We had to get up early to drive south from Valparaiso to the airport in Santiago to catch our flight to Easter Island. It wasn’t hard to wake up early as we barely slept. The gulls outside our windows drove us crazy all night long! Wake up call at 5:30 for a 6:00 car pickup.
Good bye Valparaiso graffiti!
This was a picture of a haunted street. I really didn’t understand the story but you were not supposed to linger here, but to drive by fast. So we did.
The sun began to rise on our way to Santiago.
Steve tried to sleep in the car as he had a bad night’s sleep. Between no air conditioning, the gulls, and my snoring-I mean purring, and a sore throat Steve had a very bad night. Even with the soothing sounds of a fan on the app on his iPhone, he slept very poorly. He went to bed at 9:30. I went to bed at 10:30. I woke up at 12:30, and thought great, I have five more hours to sleep. Which I told myself every hour decreasing the amount of time to sleep the rest of the night!
The pretty drive to the airport.
Steve got us some coffee so we could stay awake on our flight. As the hotel was not open for our early breakfast we were given a bag breakfast of a ham and cheese on stale bread and a nectarine. All we really wanted was coffee! The Dunkin’ Donuts had no milk and only artificial sweetener. I tried to pretend I was drinking a large espresso.
Orange juice and ibuprofen. Manna from Heaven for a sore throat.
You can see the smog hiding the mountains! The doodles represent the mountain edges!
We were flying business class to Easter Island. Did you know that it will take us 5 hours to get there?
I loved seeing our plane’s shadow as we ascended!
We leave the mainland. Next stop Easter Island! It is called Easter Island as it was discovered by Jacob Roggeveen,a Dutch Explorer, on Easter Sunday in 1722.
Plane breakfast. Easter Island is in the middle of nowhere! It is a long way from there to any other inhabited land.
You can see where Valparaiso was. On the coast and north of Santiago. Look at all the mountains!
Yay! We have arrived! We have landed! Looks like I could use a brow lift and possibly an under eye tuck. Would you believe that a hair dresser I once went to suggested I get an eye lift, and Botox in my cheek folds? I always call them Fred Flintstone’s as his face had some really big ones.
Wilma doesn’t have any at all. Maybe she had Botox! Her hairdresser will never tell!
Steve looks like his hair has a lot of volume today. Do you see my grey hair? Not bad for 60, turning 61 in May. Although I am really 62 in real life as I am blogging about a trip that happened two years ago.
Just follow the signs.
We leave the airport and head to our hotel. There are many kids camping here. Not for me!
After a very bumpy ride we reach Explora Rapa Nui. https://www.explora.com/easter-island-chile/
There are other Explora hotels. One is in Antacama, the Chilean Dessert in Northern Chile. It’s elevation is very high so it is doubtful that I will ever visit there. Another location is in Torres Del Paine in the south of Chile. We hope to visit there someday. Two more are in Argentina and another in Bolivia. They are all boutique all inclusive hotels with guided group activities. There appear to be about 20 guests here now. Each day a few leave and a few arrive. The largest hotel on the island has 90 rooms (not Explora).
There is wifi service only in the main bar and lounge. Each day you can select two half day or one full day activity. The one full day activity is a strenuous 7 hour hike which includes a pack lunch. You can be assured that I will not be doing that!
Here is Steve checking us in. Everybody gets a lei!
Don’t I look lovely with my beautiful lei? At least my chin looks firm! Unfortunately the flowers looked good for only about 30 minutes!
The walkway between the buildings is thankfully covered. They get a lot of rain here. It is a good thing that I bought my Patagucci rain jacket. It is very humid here. My hair doesn’t know if it should lie flat or rebound! Oh, my rain jacket was found and it is being sent to the Ritz Carlton in Santiago where we will pick it up on our return trip from here.
Let’s see what our room looks like. We were staying in room 12.
The view out our window. Thankfully the room was air conditioned as it was quite humid here. There was a lovely chaise built into the window.
The view of the ocean and the pool out our window. Do you see the rain cloud? Rain, rain go away.
Our room with luggage all over. We had to hurry to unpack as we were going to have lunch and then go on our first hike. Were we going to wear our sneakers our Keens and socks, or Keen’s and no socks. We decided on sneakers.
We had lots of nice storage on the shelves. Behind the bamboo portions was a toilet on the left, sinks in the middle and a shower to the left.
We had iced tea, it was very lemony.
Lunch started with a lovely green salad.
Followed by ham and cheese on a baguette.
After lunch we met in the lobby with the other guests who will go on our walk in the quarry. We arrive at the park entrance where our guide Natalie produces our park passes, and we set up for what is supposed to be a short walk. This area is called Rano Raraku.
The quarry is not a big hole, but the side of a hill. All of the Moai on the island are from this quarry except for one that was made of basalt. We do not know where that one was from yet. The Moai are made of tuff, a rock made of compressed volcanic ash.
There are 840 Moai on the island. 400 are located in the quarry. We didn’t see that many, and there are bits and pieces of some that are broken. All the Moai that were finished have been toppled . The only erect finished ones that you can see have been restored.
It was very moving for me to come to Easter Island. As a young girl I read the book Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl. Steve has read it also and was quite excited to come here also.
None of these Moai have eyes as they are unfinished. They did not get eyes until they reached their final location elsewhere. If you get a chance watch the video on you tube that discusses the theories on how the Moai were moved.
Here we see half of the Brazilian couple that went on the hike with us. The lady on the left is from Quebec. We think that she was in her 80’s. She was in tremendous shape. She leaves her husband for two weeks at a time and travels the world with her girlfriend. Her husband stays home with the dogs and tells her to “hurry back home!”.
Several of the Moai were toppled over and broken into many pieces.
Down below you will see a rider on horseback. He is there to make sure that people stay on the path.
Here you can see a Moai in the process of carving. It was probably half done before it was abandoned. You can make out the face and the body.
This Moai was different than all the other Moai on the island as it was kneeling. It had been excavated. Originally only the head was visible.
I persuaded the Brazilian woman to sit sideways and to pretend to kiss the Moai. It made a great picture. I would rate this picture as adequate.
Far away you can see the 15 Moai. I hope we will learn more about them!
Moai were carved both vertically and horizontally out of the rock.
A view down the hill and toward the ocean. Somehow my walk turned into a hike!
You can see how eroded this Moai is.
You can see how big the quarry is in this picture.
There are lots of horses on Easter Island. More about them on another blog post.
We were supposed to go on a walk to a crater filled with fresh water, but due to all the recent rain it was forbidden. It was declared unsafe due to all the red clay mud.
We had to drive through a humongous puddle on the way back to Explora.
Back to the hotel.
Let’s take a walk to the pool. The man swimming was from Korea. He and his friend elected to have massages and hang out at the pool instead of doing an activity this afternoon.
The pool was too cold for me. I had read in one of my guide books that it was supposed to be a surreal experience to be in the pool and look at the stars at night. Perhaps I will do that from the hot tub instead.
The water looks inviting but it was so cold!
The hot tub looked very inviting.
We arrived at the bar to discuss our next day’s activities with our next day’s guide. I had a scallop on something green and creamy to whet my appetite before dinner. Doesn’t it look disgusting? It was yummy. I want to vomit just looking at it now. I actually ate that thing? Yuck!
The tortilla chips in the bar got stale quickly in this humidity.
Steve ready for dinner. Lots of wine glasses to drink out of, and windows to enjoy the view. I think that Steve is looking at me like Fred looked at Wilma!
We met a lovely couple from England before dinner and had fun talking politics with them.
Bread to start.
There is always a salad isn’t there?
Followed by soup. Before and after they ladled the soup in the bowl. I love soup that is a production in the presentation!
Look how far west we are!
Did you read Kon-Tiki as a child?
Do you like two part soups?
Do you need Botox injections in your fore head, cheeks, lips, an eye lift and a tummy tuck?