Before I start telling about the wonders that exist on Easter Island, I have to tell the tale of how we happened to end up going there for our vacation. It all started with an idea that spawned when our friends Alex and Caitlin, after getting their jobs in Ecuador, and us, getting our jobs in Paraguay, decided to spend this first Christmas holiday season together. It was the first Christmas that Jesse and myself haven't spent with family back in Wisconsin. So, after looking at flight prices for both couples, we settled on Chile.
Of course, after booking the flights, we started to plan our trip. Alex, being an overzealous vacation planner (even more than me) really wanted to take advantage of our time in Chile and fly to Easter Island. Easter Island is part of Chile, even though its a five hour flight from Santiago. The only flights in the world that go to Easter Island are from Santiago or Tahiti, both with the same airline.
So, Alex convinced Caitlin to front the money and they purchased their tickets. I, having no willpower when it comes to traveling, was easily convinced. The trick was convincing Jesse. After a few weeks of discussing, pleading, conniving, and promising to find and read a copy of Jared Diamond's book "Collapse", we bought our tickets!
The day after the winery tour (discussed below) we went to the Santiago airport to catch our flight to E.I. It was delayed. For 6 hours. Believe me, we had a blast waiting for updates on our flight. It was all worth it however, once we landed on Easter Island. We were greeted with leis, as E.I. is part of the Polynesian Islands, and our transportation to our hostel/campground. Alex and Caitlin brought their tent along and they camped oceanside at the same place that Jess and I had beds.
Caitlin and I with our leis. Most hotels that came to the airport to pick up their guests brought leis with them.
These two photos are views from our hotel/campground.
Below is the first moai that we saw. A moai is the large stone heads that the native people of E.I. made for their religion. More on the history of E.I. to come in the day 2 post.