Easter Island/Rapa Nui/Isla de Pascua, whatever it’s called, it’s awesome


Heather

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.
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.
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.

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.

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.
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.
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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.

 

 

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Categories: ChileTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 comments

  1. Beautiful pics of a region most of us know little about nor will have the opportunity to travel to. It looks fantastic. Love that they gave you leis. At the airport? I bet you wished the Hulk could have been there too, as your sleeping arrangements would have been drier. Such a beautiful world!! xo

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  2. What a stunning island to visit , your pictures are amazing , i particularly like you as an Easter Island Moai ! I would love to visit this place but your blog and pictures come a close second for me ! Xxxxxx

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  3. Delightful narrative! And the pictures capture a wonderful feeling of the island. I’ve often wondered why all the excitement about Easter Island. Now, I get it!

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  4. Love it!! I am thinking about stopping by Rapa Nui at the end of my studies here. Your photos and recounting definitely is helping nudge my decision that way!!!
    ~Chloe
    https://twentythreeandahalfdegrees.wordpress.com

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  5. Your photos are fabulous and now I’m even more excited as we fly there in two weeks. Is it worth taking any packaged foods? Is eating out as expensive as it sounds? Thanks ☺

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    • If you’re on a budget I would say yes it’s worth it, especially if you have the space. We usually ate out for lunch, sharing empanadas or a burger, but made breakfast and dinner at our hostel. Even packing snack stuff, like granola bars, is helpful as there is not a big selection there either and fruit and veg is very expensive.

      Enjoy your trip, it is an amazing place to visit despite the cost. If you have more questions feel free to ask.

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      • Great thanks for your advice! We didn’t fancy spending loads on food, we’ll stock up in Santiago on some basics. Fingers crossed it won’t rain quote as much as you guys experienced!

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