couple from Park City; Brian, a paramedic from Chicago; and Matt and Wendy, who were accountants working in Santiago. Mahini was our tour guide, who had good English and vivid stories of the island that some thought had been taken from the movie "Rapa Nui". We visited some toppled statues (called moai) on ahus, the incredible restored moai at Ahu Tongariki, were rushed through the magical quarry on a volcano where over 300 moai (some 60ft long and 200 tons) remain in the ground at various stages of completion. Then we visited a great beach on the North side of the Island where another set of moai are standing.
Dinner with James, Barbara, Andy, Art, and Amy at the excellent Peay restaurant on the water and then Kiri Kiri dance folkloric show at the Hotel Hanga Roa. We arrived a bit late and ended up sitting way up front on the side of the stage. Our guide Mahini was the lead dancer. the show was incredible, energetic and loud; very similar to Maori or Tahitian dancing. Next some of us headed to the Banana Bar nearby. Our peaceful drinking was interrupted at about 1 am when 20 armed helmeted bulletproof vestclad Chilean police officers stormed the little bar, and started checking everyones identification and wouldn`t let us leave for 30 min. It was very unsettling.

1 July 2001 Easter Island meet tour bus, visit seven standing Moai at Ahu Akivi who represent the seven navigators from Polynesia and are the only Moai facing out to the sea, go to caves at Ana Te Pahu and explore some of the extensive cave network that blankets the island, go to the crafts market, have baddish lunch at La Tinita, talk with Aussie architect and his wife, Reuben and Micheline, about beautiful buildings, Chicago, Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, very stimulating. Rent car with Art and Amy and head back to the quarry and have the entire place to ourselves. Fantastic. drive back for sunset near Moais near the town and have wine and cheese with Brian and other Aussies. Say goodbye to Barbara and Andy, meet group for dinner at Peays again, walk back in pouring rain with James. Back at hotel, meet Ralph, a travel agent from New Jersey; Marilyn, a graduate anthropology student who was with a big group of archealogists from Wyoming; Clemente, a interesting Archaelogist native of Rapa Nui; Charlie, the leader of the Wyoming expedition; and his cool niece, Zoe, an archaelogist from NY who´d just arrived. Very interesting conversations! eventually Clemente and I made our way to the local deeesco. It was a dilapidated structure, with black paint on the walls and flourescent paintings of palm trees, the music was a mix of Polynesian rock from Tonga, Tahiti, and popular spanish music. Quite interesting place.

2 July 2001 on to Santiago wake up early and go to the moai for red sunrise with Art and Amy, see James Brown and Zoe at breakfast, nice 4 hr flight to Santiago, sit next to a retired Mexican politician, don Fernando, go to Hotel Montebianco with Art and Amy, party in Suecia Area at the Louisiana bar.

3 July 2001 Santiago start are little trip in Santiago after breakfast. the city is incredibly smoggy and polluted and it is very difficult to breathe. start at the cathedral, then head to a Cafe con piernas with neon lights, loud music, and women serving chocolate in skimpy outfits, go to the excellent Museum of PreColumbian Art and get followed around by suspicious guards, see La Moneda the presidential palace, lots of army around, an interesting reverse fountain, to Bellavista area, smelly sidewalks, have beers and pizzas, ride funicular up the mountain for view of smog and 30m high statue of the Virgin, goodbye to Art and Amy, take nap, go out for dinner and hear live acoustic music at Zepelin Bar on Suecia.

4 July 2001 on to Viņa del Mar take car to Isla Negra a two hour drive from Santiago and the home of Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda, amazing eclectic home with collections of shells, masks, and nautical items, reminiscent of Dali´s home in Cadaques, windows, sprawling. dropped off in Viņa del Mar which is a seaside resort. Great Hotel Espaņol ($28), old hotel with high ceilings, in the main square. Check out cool Cafe Journal.

5 July 2001 Viņa del Mar get more contact lenses, book flight to Lima, visit Valparaiso with its ancient elevators. spend hours in an internet cafe figuring out how to update this site without my computer or phone!

6 July 2001 on to Lima fly to Peru!

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