Day 364 – Easter Island Day 1 – Rano Kau and the Orongo Ruins

We secured some bikes from a location next to our campsite and biked toward the Rano Kao volcano and Orongo ruins. Along the way  we saw our first Ahu, a spiritual location where some of the islands deceased are buried. On top of the Ahu is where you can find the Moai (big headed figures). There was only one at this particular site. What we learned was that these Moai represented ancestors. They were not gods but actual inhabitants of the island and they all had different details carved into them to reflect who they were. As we biked around it was not uncommon to see spectacular views along the coast. Volcanic rocks peak out of the water creating channels where the water collects and airates so much as to make it white most of the time. We selectively pulled off the road a few times to enjoy the natural beauty…

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Day 363 – Flight to Easter Island

The flight to Easter Island, as has been usual on LAN, was superb. The only problem was that I left my camping gas canisters in my bag and I got pulled off the plane. I took a little gamble thinking they would make it through in my checked bag but no dice. In retrospect this was an insanely stupid idea. I was crapping my pants at the prospect of missing the flight. The takeoff time was set for 9:00 and it was 8:45 already. I know once the doors are closed, it means I am screwed. As I was escorted out, the attendant was very coy about whether I would make the flight or not. She informed me that I needed to remove the items from the bag myself. I didn’t know how far the baggage area was and we had to wait for a transport to get there. When the…

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Day 362 – Valparaiso

The interesting thing about Valparaiso is not only is it a Unesco World Heritage site for it’s architectural elements but it also provides a vivid, if not acid influenced street art. While I have conflicting feelings on graffiti art, there is no denying the immense beauty of the artwork found here. We started walking around the lower level of the city taking in the views of the surrounding buildings. One of those that stood out was the baby blue Chilean Armada Building. After walking around the lower streets and asking for directions for the upper tier of the city, we would find our way up to a very old turnstile. On the other side was a older gentleman collecting a fare for the rail/elevator up. Below is a video of that fun ride up. Once up top we took in the elevated views which, in my opinion, were not as impressive…

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Day 361 – Touring Santiago de Chile

After a long bus ride from Bariloche and a little scare, I arrived to the Santiago bus station. The scare came about in the way of a customs agent strike which meant that being processed at the border was not guaranteed. We could have been turned away. Luckily, military had taken over these duties until the strike was over. We were instructed to bring all of our bags out of the bus and lay them across the ground. The dog on duty would then walk past them and sniff them out. My bag was searched because I carry lots of condiments while camping and the dog must have liked the smell. It pawed at a couple of other bags and those were manually searched. Unlike many of my other travel compatriots I don’t have a problem with bag searches. They are never going to find any drugs on me. The…

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Day 325 – 328 – Our Journey to Piedra Parada

Day 1 After exiting the La Junta campsite we got into Kevin’s car and headed back the way we came. I dropped off the helmet I had rented and we were on our way. The plan was to take a days rest and resupply on food before headaing to our next climbing destination, Piedra Parada in Argentina. We continued up the road and made it to Puerto Varas. I stopped by the sister hostel to the one I had stayed at the last time but they were fully booked. The one I had stayed at was also full so we got a recommendation from a staff member of the hostel and wound up at a nice cheap place for us to rest for the night. We showered up and handed in some clothing to have washed over night. Then we headed to Cassis, my favorite place for a cafe mocha…

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