Chile is not going to happen. I was willing, reluctant but still willing, to go when they made flights from the mainland to Easter Island available at $2000 instead of their usual $500. But I balked when I discovered it was $2000 each way. And another $1000 to get to and from Santiago. Not only is that more than I want to spend with the stock market going down the crapper again, but I really really don't like being taken advantage of like that.
The alternative, El Calafate in southern Argentina, fell through on the weather forecast. Not only would the eclipse only be visible for a few seconds there and right on the horizon, but the forecast is for overcast and rain on the 11th so I wouldn't have seen even that.
No worries though. There will be another eclipse in mid-November 2012 in northern Australia. There is no way the bastards can cartelize the whole continent. Totality will pass directly over Cairns, in Queensland. Cairns has a population of 150,000 and is accessible by road, air, and rail. I can get there.
The Great Barrier Reef is directly off-shore there so there is plenty to do. The weather will be clear and in the mid to high eighties.
Unlike Easter Island, Cairns is not redolent of disaster. When one learns its history, Easter Island is perhaps the most depressing place on earth. By contrast, Cairns and Queensland are part of the Happy Land, as the Aussies call their country.
For now I will turn my attention to local matters and to North America.