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.
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.