31.08.2014 - 31.08.2014
I woke up to the bird-warbling outside and the last day here on Easter Island and even though the island has a troubled and violent history I felt sad to leave such nowadays calm and peaceful island. And when I’m thinking about it, the islanders were living a pretty calm and harmonic life and I never saw a clock anywhere on the island, neither in the hotel, restaurant or at the church tower. And the Rapa nui people were speaking great English which is, in a way, a condition if they want to continue living on tourism as they do today. The locals get around on the island by car, moped, motorcycle and bicycle or on horse. I think I reacted most to the horses. Not that it suddenly could appear a man on a horse on the street… no, but the fact that they just “parked” their horses like a bicycle outside the school or store (and the horses actually just stood there without being tied up) or on a lawn so they could graze. I was really fascinated by this. And the horses didn’t run away, they just stood there… During my staying here on Easter Island I managed to find the batteries to my portable baggage scale again (thank God) and after breakfast I weight in my baggage to 22,7 kg and my backpack at 7 kg. Check-out from the hotel was no later than 10am but since my flight did departure at 2.10 pm I had some hours left before my transfer pick-up.
I left my baggage at the hotel reception and took the opportunity to go down to the moai along the coastline and re-photograph them with the sun shining in front of them. It was warm outside (especially in lee) but the wind was actually chilly and when I was walking around taking pictures a native Rapa nui approached me and wanted to chat and shake hands. This wasn’t the first time during my stay that had happened and they obviously were curious about where I came from since that was the first question they asked me (after asking about my name). Maybe they don’t have too many ginger-tourists visiting the island? Because pale faces were seen all over Easter Island even at this time of year, which by the way counts as low season, so it must have been something else that made them curious about me.
At 11.50am was the pick-up outside my hotel to the airport and I was happy to see Emily on the same transfer bus. We had the opportunity to chat a little before we kept on going on our continuously travelling in opposite directions. Emily was obviously stressed and she had just found out her flight from Santiago to Miami had been advanced and she was nervous she wouldn’t make the change of flight in Santiago. But since it was LAN Airlines operating both flights I told her to check in the baggage all the way to Miami, so she didn’t have to worry about re-check her bags in Santiago. When we arrived at the airport (as I mentioned earlier is very small) we had to x-ray our bags and then stand in line to check in. I had already a pre-booked window seat as I wanted. When I checked in my bag I did noticed they didn’t have a belt but wagons behind the desk where they put the baggage. Another sign that indicates how small this airport was (is). Then I had to wait in the departure area (that didn’t have any beverage or snacks for purchase) before they opened up the security check. Not until we got to “the gate” they had a little snack bar, where I bought a hot sandwich and water.
Boarding started at 1.25pm and almost every seat was full when the flight attendant announced “Boarding completed”. A few minutes later they announced that the staff would walk the isles and spray some kind of insecticide… and they stated that it was NOT harmful in any way. Then I felt like… WTF?!? First I felt like some kind of vermin being sprayed and then I got upset about how they dared to claim that the insecticide was NOT dangerous? Sure I understand the reason to why they did it… but it can’t be good for your health no matter what they say. And that spray was now suppose to circulate around in the airplane for 4 hours and 40 minutes and we all had to breathe that in? SIGH!
Then the airplane taxed out and got into position out on the runway for take-off. As I wrote before, the runway for take-off and landing on Easter Island is just as long as the island is wide, so the pilots cannot afford any mistakes otherwise they will have the plane ending up in the ocean. But the take-off went as planned and I managed to get a couple of nice photos of the island just after take-off.
Now only 4 hours and 40 minutes back to Santiago. During that time we got served with food (chicken with rice and apple cake as dessert) and I must say that time flew by and the plane landed at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport about 9.40pm local time (there’s a 2 hour time difference between Easter Island and Santiago). If my travel agency had been smart enough they would have booked a hotel room for me at the airport. BUT for some reason they had booked a room at a hotel in Downtown Santiago… so I had to find my transfer and get to the hotel. Now afterwards I have e-mailed my travel agency and told them that it was very inconvenient though. So I checked in just after 10pm at Hotel Panamericano, nicest hotel so far during my trip but totally unnecessarily since now I had a transfer back to the airport at 5.25am. I wouldn’t even be able to have breakfast at the hotel so I had to order a breakfast-bag instead.