Trip Start Feb 13, 2007
61Trip End Apr 13, 2007
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Its the best LAN flight so far, a brand new boeing 767, comfortable seats with tv's, it flies by so quickly, I watch flags of our fathers, syl watches the queen, just married and after sunset
Coming in to land the plane is abuzz with excitement, people are taking photos out the window, its the first piece of land anyone has seen for 3787 km
We have arrived in Easter Island, one of the most remote places on the planet, self proclaimed navel of the world, you can sail a boat in any direction and not hit inhabited land for 1900km, Tahiti where the flight continues to is another 4100km away
We land on a massive runway, the USA paid for it to be upgraded so that it could serve as an emergency landing strip for space shuttles
The airport is tiny, and jammed with people, only 4 flights a week come here in peak season, 2 in off peak, and a flight means business, yeah, there are package holiday tourists with a place to stay already, but there are also adisyl's who don't
We meet Cicilia who has cabanas on offer, we like the idea cos they are self catering so we don't have to eat out for 6 days, oh yeah, we are here for 6 days, cos its 2 or 6 and 2 was too short, so 6 it was, we get the biggest one, two bedroom, sleeps 5-6 for 30,000 pesos a night (£30), its not cheap compared to what we have been paying anywhere else, but nothing is cheap in this place, and at least we have a house to ourselves
She takes us there from the airport, its a nice drive through Hanga Roa, the islands only town, about 3000 people live on the entire island, its only 25 km long, and about 4-5 km wide
We drop off our stuff and walk into town, we head towards the beach and see our first ever moai, its pretty big, a bit beaten up over time, but pretty impressive nonetheless
The only reason you come to easter island is the moai, there are about 600 or so of them dotted about the place, they are utterly and completely unique to this place, an incredible example of how a society can develop on their own, totally untouched by the world
They have been in my mind for ever and a day, I remember seeing a picture of one once when I was young, it stuck with me, then I remember seeing David Attenborough's the lost gods of easter island, and I thought "I am going there one day"
Well one day is now, when south america became a reality, easter island was pencilled into the itinerary from the very beginning, to hell with the cost, you can always make more money, but you only live once
The island is awesome, its hot, there is ocean in every direction, the people are fantastically friendly, I asked a surfer on his way to the beach where the bank was, he didn't show me, he walked me there, talking about south africa's waves and their sharks the whole way, I asked the tour guy at aku aku how to ask for milk, cos the lady at the supermarket didn't understand "leche" - he walked with me to the supermarket and showed me
By the evening we realised that transport rules, and we didn't have any (two legs aside), we vowed to get transport the next morning, you can read about how fantastic it is to walk the island in a day, then throw the book out the window, its darn near madness to try it, we had walked 2 hours and hadn't left town yet, and the heat hurts
We hit the supermarket to get some stuff for our empty fridge, its expensive, London prices, money is pouring out of the wallet, I repeat, this place aint cheap
But why should it be, its special, its unique, and I am so excited to be here I would pay anything
Tomorrow we venture further afield, can hardly wait...