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Published: June 17th 2014
What a day today... a day where I feel like I've entered a whole new world - meaning that I left Santiago bright and early for a flight to Easter Island. This flight was hilarious for many reasons. First of all, it was a giant plane that was only half full. I think I had an entire row to myself. Then, when you look at the flight map, you basically fly for 5 hours to a tiny speck of a dot in the middle of the South Pacific. It's funny, too - I'm now back in Denver time - flew across 2 time zones.
The approach to the Island was quite the event as well. Kind of like Machu Picchu, the Island just emerged from the clouds as we descended, and the little strip of a runway literally runs the width of the island. It ends on both ends with cliffs down to the ocean. So the landing had to be perfect... and of course it was! I'm here. On Easter Island! What an awesome feeling stepping off the plane and touching down on probably one of the most remote places in the entire world. Wow. And when I mean
I think it's like a quarter the size of Maui.
remote I mean Easter Island feels like a little bubble of a perfectly unpolluted place. It's like being in a snow globe. A small paradise of sorts.
At the little hangar of an airport I caught a 2 minute taxi that took me to my Hotel, the Atavai, which is actually a small bungalow owned my a nice island family. It's maybe a 20 minute walk outside of Hanga Roa, the only village on Easter Island, and is the last place down a long dirt road. I checked in real fast, got situated, and ventured off for town to get my bearings. Walking in to Hanga Roa honestly made me feel like being back in Hawaii. You're surrounded by pristine jungle, and the road, which was wet because it had rained, was dark red mud.
In Hanga Roa, which is really just one long street filled with all sorts of shops, I mainly walked down to the water and saw my first moai statue - these statues are really the entire reason for my being here in the first place. This one is called Ahu Tautira, and it sits right on the water and looks inland (all of
the statues except a few look inland). This little moai, though, is nothing comparing with what's coming. I then ended the day honestly just trying to stay dry. This is a crazy weather time on the island. It can be bright and sunny one minute, and then an absolute down-pour the next. I stayed dry mainly by having a very long coffee in an awesome little store on main street. There was no point to hurry anyway. The rain was coming down, and there was a cute golden retriever that loved to play.
I finally ventured back to my hotel right before a massive storm came, and that actually knocked the power out for a couple of hours. Tomorrow, thank God, I'm protected from the elements because of the car I've rented for the rest of my time here. It shows up at 9 and then I can begin exploring.
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