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Stauchy Blog » Blog Archive » Blues Defined, Mar. 18-22, 2008 (JRS)

Blues Defined, Mar. 18-22, 2008 (JRS)


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After Ushuaia, we had a couple of days in Santiago, which was really enough. We were traveling on fumes, both really anxious to get back to the States to see our friends, family, and just familiarity. Despite that, Easter Island turned out to be a great 5 days of relaxation to end the first half of our Round the World adventure.

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We arrived in the cute little airport that services one or two flights a day (tiny airport with big planes, kinda funny looking).  We were able to haggle a room for 5 nights from the airport since several budget options had set up a table in the baggage claim area.  It turned out to be a really cute place that seemed to be family-run.

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Over the next 5 days, we chilled for a couple of days, watched a fairly lame fictional movie about Easter Island before colonization, rented bikes and did the big circle of the island, rented a scooter and did the smaller circle of the island (Yeah, we should have done it the opposite, scooter for big loop, bike for small loop, and believe me, our butts can attest to that!), hiked to the top of the volcano crater near the city where we stayed (really the only city on the island, and more of a small town), watched the sunset behind some large, impressive statues over the endless ocean, and spent some time shopping in town, getting groceries and cooking our meals in the hostel’s kitchen.  It was a really relaxing time since we really had no agenda, had plenty of time to explore, and had nothing else to plan for our trip.

Of course, the moai (the large statues that Easter Island is fameous for) were very impressive (although all of the moai had fallen over, or been pushed over by rival tribes, sever of the larger sites had been reconstructed).  The best sites were on the big loop: Our first stop was Anakena where 5 full Moai had been reconstructed on a large alter on a white sand beach.  The cover was a beautiful backdrop for the statues and there were even a few wild horses that hung out nearby.

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There were a few other stops around the far-side of the loop, including the “Navel of the Earth” where there is a “unnaturally hot” rock to which all compasses point (I saw it as just a shiny, magnetic rock in the intense sun… call me an unbeliever!).  On the way back around is the most impressive site, a row of 15 reconstructed Moai, again with an ocean cove as a backdrop.

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Close by this site was one of three volcano craters on the island, and the birthplace of most of the statues on the island.  We hiked around the volcano for a couple of hours, seeing the Moai in all stages of creation.  It was truely impressive to see what they had done with primitive tools and transport methods.  The largest Moai that had been almost completed was 10 meters (30 feet) long, made from one continuous piece of rock!  The whole area looked like a Moai graveyard with literally hundreds of the statues strewn about the side of the mountian.

The small loop was less impressive, but still worthwhile.  The hike to the top of the crater near the town was another highlight.  It was here that we saw the “blues defined”.  The crazy-blue of the sky stretching impossibly far away, meeting the crazy-blue of the ocean.  Everywhere we went on the island that offered an overlook of the ocean gave way to the impossibly blue scene that can only be partially captured by a picture.

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The sunset over the Moai site near the town was another highlight with the blues vanishing into orange and red hues.  To make things even better, shortly after sunrise, we saw the full moon rise over the island behind us.  Overall, 5 days is more than you really need on the island.  You could hit the main highlights in 3 days.  But, we were still happy to have 5 and it made things more relaxing and enjoyable.  Easter Island is a place that everyone knows about because of the unique statues, but very few people go because of its very remote location (and large expense to get to).  It’s definitely something that our RTW ticket enabled for us and that we would never have otherwise done, and we’re glad it worked out.

-JRS

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