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!!
I said how sorry I was but I couldn’t eat bread (it’s all I have eaten for the past 2 weeks and I’m bloody sick of it) so they offered fruit – JACKPOT. I accepted and as soon as it came, we were informed we has to pay for it. Nope, I turned it away and the server was so rude and standoff-ish that as soon as we got back to the room we packed our shit up and left. I won’t print the name here but feel free to message me so I can tell you who to avoid. There was a number of other things that went wrong but I really don’t like to write the negatives as Easter Island has been on my bucket list for years!
Since then we have found a wonderful hostel with private room and bathroom, brilliant breakfast and fab cooking facilities so we can save some cash by cooking indoors. La Casa Del Kori so far gets a 5* from us.
The debacle took the full morning so this afternoon we headed off to explore and first thing on the list was to hike the Te Ara O Te Ara trail to the Rano Kau crater, pretty much up a huge Volcano. We asked the locals and they said it would take about 1.5 – 2 hours up from the start of the track so the round trip would take around 5 hours including taking photos along the way. We made it up in about 1 hour and discovered that the summit was home to the windiest place on the planet. Holy Christ, it was like being in a cyclone up the top – beautiful but we both nearly toppled over several times from the gusts.
I have added some of the pics below to show how awesome this place is so we thoroughly enjoyed it. However, we did get stopped as expected but claimed we couldn’t speak Spanish and had already paid then walked away. Easy! Let’s see if the next few days are so simple.
Oh, and turns out Easter Island is actually more expensive than Tahiti, which I find hard to believe but here makes Tahiti look cheap. Now, we have had to pay for 2 accommodations as well our Island fund has taken a nose dive into panicksville. However, for dinner tonight we had delicious empanadas with fish stew to share and it was goddam amazing! Cost an arm and a leg but we will start eating rice and pasta again tomorrow! We can earn more money, but we can’t get back these moments so may as well make the most of it and eat all the yummy food Chile has to offer.