Latin AmericaVirtual Travel Tales

Easter Island, Chile

Moai stone figures of Easter Island

From one remote South Pacific island to another, even more remote – 3700 km off the Chilean mainland in fact. Everyone knows the iconic images of the Moai, the giant stone figures of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). What Leroy and I didn’t realise is that there are close to 900 statues dotted throughout the landscape, or left unfinished in the quarry. We also didn’t anticipate the number of tourists in Kathmandu fleeces and serious hiking boots, loaded up with apples from the mainland because they’d heard how scarce and expensive fresh food is here. Seafood, the one exception.

Initially Leroy was insanely grumpy because I suggested (insisted) we see the Moai at dawn, when the light was most beautiful. He hates getting up early. I don’t like it much either, I replied, but how often do we get to visit Easter Island? Rapa Nui, I mean.

Travelling virtually means that we don’t have to bother with car or bike hire if we don’t feel like it, which was especially great today when we realised how much there was to see. If you get a chance, look up Orongo and the Birdman cult – it’s the stuff of legend. Though perhaps not so great for someone like me who’s not keen on heights. Or edges. It didn’t help that Leroy ganged up on me with a French couple, who thought it would be hilarious to practice some dance moves right at the edge of the cliff.

Later we were wandering past the soccer pitch near our hotel and noticed an inordinate number of locals (and young Dutch and Canadian backpackers) milling around the fast food stands there. Empanadas and gigantic hotdogs slathered in guacamole were in the offing. Leroy wanted to try everything, immediately. Which doesn’t translate to finishing everything. The local dogs were pretty happy with us.

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