4/7/10: Easter Island
… That’s what people who arrived on this island were probably saying to themselves two days ago. Us? We’re just saying, “Holy crap, we’re on Easter Island!”
One of my fondest memories of middle school was the report I did on Easter Island in the seventh grade. I remember it so well because there was no Wikipedia at the time so I had to do the painstaking research myself. Here’s what I came up with:
“Easter Island is an island that got its name because it is east of some other islands. It may be hard to believe this, but there are no Easter eggs on the island. Instead there are giant heads on statues. Ancient scholars like Confucius made statistical proofs that show we now hunt for Easter eggs because from outer space these large heads look like eggs.”
And then I attached a bunch of pictures of the heads and went to not talk to any pretty girls. I never once believed that I’d ever get to see them in real life (the heads, not the pretty girls). But now we’re here, on an island over 2,000 miles from any other inhabited land (although perhaps the cast of Lost would have something to say about this). Here’s how today went down:
At the Santiago airport this morning we stood in line behind a family of approximately 30 who stood behind luggage that appeared to belong to a family of 70. There were coolers and boxes and suitcases and perhaps even a few barnyard animals. We had heard in order to save money it was a good idea to bring our own food to the island, but we had no idea we needed to bring our own livestock. So there we stood dumbfounded, with a small bag of fruit and snacks to go with our one backpack and two day bags.
The LAN Chile flight itself approached the comfort I thought only Cathay Pacific could possibly provide, which unfortunately meant napping was out of the question and movies were the answer (Burn After Reading and Bourne Identity = two thumbs up). Just after the second movie ended, Easter Island came into view. Beautiful, beautiful view. Zhou and I began ogling out the window, straining to get our first glimpse of the famed moai statues.
“There’s a row of them!”
“Wow, they’re so big!”
“No wait, those are just trees.”
“Maybe that’s one over there!”
“I think that’s a cow…”
Having now looked at a map of the island, we’re pretty sure we definitely didn’t see any statues from the air. But after deboarding the plane in a mild rain,
and getting our welcome leis from our hostel owner,
we headed to lunch and look what we saw around the corner:
Our first moai! Let me tell you, it was much more impressive than those pictures I put on my seventh grade report. Now I’m not even sure if some of the pictures I included were of the moai. Come to think of it, I don’t think I got a single thing right in that report. No matter. Easter Island is already absolutely amazing. Just look at the sunset.
However, there is one negative that does partially explain the ridiculous amount of luggage the family had in the Santiago airport. The food here is even more expensive than I would ever have guessed! A pack of crackers in Santiago? 150 CLP. A pack of crackers here? 800 CLP. Odds are that we’ll never come back here again in order to bring more food next time, but if you are going to Easter Island any time soon: bring as much food as you can. Bring fruit, meals, meat, drinks, everything. Then once you get here, sit back, relax and enjoy the mysterious statues carved out of rocks.
Puzzles for Postcards
Hidden TV Shows (Name all four popular TV shows hidden either forward or backward in the following paragraph. This time they only need to be four letters or more.)
The echo used to sound louder, but since the accident the sound did diminish. Sam, the sole survivor, sustained himself on rats, old cheese and grubs.
Picture of the Day: The waves here are huge! The problem is, they’re camera shy. I finally posed for the big splash shot and this is the wave that hit the shore…