CHILE: Easter Island – Rapa Nui

Posted by on Jan 15, 2020 in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Easter Island easily scores in my top three experiences over the past five years. Is it because my prior destination was in the midst of a revolution of sorts? Did the mellow vibe place me completely under a spell where none of my usual rules applied? Perhaps… I lost my wallet on my second day. That’s unusual in and of itself, but the fact I didn’t let it ruin one hour of the next two days just wasn’t right at all.

I came to the conclusion that it was worth a wallet and all of the complications to be lucky enough to visit this extremely remote and beautiful island.

BIG OLD JET AIRLINER CARRY ME FAR, FAR AWAY

FINAL APPROACH TO PARADISE

COMING IN FOR A SAFE LANDING

EVEN WITH THE CLOUDS AND DRIZZLE I KNEW I WAS HOME

TINY TERMINAL – DON’T FORGET $80 FOR NATL PARK TICKETS

PETROGLYPH SCULPTURE

RAPA NUI’S RUGGED VOLCANIC COASTLINE BECKONS TO BE EXPLORED

HOSTAL CAMPING MIHINOA

REAL BEDS WITH AN UNOBSTRUCTED OCEAN VIEW = $25/Night

CONTROVERSIAL HOTEL

RAPA NUI STREET ART

WINDY AND RAINY WELCOME AS IN PARIS RAIN’S NOT A BOTHER

TYPICAL AMERICAN TOURISTS WALK THREE ABREAST LIKE THEY OWN THE PLACE, BLOCKING TRAFFIC IN A FULL LANE AS THEY GO.

PRIVATE HOME ENTRY

MY FIRST MOAI – Perched above a small harbor near the town center.

LA KALETA – A CUTE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT

HOTEL MANAVAI – UPSCALE ACCOMMODATIONS (150-200 DOLLARS)

HOTEL GARDENS

PETROGLYPHS BEAT THE HELL OUT OF GARDEN GNOMES

VIEW FROM IN FRONT OF THE HOSTEL – OUR BUDGET HOSTEL WAS RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO THE MOST EXPENSIVE RESORT ON THE ISLAND.

RECLINING MOAI NAPS IN A FIELD ON THE EDGE OF TOWN

TOTEM WITH PETROGLYPHS

MOAI

A HANDSOME MUTT

SOUTH PACIFIC SUNSET

SOME OF THE GANG FROM HOSTAL CAMPING MIHINOA

FIRST SUNSET

IDEAL END TO A PERFECT DAY

A BIT BLUSTERY BUT STILL ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

DOWNTOWN PROTECTED SWIMMING AREA

WIFI ZONE IN PARK – WiFi is quite limited and/or spotty at best, so major work on blogs and streaming movies are out. It gives a perfect opportunity to disconnect from Trump, social media, and lets you completely immerse yourself in the Rapa Nui experience.

MEGA-GUTTER – READY FOR A SERIOUS CLOUDBURST

TIME TO HIT THE ROAD AFTER RENTING A CAR DOWNTOWN

SUBARU JIMMY – MY TRUSTY RIDE WITH RAMSHACKLE SHOCKS

IN IRELAND IT’S SHEEP – HERE IT’S HORSES – 6,000 HORSES ROAM FREE ON THE ISLAND

VOLCANIC ROCK WALL WITH VOLCANOS IN THE DISTANCE

DON’T KNOW THE NAME OF THE ORANGE-TOPPED GREEN BRUSH

I COULDN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT AS YOU CAN SEE

IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL FILLING IN THE AREAS BETWEEN THE TEXTURED VOLCANIC ROCKS

A VOLCANO AWAITS IN THE DISTANCE

ANOTHER PAIR GETS MY ATTENTION

I WONDER IF THAT IS AN ACTUAL OCHRE DEPOSIT

I’ WAS CONSTANTLY PULLING MY JIMMY OVER TO TAKE PICTURES – ACTUALLY STRIKE THAT, PULLING YOUR JIMMY IS NOT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO GET CAUGHT DOING! JIMMY’S THE NAME OF MY RENTAL CAR, BUT IT’S ALSO AN AFRICAN AMERICAN IDIOM FROM THE SIXTIES AND SEVENTIES THAT WAS ANOTHER WORD FOR TROUSER SNAKE. I JUST COULDN’T RESIST AN ESOTERIC JIMMY JOKE. I’VE BEEN A LITTLE OVER THE TOP, LATELY, BUT I SUPPOSE IT’S A GOOD WAY OF COPING WITH THE BLOWBACK FROM SANTIAGO.

SOMETHING AMAZING THIS WAY COMES

RANO RARAKU

ENTRY TO RANO RARAKU

ZOE (PARK RANGER) – ZOE EMBODIES THE ISLAND’S HOSPITALITY.

RANO RARAKU – HERE YOU HAVE A HILLSIDE LITTERED WITH MOAI

THE NATIONAL PARK WAS CLOSING SO I WOULD HAVE TO COME BACK TOMORROW TO HAVE A CLOSER LOOK. IT WAS NICE TO SEE IT BEREFT OF TOURISTS. PEOPLE ARE ONLY ALLOWED ONE VISIT IN ORDER TO REDUCE EROSION TO THIS AMAZING ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE.

TONGARIKI – WE’LL BE RETURNING TOMORROW MORNING AT 6:30 AM FOR SOME SUNRISE ACTION.

THIS MOAI LINEUP WAS KNOCKED OVER LIKE SO MANY BOWLING PINS BY AN TSUNAMI CAUSED BY AN EARTHQUAKE OFF OF JAPAN. TWO COUNTRIES SENT REPLACEMENTS FOR DAMAGED STATUES.

UNTIL TOMORROW HOW ABOUT SOME DAYTIME SHOTS?

THE USUAL SUSPECTS

HEAD GEAR

SERIOUS STORM IS BREWING – TIME TO HEAD HOME

KOPAKAVANA – PROVIDED THE MEAL I NEEDED TO KEEP ME FROM LOSING MY SHIT AFTER LOSING MY WALLET GOD KNOWS WHERE

WRAPPING UP ANOTHER DAY WITH A SUNSET

IT TAKES A SPECIAL KIND OF PLACE TO PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE AFTER LOSING YOUR WALLET WITH PASSPORT CARD, DRIVERS LICENSE, DIVERS CERTIFICATION CARD, CREDIT CARD, AND DEBIT CARD. AS ALWAYS, I KEPT MY ACTUAL PASSPORT WITH MY CHARLES SCHWAB DEBIT CARD IN A SEPARATE PLACE.

ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP PLAN! AS IT TURNED OUT, I WAS ABLE TO PUT MY CREDIT CARD ON FREEZE THROUGH A PHONE APP WITHOUT HAVING TO CANCEL THE THING.

MY ROOMMATES – EMILIE (SWISS) AND LUCIE (FRENCH)

PARK RANGER

THIS INCOMPLETE MOAI IS ALSO THE LARGEST ON THE ISLAND MEASURING IN AT ( )

HERE WE SEE A GROUP OF TYPICALLY MORONIC SEFIE-SHOOTING, AMERICAN TOURISTS TRYING TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THEY ARE KISSING THE MOAI. THE MORE DEPLORABLE OF THE BUNCH ATTEMPTED TO SIMULATE PICKING THE NOSES OF THESE VENERABLE, VALUED TREASURES. THE LOCALS WERE NOT PLEASED.

IN RESPONSE, THE MOAI TURNS HIS BACK ON THE TRULY REPELLENT, DISRESPECTFUL INTERLOPERS. TOURISTS CAN REALLY SUCK.

CRATER

OCHRE DEPOSIT

INACCESSIBLE MOAI ON AN ADJACENT HILL

TOPPLED MOAI

TOPPLED MOAI

TIDE POOLS

ONE OF THE NICE THINGS ABOUT RENTING A CAR ON RAPA NUI OTHER THAN HAVING A MOBILE FRONT ROW SEAT TO PARADISE. THIS UTOPIA IS RELATIVELY SMALL AND THUS YOU USE VERY LITTLE GASOLINE. IT WAS ONLY $20 WORTH FOR THREE DAYS OF ISLANDWIDE DRIVING.

THE ISLAND IS LOUSY WITH HORSES

THEY KEEP THE BRUSH DOWN AND THE ROADSIDE TRIMMED

LIKE I SAID, PARADISE

CAVE – THE ONLY DISAPPOINTMENT ON THE ISLAND

THE CAVE IS A BIT LOW AND CRAMPED AND YOU FEEL AS IF YOU’RE BEING FORCED OUT OF A STONE COLON…..

…..ONLY TO LAND IN THE WORLD’S TOILET. I GUESS IT WAS WORTH GOING THROUGH THAT STUPID CAVE FOR THE AMUSING METAPHORS AND THE ABILITY TO MIX TOILET HUMOR WITH ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS.

YOU HAVE TO WATCH OUT FOR THE FOALS, THEY HAVE A TENDENCY TO RUN INTO TRAFFIC TO UNPLEASANT RESULTS.

HIBISCUS – A LIFE LONG FAVORITE

HOPEFULLY THEY’RE NOT INTO RAP MUSIC. IT WOULD DECIMATE THE TRANQUILITY THAT SURROUNDS THE ISLAND.

ANOTHER NOTEWORTHY HIBISCUS

ANAKENA – THIS IS WHERE IT ALL BEGAN ON RAPA NUI

MOAI RIGHT NEXT TO THE BEACH

ASIDE FROM THE PLEASANT BEACH, THERE IS A GOOD RESTAURANT JUST 100 METERS AWAY THAT SERVES ALL MANNER OF FOOD AND DRINK. IT’S A LOVELY PLACE WHERE LOCALS AND TOURISTS ENJOY WHILING AWAY A SUNNY AFTERNOON.

YEAH BABY, YEAH!!!

MY WALLET IS FOUND IN A ROOM THAT WE HAD ALREADY SEARCHED. RENÉ, PICTURED ABOVE, MOVED A CHAIR AND THE THING APPEARED AS IF BY MAGIC. I GAVE HIM THE TIDY REWARD I’D OFFERED THE PARK RANGERS EARLIER, AND HE WAS AS PLEASED AS I WAS.

I’D REALLY PUT MYSELF IN A SPOT BY NOT HAVING COPIES OF ALL OF MY CARDS AS WELL AS FAILING TO GET TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE LEAVING. I WAS ALSO WEARING A NEW PAIR OF PANTS, AND IT SEEMS THE POCKETS ARE PRONE TO HAVING THINGS FALL OUT OF THEM WHEN SITTING IN COMFY CHAIRS. THE POCKETS EVEN HAVE ZIPPERS AND I HAD NEGLECTED TO ZIP THE WALLET POCKET.

THE BIGGEST DRAG OTHER THAN THE INCONVENIENCE WAS THE FACT THAT THE WALLET WAS A FANCY, HIGH-TECH, DUTCH DEVICE THAT MY DAUGHTER GAVE ME FOR CHRISTMAS. I REALLY LIKED IT A LOT.

95% OF ALL OF MY GIFTS COME WITH MY PRIOR RECOMMENDATIONS. HAVING TO ACT AS IF I LIKE A GIFT WHEN I DON’T IS STRESSFUL AND DISINGENUOUS. IF MY DAUGHTER’S NOT KEEN ON SOMETHING RECEIVED SHE CAN GIVE IT BACK TO ME WITHOUT CONCERN, AND END UP WITH A SUITABLE REPLACEMENT. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.

AFTER ALL, THE POINT OF A GIFT IS TO MAKE SOMEONE HAPPY, NOT TO SADDLE THEM WITH SOMETHING THEY DON’T WANT OR IMPOSE AN ERRAND UPON THEM IN THE FORM OF AN ANNOYING RETURN PROCESS. WHAT KIND OF PRESENT IS THAT? TIME AND MONEY ARE TOO VALUABLE TO WASTE ON THE WRONG OFFERINGS. SO UNLESS YOU’RE ME, SANTA CLAUS OR A MIND READER, GET A LITTLE HELP WITH YOUR GIFT IDEAS SO YOU DON’T END UP GIVING SOMEONE A GREAT BIG PAIN IN THE ASS. AS AN ADDITIONAL BENEFIT, YOU WON’T END UP LOOKING LIKE SOMEONE WHO HAS NO CLUE AS TO WHAT THE RECIPIENTS ARE ALL ABOUT.

SCORE ONE WALLET FOR THE AWAY TEAM

LAST DAY

PATRICK FROM IRELAND & ALEJANDRA FROM MEXICO

NICK FROM SCOTLAND

FACE PAINT FOR THE SHOW

UTTERLY BLISSED OUT AFTER FIVE DAYS ON RAPA NUI

FRESH LOCAL FISH WITH MANGO SAUCE

KARI KARI BALLET CULTURAL – SINCE 1996

FRONT ROW SEATS PAY OFF IMMEDIATELY WITH THIS SHOT

OKAY LADIES, IF YOU’RE NOT SATISFIED WITH THIS FEATURE, IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. DON’T WORRY, THERE’S MORE TO COME WITH A FEW BEAUTIFUL WOMEN SPRINKLED IN FOR GOOD MEASURE.

ONE OF THE THINGS YOU MISS IS THE BEAUTIFUL SINGING

NEXT TIME I’M GOING WITHOUT THE CAMERA

THIS KID HIT PUBERTY AND FOUND HIS MOJO ALL IN ONE EVENING.

THIS DUDE’S WORKING IT PRETTY GOOD

THAT DRUM IN THE BACKGROUND IS RATHER AMUSINGLY ORIENTED

AFTER SEEING THE PREVIOUS PHOTO HE RAISES A FIST TO INDICATE THAT THE OPTICAL ILLUSION WAS NOT ENTIRELY DETACHED FROM THE REALITY THAT LURKED BENEATH HIS LOIN CLOTH

THIS STUNNING NATIVE HAD A BADONK A DONK THAT WOULDN’T QUIT. KIM KARDASHIAN’S GOT NOTHING ON THIS LADY WHO REALLY KNEW HOW TO MOVE IT ABOUT. KARDASHIAN BETTER STAY AWAY FROM RAPA NU IF SHE WANTS TO HANG ONTO HER JESUS FREAK HUSBAND, AND BECAUSE I REALLY DON’T WANT HER SKANKY, VAPID REAR STINKING UP THE ISLAND.

DON’T GET ME STARTED WITH KANYE, BUT HE’D PROBABLY FALL IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT WITH THIS LADY AND BE FREED FROM ALL OF THAT WHINING AND NARCISSISM. NOT THAT I’D EVER WISH ANYTHING GOOD ON THE GUY.

SWEET DREAMS TONIGHT

THE CRYING GARDEN – This is where you go before your flight to try and grasp the reality that you are voluntarily leaving paradise.

2 Comments

  1. Danilla
    February 8, 2020

    Wow, I wouldn’t have guessed you’d liked Rapa Nui so much, but, after looking at these photos I can see why you did. I never realized how many of those statues there were. Some of those landscapes look like they’re taken straight out of Dali’s sketchbook, I can imagine how awe inspiring they would be in person. Definitely adding this to the bucket list.

  2. The Travel Zealot
    February 9, 2020

    Believe me, Danny, you don’t want to miss this one. Aside from all of the beauty, the island has quite a healing effect on the psyche. I arrived there from the chaos of Santiago and was fine once I set foot on the island. It was the second week of Santiago upon my return that ruined me. It’s a difficult place to get to, but it’s worth it.

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