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Published: June 22nd 2014
There I was, back at my favorite coffee shop, after having spent a final day walking up the coast from Hanga Roa and seeing a couple more moai. I usually try to be here around 7ish or so, and for the past couple of nights blanco would see me coming and jump up, wag his tail, and grab a rock in his mouth. I'd sit down, and he'd drop the rock at my feet and back away, getting ready for my toss. Timo, the owner of the shop, would bring me my americano without me even needing to ask. I happily tossed the rock with blanco for an hour or so... and if I ever ignored him, he'd bark, or push my chair with his paw.
Then the second dog came up, the one that I actually like the best, mainly because he's so sweet and just wants to be pet and loved. But it had never occurred to me to ask Timo his name. So I did. Timo said it was Joe Cocker, because it was a cocker spaniel. I honestly was speechless, and my mouth must've be hanging open. For some reason, I've been listened a lot to
This is walking up the coast from town.
the Hotel California album on this trip, actually sometimes while at the coffee-shop petting the dog, Joe Cocker. Try to wrap your head around that one! But what made this more surreal was when Timo, seeing I was floored by the name, turned on Hotel California on the shop's radio. Timo had specially trained Joe Cocker to bark during the end of the song, when the real Joe Cocker goes all out on the guitar. Joe Cocker barked during the down beats on the drums. It was absolutely hilarious.
But, this was my last coffee visit, and I was honestly very sad to go. Blanco even trotted after me for a couple of blocks with the rock in his mouth, I guess thinking I might come back. When he finally turned around I was suddenly overcome with a true sense of sadness. I realized I think that I'll probably never see blanco or Joe Cocker or Timo again for the rest of my life.... by the way, in a different life, Timo and I could've been great friends. He's the Easter Island version of me. For a week or so, our paths crossed, but then, once I got up
The last great ahu on the island. This is also the closest ahu to town.
to leave, that was it. Blanco trots back, and I go on my way. We meet up only to ultimately go our own way. And, maybe it was because I couldn't get the image of Joe Cocker barking to Hotel California out of my head, but it hit me just then that Easter Island is a lot like this song. Especially that great line, "you can check out but you can never leave." I'll always feel connected to this little island, and the memories with the dogs and Timo will stay with me until the day I die. However, there wasn't any pink champagne on ice on Easter Island... maybe I should've suggested that to Timo when I left (hah-hah).
So, that just makes me think (as I always do at the end of trips) that travel really is a bittersweet venture. You love it, if you really think about it, because everything is just there for you to see for just a little while. You see it, you marvel at it, but then you have to move on. Travel is about seeing, but ultimately losing the places you see. That's what makes these places so beautiful in the
first place, though... the fact that you can only stay for so long. They fade away. And, to bring it all back together, that's why it makes me smile that Timo decided to play Hotel California. That entire album, if you really listen to it, is all about loss. Or about wanting something, and taking it, but ultimately being forced to let it go. And once you let it go, you can never get it back. What a great final memory, then. Easter Island, Timo, and sweet blanco trotting back to the coffee shop while I made my way up to the airport.
I'm actually now back in Lima, taking a day's break on my way home to see this city tomorrow morning. I then take a red-eye to Houston and then Denver in the night-time.
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