Arriving on
Easter Island...
February 28, 2007

I am amazing, if I do say so myself. I was a full-functioning person all day today despite pull an all-nighter last night. How do I do it???

That being said, I think the lack of shut-eye caused a few lapses of judgment over the course of the day. Actually I am thinking of one
in particular…

Once I arrived I went right into town. I don’t have much time here so I needed to make the most of every minute.

I inquired about renting a scooter to make my way around the island. I thought this would be fun. The girl at the scooter office didn’t
have the same thoughts. Her response was “
You’re going to be the one riding it?” I told her I was. And that I had never ridden one
before. I asked if it would be a problem. She pointed me in the direction of bicycles. Once again, Paul and Arlene Nathan’s fear of
letting their kids learn how to do one of the most common things known to man because of living on a hill would get in the way of me
riding a bike around the island. The girl had no way to know that the scooter was actually a safer option for me. Then she suggested
renting a car for a day. This would be $70 for the day (plus navigating the way on my own) vs. booking a full-day tour that was only
$40. Needless to say, I booked the tour. The moai on the southeast coast of the island await my arrival on Friday (my last full-day
here). While I was at the tour office, I was given a trekking route for today to see some of the moai statues that are relatively close to
Hanga Roa (the main city on Rapa Nui) that I won’t be seeing on my tour.  

If I was thinking properly (can I now blame the lack of sleep last night?), I would have taken a copy of the map with me. I was relying
on memory. Always a great idea, huh? I set out with my bottle of water.

My first stop was Ahu Tahai. The moais are some of the closest to Hanga Roa. It was exciting to catch my first glimpse of these. The
shocking thing was that it was just me and the statues. By this I mean that I was the
only person there. I guess being on one of the
most remote inhabited islands in the world has its privileges. Because I didn’t have to worry about embarrassing myself in front of
others, I had fun using the timer on my camera. If other people were there, they might have thought to themselves ‘Wow, look at that
mad girl waving to statues.’ Yes, I was waving to the statues. But what did I care…I had the entire place to myself!  

I continued along the road. I was told that I would reach the point to turn about two-hours into my walk. I got to a point where there
was a fork in the road. But there was no way that
this was where I was to turn since I had only been on the go for 1½ hours. And that
was including my time waving at the moais at Ahu Tahai. I used common sense to tell me that I needed to keep going straight and
would turn at the next opportunity.

I would go up a hill and hope that once I came down I would see a place to turn. But there wouldn’t be and I would carry on. I was
now not even on a path but walking through grass where I could make out a slight worn-in line. This path wasn’t as easy to follow as I
thought it was going to be. This definitely didn’t appear to be a ‘secondary’ road that I was told to follow. Hmmm… Was my ‘common
sense’ playing a trick on me?

I have to admit that the coastline was incredible. The dark lava rocks set against the bright blue Pacific waters. While I was enjoying
the scenery, I was now 3 hours into my walk. And the weather was the hottest that I have experienced in almost 3 months. After a
few more minutes, I told myself it was time to throw in the towel and head back towards Hanga Roa.

By the time I got back to the place I was staying:

  • I had trekked six hours and really saw nothing but horses, cows and coastline (albeit beautiful coastline).
  • I nearly sprained my ankle three times by getting sloppy because of exhaustion (caused mostly by the sun).
  • Just about every part of me was covered with layers (yes, plural) of dirt. It was so bad that I had to throw my socks away.
  • My hip joints were at the point where they were putting up a fight with every step that was taken. They were silently screaming
    ‘Leave us alone! Let us rest!’
  • When I finally was able to take a shower, I realized that I only get cold showers for the rate that I am paying at the place I am
    staying (honestly, at this point that didn’t even matter to me as it was just nice to see all of the dirt disappear).

I became ambitious enough to head into town for some dinner. Half-way there I lost the ambition and settled for a little restaurant
that I was passing.

I am now getting ready for what I know will be one of the best sleeps of my life (this is helped by the fact that this is my first private
room in over two weeks).
Back to Chile.
A horse I passed while trekking.
Ahu Tahai with Hanga Roa in the background.
Waving 'hello' to a moai.