Peter and Caroline's Most Excellent Adventure!!!
From the mania of Santiago to the peaceful 50 square km, completely isolated, Pacific Island commonly known as Easter Island but to the locals Rapanui. We were booked onto a tour here and it was absolutely fab. The camera as you can see from our photos got some seriously prolific usage!! You really feel like you are on a different world. We were staying at Chez Joseph (really nice guy by the way) in Huanga Roa - the only town on the island but it looks like a village to you and I. The food is out of this world however and not expensive either. We went in and got huge hunks of beef and beer at the price of a burger on a pub lunch menu. Went for a walk around the island and the Statues are everywhere. The islanders call them Moai. Our tour in the morning took us to all the best spots for piccie opportunities and the Moai are just the weirdest things to see up close. There is just so much to see in such a small space. The islanders, who number only 3000, are great. They go around just about everywhere on dirt bikes, horse back or big 4x4 cars with no saddles, helmets or safety belts. You feel as though is you shouted "Ahoy Cpt Jack Sparrow" 3000 people would turn around and say "Si?". Everything is very laid back. This includes many of the buildings which look like they are about to collapse! On our tour we saw the old clan houses which are a bit like bunkers and had banana leaf rooves casa de canoe they are called because they are big oval things that look like an upturned boat. The original natives also had a thing for chickens and you can see loads of stone chicken coups all over the island but they never eat the eggs because they want each egg to turn into a chicken!! The views are amazing and the surf outrageously viscious against the mostly black volcanic island rocks, and yet still we saw some lunatics surfing past a rock the size of a barn. We also visited a few caves for the natives who couldn't afford to build a house - unfortunately due to the porous nature of the rocks in the area they aren't particularly dry abodes. We went to one cave that was called the cave where men get eaten cos during the civil war period they had cannibals here! They have gone now but we did wonder about the steaks until we saw our first cow that was. There are more horses here than there are people and they roam around all over the island including on the beach and up the high street. Rather this though that what the English decided to do with the island a few years back when they turned the whole thing into a sheep farm and kept all the natives basically imprisoned at Huanga Roa. We English really will do anything for a profit it seems. Today however the only actual industry on the Island is tourism and most visitors appear to be from Latin America. The island is beautiful and the people are friendly, so it gets a big thumbs up, we are going to have to come back but for now it's off to Argentina...