Published: May 16th 2006March 29th 2006
Day 52 - Sunday 26th March
Artensanal at Dominican
Fly to Rap Nui / Isla de Pascua/ Easter Island The longer version:
A very slow and steady start to the day. After checkout we headed to the Dominican, wherein one section there is a major artist market. We were able to wander around and looked at many types of Chilean craft, selecting some easy to carry ones to come back with us.
We returned to Santiago airport in an Astra and one of the safest Taxi rides we would have to say we had. So we left mainland Chile to ultimately arrive at Rapa Nui.
Upon arrival at Easter Island we had hadn’t organised accommodation, but was aware that there were plenty of offers once we got off the plane. Our location of choice was Chez Oscar (Oscars house) where we were able to have every request fulfilled! Oscar was an excellent host, booking us anything we desired, and loaning his car to guests. Day 53 - Monday 27th March
Sunset at the Moai The longer version:
The morning activity was horse
riding to the highest point on Easter Island. The poor horses had seen better days, and were encouraged to go ‘rapido’ up to the highest point by the guide, as we flew past Moai and craters. From the top it certainly makes you realise how isolated the island is. It is amazingly lush with many tropical fruits for the picking, and eucalyptus trees.
The afternoon was spent wandering back to town past many of the Moai, and relaxing. For sunset we headed towards the group of 5 Moai near town, a worthwhile place to be for the last rays of the day setting behind them. Day 54 - Tuesday 28th March
Walk to Orongo Village The longer version:
Today we took a walk from Hanga Roa (Main / only town on Easter Island) to the southern point of the Island, the Rano Kau volcano crater, and the Orongo village. A self-guided walk took us into caves to view pictogryphs, into areas of natural vegetation, and up through eucalypts into plains of grass. The Rano Kau crater has water inside with much plant life, and has been eroded on one side by the
high seas that may lash the area. On one side is Orongo village, an old village steeped in Rapa Nu tradition. There are old houses, and petroglyphs depicting the birdman, and ritual, whereby the men of the island had to swim out to nearby islands, and the first to bring back the first egg of a certain bird was given the glory of being crowd birdman and had to spent a year in solitary on the other side of the island. Day 55 - Wednesday 29th March
Drive around the North Eastern side of the Island
To Tahiti The longer version:
Today we hired Oscars car, a Suzuki jeep, and headed to see the main points of the Island in the NE side, where most of the Moai are. Moai, Moai and more Moai is how the day could be described. Some of the highlights were Ahu Tongariki, the home to 15 Moai re-erected, the crater which is the birthplace of the Moai, the Panau crater where the top knots (hats) were formed, and a swim at Anakena beach in the presence of more Moai. The Mai varied in size, but some
simple facts are that they average 5-10m high. The longest is 21m (still in quarry, and has ears of 2m long), the topknots can weigh as much as two elephants, less than half the Moai ever made it o the final locations, and 1/3rd are still in the ground at the crater.
In the evening, we headed to airport for the next leg of our trans-pacific flight to Tahiti and Papeete. We all received leis on arrival to the highly humid Papeete, which was a nice touch, but was certainly not the last we received! We stayed in Papeete for the night, and leaving the airport we were on 6 lane highways, moving into a massive concrete jungle that is the city of Papeete.
There are more photos below