Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 273: An Easter Treat

We tried, with limited success, to shake the grogginess that comes with waking up well before sunrise after a day full of 'sampling' wines. Our excitement was high as we boarded the plane and were treated to a sunrise flight over Santiago. We passed the 5 hours aboard the aircraft by watching movies and occasionally peeking out the window at the never-ending Pacific beneath us. As we made our descent we strained to try to see anything besides water. Then suddenly the tiny speck of an island interrupted the monotony of blue in all directions.

Passing over Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, before coming in to land gave us stunning views into a crater, across the rolling volcano hills, and of the 300 meter cliffs that protected the island from the sea.

Our hostel was situated across the road from the ocean.  Rapa Nui is the most remote inhabited place on earth (from a distance to the nearest human settlement point of view), we were 3,800 km from Chile, and 4,100 from Tahiti (Pitcairn Island is the closest at only 2,000 km away and has 50 residents). Besides a few large rocks that rise from the sea within swimming distance, the nearest, uninhabited, island is still over 400 km away.

Rapa Nui rises from the sea, alone, challenging the sea's dominance. The mighty Poseidon has not taken kindly to this; we watched as powerful waves grew in strength throwing themselves against the island, pulling it back into the depths bit by bit. With all of the volcanoes now extinct it is only a matter of time before the sea reclaims its territory.

In our brief exploration of town we found a wonderful Chicken n' Chips joint and saw our first two Moai, the iconic stone statues which are spread throughout the island.

We made it back home in time to watch one of the more amazing sunsets we have seen.

We were all hungry, desperately waiting for dinner, but we could not tear ourselves away to start cooking as the sky continued to dazzle for well over an hour. In only our few first hours on the island, we'd been treated to threads of its magic, and we knew we wanted more.

No comments:

Post a Comment