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2007-04-05  Argentina, Easter Island, Sydney, NZ. 19/02-22/03



Our first stop in Maradona's homeland was the great glacier Perito Moreno. At its mouth it is probably 800 meters wide and up to 60 meters high. It advances 2 m per day. That results in constant loosing bits of its "face" to the lake in front of it. Do not get me wrong when I say bits. The smallest are about 5m high and the biggest we have seen was about 30 meters! See it:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=132&gID=0
We spent so much time in other places in South America that from the original month in Argentina we were down to 9 days. We decided to reach Buenos Aires as fast as possible to have the most of our tango-dancing plans and leave everything else for the next time. Airlines in Argentina charge foreigners about twice what it costs locals. To see how it works in practice, we bought tickets for the Argentinians with LAN. It turns out that nobody checked it. Perhaps it is voluntary to pay more.
BA is great. Great food, tango everywhere, inexpensive. We enjoyed it very much. See general photos here:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=134&gID=0
Fauvorite from Buenos here:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=143&gID=17
Fauvorite tango photos here:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=144&gID=17
Our next stop was the long awaited Easter Island. Truly unusual. We had a great time strolling around, enjoying its treasures. For us 3 full days there were just perfect. Maois, the great monuments, are unforgetable:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=135&gID=0
And more of them here:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=151&gID=17
On the way to Sydney we lost one day. For us the 4th of March did not exist. We flew over the international date change line approximately at midnight. We left Santiago de Chile on Saturday evening and arrived in Sydney on Monday morning, after 18 hours of flight.
We fell in love with Australia immediately. Actually, it is the people, with great sense of humour, outgoing and friendly that made us feel so. In Sydney we had a great time visiting the Aquarium and Wildlife Center. Basically we spent ther almost 2 days, strolling around the Harbour in the meantime. Enjoy the photos:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=139&gID=0
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=153&gID=17
Our next step was NZ. Truly spectacular place on Earth. And it has a great advantage over Australia or South America. Small distances. We rented a car and within 14 days we travelled 3000km. Driving on the other side of the road is an extreme adventure in the beginning. I am proud to announce that we did not even scratch the 10 years old Nissan we drove. See below the things we enjoyed the most:
- pancake rocks; funny name, isn't it? Well deserved though:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/photo.php?id=628
- Abel Tasman National Park where we hiked for 3 days. Unfortunatelly it rained most of the time when we walked. Fortunatelly it never rained when we stopped to eat, set up or put down the camp. Still we loved the views and so will you:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=148&gID=0
- in Kaikoura we swam with wild dolphins. Quite amazing to see those mammals circle you in the water for 10 times with clear interest in their eyes. Great experience. At the end we watched them do their tricks:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=152&gID=0
- we did not get to see as much of the place where Lord od the Rings was shot as we wanted. Weather. To see what I mean find the pictures of 3 vulcanos here:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=155&gID=0  
- in Rotorua we stopped to see Maori show and hot springs the place is famous for:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=155&gID=0
- finally we went to discover the East Cape. For us it was the best drive in NZ. We spent there 3 days leisurely going along the coast:
http://www.roundtheworld.pl/news.php?nID=156&gID=0
The general highlight of NZ was driving around it. The sights were rewarding everywhere we went. Another great thing was the people. In Christchurch we were hosted by Anna, a polish girl married to Kiwi (the lamb she cooked was amazing). In Wellington Naveen, American working in NZ, took care of us for 2 nights. In Gisborne, Maurice helped us enjoy the East Cape (and the fish he fried still makes my mouth watery).
From NZ our plan was to go to Tonga and Fiji. Plans change. We were not allowed on the plane to Tonga, because it turned out that we need a visa. This was quite on the contrary to what I learned from the Tonga embassy in London. I was told that the EU countries do not need a visa. I think that for some time that embassy was misinforming people. Only last week the airline rejected a group of 4 Polish women who were claiming exactly the same thing. Along with us, an Estonian couple had to find themselves sth else to do. They also called London...
Well, as the Chineese say: "Good luck, bad luck? Who knows...". We are going to have 2 more weeks in Australia.


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