It’s our last day in Rapa Nui and we are pretty happy to be honest. We have conquered everything that was on our list, mother nature treated us really well with the weather and overall, we have had a wonderful time. Getting to spend Easter in Easter Island is by far a once in a lifetime experience.
In this post I’ll write about our budget slightly as we get asked a lot as well as the last bits and bobs we did on the island.
BUDGET: - disclaimer, Easter island is bloody expensive due to the fact it is remote (very remote) everything is imported and the island relies on Tourism. However, we did it as cheaply as we could and ended up not bad. I have added our budget below:
Overall, for the week in Easter Island this cost us $1720NZD – split down the middle is really cheap and if you take away the second accommodation it works our just over $500NZD per person for a week in Easter Island plus food, drink and activities.
So, after putting it into the universe last night by typing that we were hoping for a clear sunrise this morning, I was slightly doubtful. But, guess what? It was amazing – BEYOND AMAZING actually!
We got up at 5am and we had heard a lot of rain through the night but as this was our last chance to see the sunrise we hopped in the car and drove 40 minutes to the site Tongariki as mentioned in my last post. The sun doesn’t rise here until really late for some reason, but the park opens at 7am so we got in and found a good spot to watch as dawn broke over these huge ancient statues nearer to 8am.
There was a few points this morning that I actually got a little emotional, one was this sunrise as it just made me see the world for how beautiful it is and the second was in the car listening to Joss Stone – Super duper love’ as I love that song and it was a truly happy moment to be signing in the car with Leo while having a brill day…maybe I’m due my period.
When you depart Hanga Roa (the main town) you can drive around the island in about 1-2 hours if you make minimum stops along the way, but we have the car for 2 whole days so we may as well make the most of it.
The car we hired is great, but it’s falling apart which is actually needed on this island as the roads are TERRIBLE! It was a white knuckle ride from the second we departed the hostel. There are pot holes that are so deep, the roads are so windy that it is no surprise the speed limit is 30km/h in the town and 50km/h on the main roads around the island.
The first stop was probably 1 of the 2 most famous sites in the whole of the island - Rano Raraku (the Moai statue quarry essentially) which is home to The Rano Raraku volcano is one of the most incredible and extraordinary archaeological sites on the planet. In this magical place full of mystery, the Moai were made, the giant statues that have made Easter Island famous worldwide. The enormous figures and the quarries of the volcano surpass any expectation and get the traveller to be speechless when he contemplates one of the most fascinating wonders of humanity. This is the sit where the giant Moai heads protrude out of the ground but with no body – totally mind blowing.
Day 2 in Easter Island and the weather is so bad they have cancelled the flights in and out of the island! I cannot believe it, for weeks the weather has been amazing and when we arrive it turns to custard. We are actually pretty content with it TBH as it means we can relax, chill, catch up on writing, editing and washing our clothes – Life of a backpacker!
I am hoping this afternoon the weather improves slightly so we can walk to the caves, there are lava tunnels here that we are both pretty keen on visiting but will see how we go. Currently, as I type this we have torrential rain, there is no WIFI and no signs of it improving anytime soon. Leo always says never look at the weather forecast, which after Tahiti I totally believe but I also trust when they cancel flights that tis weather warning could be correct.
We are only 10 days in and I won’t lie, we are both exhausted. A mixture between flights, time differences, not sleeping well at night and the heat has really taken it’s toll on us both. The nonsense that is happening with the corruption and the government has made me feel uneasy and slightly un-safe. I just don’t feel settled and I was so excited about Easter Island but the current events on the island have made my anxiety spike to a new level. Not speaking the language is also awkward, I can understand basic Spanish but currently unable to speak it, even though it has similarities to Portuguese constantly trying to understand and translate is tricky business. This is when I am more than grateful to have Leo as he really has been incredible being able to navigate us around the place speaking both French and Spanish with ease.
We made it to destination number 2 on the adventure of a life time, a whopping 2,336 miles across the Pacific Ocean from Chile, Mataveri is the most remote airport in the world and gateway to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) However, as soon as we got here I slept for 13 hours straight so there was not much to report but I have attached some cool facts below:
It's only 15 miles long, fewer than 8000 people live there, 42 percent of the land area is a UNESCO World Heritage protected National Park. There are 313 ceremonial platforms--each one representing a village ceremonial site, and there are 883 of the iconic monolithic stone statures, called Moai, such as those shown above (These stand at Rano Raraku, the main quarry site, awaiting transport). The largest completed, transported, and erected statue is 32 1/2 feet tall and weighs 90 tons.
**SIDE NOTE**In Easter island as it is filled with National park upon arrival you pay a fee of $80USD pp to enter and visit all the sites. We were more than happy to do this, BUT the locals are currently protesting against the management of the National parks because apparently there has been a lot of corruption with the park fees. What a bloody nightmare. As it stands we should be able to visit for free but because of this there are corrupt officials at each entrance demanding we pay them directly which is illegal. So far, we are confused and left wondering what to do, but we are chancing it regardless. Will keep you updated in later posts.
Back to the story, waking up this morning in a new time zone and new surroundings, much fresher than Tahiti we were both stoked to get out and explore. The place we were staying however, was not really what we expected for a 3* hotel. At 8am we headed to go and get out included ‘continental’ breakfast which turned out to be 6 slices of white cheap bread - the one you can buy from countdown for like 50c, along with jam and butter…THAT WAS IT!!