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jon and marion’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 01 Nov 2007

Location: Santiago, Chile

MapHi all
we jet off to ushuaia tomoro for the beginning of our patagonia tour. The last day of easter island was great. we went to a local show which demonstrated the islands traditional songs, music and dance. we had been to a couple of different shows in santiago, the ballet and spanish folk dancing, and the show on easter island beat these hands down. these guys put their heart and soul into showing us their culture and they really apppeared to by enjoying themselves. a number of people in the audience came face to face with the fellas doing their version of new zealands huaka(?) which left them a triffle giggly and intimidated!

the mix of spanish and polynesian influences was fairly even, which made for interesting communication. the language was totally different to the spanish that we had worked so hard to learn. most people could understand us with our limited language and were happy to add numerous words to our vocabulary, which we have promptly forgotten, cause they are not said anywhere else in the world.

Hey Arn, if you are sending Martin some more full stops, could you also please send Marion some capital letters. Thanks.

There was a bit of construction going on on the island and they use a lot of local resources. many of the houses had rock foundations and rock walls that were then rendered. the quarry was going flat out to produce enough crushed rock for one small factory ( a guy with a hand operated cement mixer and a couple of moulds) to make a version of our bessa bricks, which some houses were made out of. not much wood was used for construction nor was it burned in any great amount either. there were few trees on the island, mostly palm and banana trees. a few jacarranda trees decorated the town, but the island had basically grass as its vegetation. there were a couple of gum plantations and one pine plantation. they didnt mill it in the way we do, but used the trunks and limbs unmilled. since there are so few native trees on the island, it leads me to wonder how the ancients moved the moai all over the island.

so from swimming in its crater lake or on the pink sands of its tropical beach, to climbing the volcano or into caves, whether eating freshly made empaladas or the local fresh fruit, easter island was a fabulous trip.

Now we are back in santiago and all the snow is gone from the mountains here and the humidity is on the rise and all our plans have changed... again. we were going to go north to the tropics, but have decided to go south to patagonia instead. a bolt to the booking office (tomoro is a public holiday, the day of the dead, or halloween to the usa loyalists) to buy some flights to ushuaia, a side trip to a chinese herbalist for a check up for jon and a blood test to make sure the chinese herbs are doing their job, alot of laughing as we tried to explain to the ladies in the obstetrics clinic that jon didnt need an internal examination but only a blood test! jobs done and halloween festivities and a shared room survived. the airport gained....goodbye santiago until next we meet.

Cheers everyone
c ya in ushuaia