Rapa Nui


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South America » Chile » Easter Island » Hanga Roa
May 4th 2011
Published: May 9th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

When I stepped off the plane three days ago I began to doubt my decision to come to Easter Island. I had bought the ticket three months prior yet I had made zero plans as to what I would be doing on the island. I told myself I would find something to do when I got there. Arriving to the island made me curse myself for not having done any research.

I was greeted at the airport by the workers of the campsite that I had booked. After getting setup I rented a bike and set off exploring. I made it about ten miles on a dirt road before switching to foot. Another hour or so saw me near the top of a hill overlooking the coastline. It was a good view met by a downpour of rain. I was in no way prepared for this weather. As it turned out the rain let up after several minutes. At this point, however, I decided to call it good. I headed back for camp. I had spent the previous night sleeping in the Santiago airport. I was exhausted and passed out before 9:00pm.

Day two also saw no plans. During my breakfast a man asked me if I was interested in scuba diving.I would be a fool not to scuba dive in Easter Island. Without knowing the price I agreed to go. The water was incredibly warm. The dive was fun, but I am probably spoiled because my first experience scuba diving was in the great barrier reef. As usual safety was not of great concern. I was the only one that did not speak Spanish. I desperately clung to every word I recognized during the instructor´s speech. Unlike in Australia there was no test dive here. We merely were given instructions on land, and dove into the ocean. To comfort my nerves we all had our own personal guide.

That night I went for a random run. I had no clue where I was headed. Three miles later I found myself a thousand feet up, staring into an enormous volcanic crater. I was beginning to love this place. From my point of view I could see almost the entire island. I was situated on the south western end of the island. There was a great view of the sun setting on the pacific ocean.

Day three was by far the best day. I biked the loop of the island.* The further I went the better it got. Every now and then a car would pass. For the most part I was completely free and alone. With the exception of my bike ride in Pucon I had not felt such freedom since home. IT WAS AWESOME.

The weather started out great. As I have learned in Rapa Nui weather is ever-changing. The day began with sun, then rain...sun...thunder...down pour...sun. One moment I was biking along feeling too hot. Five minutes later I was absolutely soaked and muddy. Another ten minutes and I was in the ocean swimming under clear blue skies. Unbelievable.

I enjoyed every minute of the 7+ hour bike ride.The scenery was outstanding. Easily among the best I have seen in Chile. While Torres del Paine was breath taking I appreciated Rapa Nui more. It was green everywhere. I couldn´t help but be reminded of Ireland. But this was better than Ireland. I would not have had such a great time if it were not for my freedom. I am so glad that I did not waster 50+ dollars on a tour, or even on a motorcycle. My recommendation to those of you who may go: if you are in shape, skip out on the tour. Rent a bike and take a day to circuit the island. It is worth it.

I made it back in time to grab a quick snack and do the same night run as before. This time it was pouring rain. As the only American in the site people must have thought I was crazy as I emerged from my tent wearing short shorts, a t-shirt, and vibram five finger shoes, and ran into the distance, To them it was crazy; to me it was epic.

Today, day four, was a transition day. I had no time to do anything, except pack,eat, and leave. That is okay, because it has not stopped raining all day. I do not mind the rain, but a bike ride in this would have been miserable. Another sign of just how lucky I was. While I love it here it is hard to be sad to leave, because I am going from one adventure to another. I do not know exactly where I will be headed tomorrow, but rest assured it will be equally exciting!

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