We didn’t see any bunnies or find a single egg, but we managed to have an awesome time on an island in the middle of nowhere.
Easter Island is 2075km from its nearest neighbour, another island with 50 people, or 3512km from Chile (making it the most remote inhabited island in the world). The only way to arrive is by plane, so after securing parking for the Hulk we headed to the Santiago airport. There we somehow ended up in the midst of a teenage girl surf team, and therefore are now in the background of thousands of selfies. Seriously how many pictures of yourself do you need in the queue to drop off your bags? And for that matter, why was the queue so damn long for bag drop? [I fear that our self-propelled travelling has made us a little cynical of mass transport systems.]
I’ve always wanted to visit Easter Island, it just sounded so cool, so remote, and tricky to get to. It’s also very expensive to get to and not much cheaper once you arrive, which is why Dan and I opted to drag our tent and sleeping bag so that we could camp for the bargain basement price of $25 USD a night (which is like a billion Canadian these days) to sleep in someone’s yard, the view was nice though.
Iorana from Rapa Nui
The view is ok
Stunning when the sun is out and the swells calm down
The weather unfortunately was not what we’d hoped for since we would be sleeping in our tiny tent, but we didn’t really have the luxury of waiting around, so Easter Island in the rain was what we’d have to deal with. Honestly it didn’t matter that we were sort of wet most of our stay, or that the wind was so strong at night that our tent would bend so much it touched our faces, we were seeing too much amazing stuff to care.
Another stunning view
Rano Kau, a very bio diverse crater
Ana Kai Tangata, a cave with paintings
We even rented bikes one day, the last time I was on a bike I broke my nose
, so this was big for me. It also reminded us how much we do not enjoy bike riding, but it’s the only way to see one section of the island (from sector Tahai to Ahu Akivi), so it was worth it. Although in hindsight we probably could have walked faster as a certain level of mountain biking ability was required, we had to push our bikes a lot. That being said, we had a fantastic day, and made the rental man laugh when we returned our bikes 3 hours early.
Dan bravely going into a random hole
The first hole led to a hole in the cliff
Pretty good view from the hole
We picked up two new friends on our bike ride, Titanic and Queen Mary, according to their tags.
Moai on a Ahu
This is where the topknots (the Moai hats) were quarried and carved
We eventually rented a car for two days with a fellow camper, Thomas. Although this felt a little like cheating on the Hulk, it’s the way to go on an island that sees winds up to 53 kph (33mph). Poor Thomas, I think he thought he’d get chauffeured around but we rented a manual, which I can’t drive and Dan hasn’t driven in over 10 years and when he did all the stuff was on the opposite side of the car, so we enjoyed being driven around. I was still the navigator, but with only 2 roads, it was pretty straight forward.
Riding along in our automobile
Moai viewing from the car in the pouring rain
Our trusty little Jimmy
Going to the beach
Moai on the beach
People surfing at the beach
Very cool engravings
Oh the sights you will see. Our favorite was, Rano Raraku – the “Moai nursery”, the quarry where all the Moai were carved from, there were broken ones, and stone walls with Moai like pieces missing, how on earth they were transported to their currents sites is a major debate issue amongst archeologists, I just thought it was all pretty neat.
Work in progress
One of the few fully carved Moai left on the island
View from the Quarry
Another worthwhile thing to do is going to Ahu Tongariki for sunrise, even if it’s cloudy and full of tourists, it’s an amazing way to welcome the start of a new day.
Me being silly
Me being a Moai
More cool engravings
Even though the weather wasn’t great we still had a fabulous time, our only hiccup was when we arrived the airport to leave we were told our flight was delayed, by 9 hours! At first we were annoyed but decided we’d walk back to town, but LAN really came through, checking our bags, providing a shuttle to a beautiful seaside restaurant for our complimentary lunch, and then shuttling us to a hotel to have a room to use until our (now) 10pm flight! I know this doesn’t sound like much but to two dirty campers who hadn’t slept well for 4 nights and had limited access to hot water, we we’re in heaven.