Sunday, July 01, 2007

Una entrada nueva

Back in Santiago after several days on Easter Island. Today we went on a tour to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar that took forever. The tour guide was a nice, cheerful fellow from Uruguay full of disinformation. He denied that Pinochet had grown up in Valparaiso -- he did -- suggested that the lavender plants we were sniffing outside a winery were vanilla, and told us with absolute confidence that "Rapa Nui" meant "far away island" (it actually means "big oar") and that the mystery of how the moai, sometimes weighing up to 33 tons, were transported miles across the island had been easily solved: the moai were roundish, so they had been rolled like a rolling pin or a steamroller. None of the serious theories as to how the moai were moved has ever suggested this. But who knows?

One more day in Santiago, and then we head back to Los Angeles. Hopefully, our house has not been picked clean by burglars and the people at work have not yet assigned someone else to my office. I'm feeling that melancholy that comes at the end of an extended trip abroad.

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