BootsnAll Travel Network

Ola de Isla de Pascua (Rapa Nui, Easter Island, The Navel of the World)

Friday afternoon Tyson came to pick me up and we drove to the New Orleans airport. We checkecd in at the American Airlines counter. They only had record of my ticket to Miami and said I would have to check with LAN in Miami for the rest of my ticket. Needless to say this had me a little worried. All of Tyson´s tickets were available. Our plane left New Orleans at 14:00 and we arrived in Miami. In Miami things got a little interesting. We headed to what we thought was our gate for the flight to Santiago. We soon discovered that this flight was going to Santiago, Dominican Republic not Chile. We were directed to the LAN terminal. After waiting a few hours, someone finally showed up at the ticket counter. We checked in. They had tickets for me but unfortunately it was on the wrong flight. After numerous phone calls in Spanish, the gate attendant got me on the right flight. Tyson also had some trouble. The gate attendant said he should have paper tickets when in fact all the tickets should have been electronic. He was also on the wrong flight. American Airlines had supposedly canceled all connecting flights for some reason. More calls in Spanish resolved this issue. We boarded the right plane and had an uneventful trip to Easter Island. The landing was a little exciting as the plane used a steeper descent path than I was used to (lots of stomach turning drops). We got great view of the island though as we landed.

At the airport, we were met by Ana Rapu (the owner of the guesthouse where we are staying). She gaves us some very nice lais which unfortunately wilted very quickly in the heat. We were packed into a van with some Japanese, Brits, and Australians and driven to the guesthouse. At the guesthouse we found our basic, but clean two bed room. We also had a private bathroom. We were supposed to have hot water, but the gas tank for the heater was empty and will hopefully be filled today (Monday). We spent the afternoon exploring the town. Our guesthouse is about 1 km walk from downtown. Hanga Roa is a spread out tropical town situated on a small harbor. It full of small businesses and homes and has a hodge podge of cobblestone, dirt, and asphalt streets. The town is very clean and the people friendly. We walked to some of the Moai that were just outside of the town. The town has a very large amount of dogs, cats and chickens roaming around. Horses are also ridden everywhere in town. I was also surprised by the sheer number of cars. All of the moai were knocked over long ago and many were put back upright in the 1950´s. Here is a complete moai. Many are in various states of restoration. Few have coral eyes and top knots like that one. We ate cheese empanadas at a local restaurant and then went back to the guesthouse to go to bed. It bears mentioning that it doesn’t get fully dark until about 9:30 here.

I woke up around 7:00 the next morning and attended the only church on the island. The mixture of people there were about 2/3 polynesian and the rest tourist. I sat next to a couple from Edmonton, Canada. The service was in a mixture of Rapa Nui and Spanish. Oddly enough one reading was in French. The music was performed in Rapa Nui and accompanied by drums. The church was decorated with wood carvings that had an interesteg merger of Catholic and Polynesian themes such as one sculpture that oddly looked like an angel with a bird face. After church we discovered a dead horse on the side of the street that had fallen into a culvert. The horse was quickly removed.

Back at the guesthouse, I ran into a Chilean woman named Cinti who asked me what I was going to do for the day. I told here I was going speak with Ana to get some tourist information. After we both spoke with Ana (more like her speaking to Ana in Spanish and me nodding like I knew what was going on). Cinti decided to hike to Orongo with her British husband (Thomas) and invited me along. Tyson declined as he had already succumbed to the intense sunlight here and had gotten sunburnt. Orongo is a stone village on the rim of a volcano that was used during the time of the birdman cult on the island. Once a year the villagers would go to the stone village and have a contest to see who could swim to an outlying motu and bring an egg back first. The one who did was awarded the title of bird man for the year. His eyebrows were shaved, his face painted red, and he got to live in a special house. On the approximately 10 km round trip hike, we were accompanied by a little black dog . He joined us in town and walked with us all the way up. He stopped when we stopped and walked when we walked. We reached the summit of the volcano, paid $10 to get into the park and were awarded with stunning views of the crater and the nearby bird motu. Our faithful companion left us when another group of hikers descended. We hiked back down and decided to rent a car together the next day to explore the rest of the island.

Today we got up early and Ana rented her little 4 wheel drive jeep to us for $50. Tyson, Thomas, Cinti and I spent the day driving on some very rocky roads stopping at various places to see the Moai. The countryside is full of wild horses which we constantly had to be on the lookout for. There is no insurance on the island and any damage to car would come out of our pocket.The most interesting stop was the quarry where the moai were carved. Many were left in half finished positions and appear to be growing out of the ground. We also hiked to the top of the quarry and were awarded stunning views of the island. We stopped at the only white sand beach on the island. We swam and had lunch. We ended the day driving to Orongo so that Tyson could see it. Lo and behold we saw our dog friend escorting another group of hikers to the summit.

I plan to load my Easter Island pictures when I get to San Fransisco as the Internet here is a little slow. I want to apologize ahead of time for any typos. As I am paying by the minute, I am not proofreading these entries very well. My parents have agreed to do that for me so they will be fixed.

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3 Responses to “Ola de Isla de Pascua (Rapa Nui, Easter Island, The Navel of the World)”

  1. Kellie Says:

    Jon and I read your entry this morning. Sounds like you’re having a great time. We can’t wait to see the pictures!! Love you!

  2. Posted from United States United States
  3. Gashwin Says:

    Hey, you know I’m happy that you went to church! Someone has to look out for the state of your soul … :-p

    Keep ’em coming!

  4. Posted from India India
  5. bayougenius Says:

    Hey Barry,

    Nice shorts. You have good taste! Sounds like you are having fun. Glad to hear it! Have fun, Be safe!

  6. Posted from United States United States
  7. Joey Says:

    How much was the flight to Easter Island? I was looking into it on but I see everything from $264, and a “recalculated” to USD at 600+. When converting to CLP it is back in the 200s (but isn’t the CLP 1/500th of a USD?)

    Weird…anyway your blog is cool! I found it on google


  8. Jason Says:

    Easter Island is like a large outdoor museum from man’s prehistoric past. It is very interesting. Check out if you ever intend to visit. Easter Island should become one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and it is definitely a worthwhile trip to nr

  9. admin Says:

    Joey I emailed you I don’t know if you got it. A round trip ticket from the US to Easter Island was about US$1600

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