"..a bardy view!"

Eclipsed by tourist junkies…

All the talk of eclipses lately got me thinking about the Transit of Venus, but I'll come to that in a moment.

Eclipse chasing is becoming as popular as tornado chasing nowadays, but unfortunately, as has been seen in parts of India recently, they are saturating the local populace.

Whilst it may be good for local tourism, one must question the phenomenon of "being there". Apart from the genuine astronomical observers, I suspect thEasterisland2at the majority are using such events to broadcast themselves on their facebook or twitter pages.

It's the new world equivalent of instant celebrity, and an ability to get noticed in cyber-space.

Such are our shallow lives, we are living them out in an internet techno bubble, whether it is viewing an eclipse, attending Glastonbury or being in the vicinity of Jacko's funeral. 

The next total eclipse of the sun will be in twelve months time and the best place to see it will be Easter Island (above).

The Easter Island airport is the remotest in the world, but that hasn't prevented thousands of people booking up with travel companies at prices between £3000 and £5000 to watch the eclipse.

The Island, more renown for it's stone statues built by a civilisation long gone, who created a barren landscape by devouring all the trees to shift all the quarried statues, thereby creating a land of no resources (clever folk obviously) are becoming the new tourist nirvana, and this eclipse is the biggest thing to hit them since they were discovered.

Tourist operators realise that a dedicated trip is impractical, so they are designing tours to put extra beef on them. These principally involve tours in Chile (the nearest mainland a five hour flight away) because the eclipse will only last about 4 minutes. A tour of the island looking at stone statues which are all identical, is not likely to satisfy the casual Cookislandstourist junky (all twitter thrills considered).

 Nor is it a place to let your hair down and boogy away in the night-clubs (there are none), so it will literally be a flying visit.

The tour companies aren't daft, and the last thing they want are short interest-span minds belonging to bored customers complaining once the moon moves on.

As all the accommodation is virtually full, one wonders how this small island and it's community is likely to cope, and what environmental issues will arise.

It will be the equivalent of a human tsunami, where the eclipse itself may be eclipsed by the phenomenon of so many visitors who may well be quite disappointed as NASA forecasts a cloudy day. 

If it were me, I think I'd go all out and see it in the Cook Islands (above), which are alot more tropical and would be much more fun (come on – compare the pics!).

Now there's a thought! I wonder what I'm doing on July 11th, 2010? 

And so to the Transit of Venus…but I think I'll leave that for my next post. Watch this space….


July 22, 2009 - Posted by | Science

1 Comment »

  1. It sure is a shallow world we live in today. I often wonder, what went wrong. Would relish your insights.


    Comment by Spook Moor | August 6, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: