19:30 - The flight left on time from Santiago this morning. As there are only 2 flights a day operated by LAN to Easter Island, the plane was full and I hadn't managed to secure a window seat the night before, so ended up on a corridor. The flight itself is just over 5 hours, unfortunately for me, for 5 of those hours, the three babies sitting 2 rows away, cried...without ever stopping... (or so it seemed). So sleeping was not as restful as it might have been! We landed just before 1pm (we've gone back a further 2 hours and I am now 5 hours behind the UK). It was warm and humid (25 Celsius) and Marie from Tea Nui (where I am staying), was waiting outside. The arrival was similar to what I would expect at Hawai as we were all given flowers to put round our necks :-). Easter Island has only one town: Hanga Roa and the 5000 inhabitants of the island, all live here. The airport is 5 minutes from the main street in town and my lodgings are 1 block from said street. Before dropping me off at the hotel Marie took me for a city tour (it took 10 minutes). The two harbours are tiny and last week they'd had a little rare excitement as during some rough weather a sailing boat had tried to get into one of the harbours and ended ip against the rocks. It's taken 4 or 5 days to actually recover what is left of the boat. It's a cute little town and on a sunday they have a mass in Rapa Nuian language in the Catholic church. After dropping off the luggage in my room, Daniela (one of the other girls working here) talked me through what to do and where things are for my time here. Very informative. I had already booked the classic tours for the statues and I'll be doing those over the next two days. I then went for a walk and ate a little cheviche in a little bar at one of the harbours. The choices on the menu were two: grilled tuna or cheviche. And I couldn't have sparkling water, they only had Coke, Fanta or Sprite (or tap water I imagine). So it was actually very easy ti order :-)))! After that I walked along the shore hoping to see the turtles Marie had said lived around here. Further up there was another little port with a couple of bars and diving huts. At the back people were surfing or swimming in a couple of natural pools protected by rocks. I made it as far as the 'cheerful' cemetery (as Marie referred to it) and went to look at the Moai just beyond it in the area they call Tahai. The setting is awesome! And so peaceful...I was going to wait for sunset but then remembered it is not until around 20:30 and it was only 6.30pm :-).
I turned back towards the hotel and walked through the main street instead, finding on the way a laundry were I can get my clothes clean again :-)!
22:30 - I had dinner at a place on the main street just around the corner from Tea Nui: Hetu U. The place had pretty good reviews on tripadvisor but it was a confirmation that things out here are expensive. I paid 30 dollars for a portion of shrimps in garlic and oil! The whole meal (consider that I drink water) came to 65 dollars as I had some boiled rice on the side and treated myself to dessert. Still we are on a remote island... :-). I got back to my hotel by 10pm and realised that I'll have to postpone publishing the pictures until I am back in Santiago as the connection is very weak. At around 11 electricity cut out. Power on the island is provided by a diesel generator and sometimes it shuts down.