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A round the world trip in more than 80 days.

Why this blog ?

Our aim : travel and discover the world during 353 days and through some fifhteen countries. We are hoping that this blog will allow us to share the experience with our family and friends thanks to the posts and photos that we will be publishing and also thanks to their comments.

Currently ...

now. For the moment, we are gently readapting from nomadic to sedentary life.


Iorana koe Rapa Nui (Welcome to Easter Island)

We have arrived to the last stop in our South American wandering. Although, properly speaking, we are not in America anymore, but rather in the eastern border of Polynesia. Easter Island was the result of one of Mother Earth's whims : this particular time, her restlessness gave birth to a little 163 km² bit of land in the middle of nowhere.

Today part of Chili, it was first inhabited by Polynesians who, being great sailors, discovered and colonised it since the 4th century. Indeed, people features as well as the local language and folklore feels more Polynesian than Latin American. At our arrival to the airport we were greeted by the manager of the camp site we had booked into with a flower necklace and the word 'iorana', which in rapanui language can be used for 'welcome', 'hello' or 'bye bye'.

The island is an oasis in the middle of the ocean and the atmosphere is really laid-back, even if the population of the only settlement, Hanga Roa, has increased a lot lately together with the influx of tourists : from 3000 inhabitants in 2003 to almost 6000 in 2006. Prices, specially those of food, are 3 to 4 times more expensive than in the continent. In spite of it, the tourists we have met there looked like your average middle class guys. However, a 5 star hotel is being built and since resources are not unlimited and overpopulation is starting to be a problem (in terms of water supply and waste treatment) I am not sure whether this is going to last for long.

But for the time being, the atmosphere is really easy-going. Everybody says hello when crossing in the street, we got easily a lift to get from one side of the village to another (in the back of the pick-up when the inside is full) and we were even invited to come home for a coffee by a gentlemen who picked us in his car.

The weather was indeed quite rainy, mostly during the nights. We felt lucky to have been able to rent a room in the camping rather than just a tent. Specially when we could hear all night long the rain tap dancing on our roof and the wind blowing and, on the morrow, we saw half the people camping getting their sleeping bags out to dry.

Even with the occasional rain, Easter Island is much closer to my idea of a tropical paradise than Ushuaia will ever be. No waterfall, but we enjoyed a bath in the only sand beach of the island and we went diving with Henri (a french guy who used to work for Cousteau, but 30 years ago happened to be sent on a mission to the island, met a girl, and decided to stay).

To get to see the different moai sites spread over the island, we rented 4x4 for a few hours. It was a good choice at it happened because the roads have a beautiful collection of potholes and muddy puddles. I was surprised at the number of moais on the island, almost a thousand, and at the distance from the place they were carved, at the feet of a volcano, to the different points of the coast were they were erected. Another proof that human craziness has no limits.

Another mind-blowing thing is the number of horses. Practically the only mammal or farm animal we have seen : no sheep, neither goats nor pigs, just a few skinny cows, some hens wandering on people yards and, other than that, horses and more horses. What they do with them remained a mystery to us.

The time has come to kiss Latin America goodbye. It is a sour-sweet feeling. It is hard to leave so much we have enjoyed our 4 months here. On the other side, we are heading to New Zealand, so who would not be happy about it? We are eager to get to kiwi land and try our first couch-surfing experience there.