The last step on my journey took me to one of the most remote places on the planet. I knew this immediately, of course, because getting Internet access required Herculean efforts of will. 😉 That is also the reason this posting comes so late – profuse apologies to all. But I appreciated the opportunity to disengage completely from the world – so rare in our hyper-connected lives.
David had advised us to bring supplies (food, etc.) because everything on the island is very expensive. Each person is allowed two suitcases of 23 kilograms each, and everyone checking in had a bag or cooler filled with food. This is obviously standard protocol for travel to Easter Island, and I was so happy to be “in the know”! This feeling was reinforced after seeing the sad excuse for fruits and vegetables available in the local market. (I also packed a bottle of rum in my suitcase, so had all the necessities for the trip)
There are no prices on anything – always a bad sign. Access to the national park itself cost $US80, plus the cost of tours. I quickly decided that being on Easer Island was kind of like visiting Disney World – everything is insanely expensive, but you just accept it as the price of admission. It is a magical place and one should enjoy the experience without worrying too much about how much it is costing you.
Madison and I did two tours – one of the larger part of the island, and one closer to the town (Hanga Roa), which discussed legends and history of the RapaNui people. They were both conducted bilingually, and were excellent. They even made sure we got some cool pictures (check me out sitting on one of the statue’s noses!) This felt the most surreal. I’ve seen the documentaries on television; I’ve talked with people about visiting the island. It was always so remote from the U.S. – something I never thought I’d actually do. And yet here I was. Breathtaking and unbelievable.
On Friday evening, we saw one of the shows. This is akin to the shows they have on Hawaii (though we opted for the non-dinner option) but much more fun. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen the men more scantily clad than the women – they. were also much hotter and fitter. I could so get used to this. 🙂
As much fun as all this was, my favorite activity was the scuba diving. Because it is a volcanic island (mostly rock and not much sand), they have some of the best visibility in the world. There are many hard corals, and not many fish (especially compared to Bonaire, which is simply a scuba diver’s paradise). But I loved every minute. The visibility is truly spectacular. We got to see turtles, eels and some fish. We also got to see a Moai statue (which had been sunk for a movie).
It felt so amazing to be under the water again. I hadn’t been diving in almost five years, and had missed it more than I realized. There is such a feeling of freedom and lightness of being. The old skills came back almost immediately, which added to my happiness. I’m fairly certain I completed my 100th dive there (no, I didn’t do it naked!). 😉 I do have some pictures, which I will attach in a later post.
Last, but certainly not least, we had a birthday dinner to celebrate with friends. If you remember, my friends Mylene and Juri (from the Paella Fundraiser) were on their way to Easter Island the last time I saw them. They had made it, and I managed to reconnect with them to coordinate a get together. It also happened to be Madison’s birthday, so we had much to celebrate! The day turned out to be wonderful. A simple dinner at home along with a delightful piece of tiramisu from the local bakery, combined with reiki treatments for me and Madison and some fantastic conversation made for a memorable and enjoyable evening.
Sitting with Mylene and Juri and Madison, I realized how very grateful I am for all the friends I’ve made on this journey – for the doors they have opened in my life and in my mind. I knew this experience would be amazing. But I had no idea how much it would change my life. I have said it before – I feel like a different person and like a new chapter in my life is beginning. I can’t wait to see what is next. Thank you for sharing in this journey with me. Your interest has kept me writing and reflecting all along. I am so grateful for that as well. Until next time!