We’ve just had an incredible time on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). The island is in the middle of nowhere in the South Pacific and is an overseas territory of Chile. You can sail almost 2000km in any direction and not hit inhabited land, therefore making it the most remote inhabited island in the world. We were there in off-season and felt like we had the place to ourselves. The local population is less than 4000 people. We were the only people staying at our hotel and restaurants only had patrons at a few other tables when we went for meals. We rented a little 4-wheel drive and explored everywhere. Our visit exceeded our expectations. It is a beautiful island with incredible Moai sculptures all over. The downside of when we visited is the weather wasn’t predictable and just as we would start enjoying the nice sunny and warm weather we would feel a few rain drops and would only have about 30 seconds to run for cover before a five minute torrential downpour. The benefit of this is there were no mosquitoes, almost no tourists, and a seemingly endless supply of rainbows. We were surprised to see mature trees scattered across the island, knowing the history here of overusing their resources. The trees were reintroduced many years ago. We also had expectations that it would be possible to see across the entire island, but the terrain is rolling hills and even from the highest point it is not possible to see everywhere. Most of the coast is rocky but there are two really beautiful beaches that must be packed in the on season. On one side of the island the waves were massive and intimidating, while it was completely calm in the area with the beaches. We drove through lots of mud and puddles in the interior and got muddy on our explorations. There are wild horses here everywhere, grazing in the cemetery, by the beach, blocking access to the Moai and often to the road. The place we stayed at was wonderful and we looked forward to our breakfasts each morning (omelettes, crepes, etc.) always with a fruit smoothie, French press coffee, and freshly baked bread. The hospitality was great and we had hugs from the hotel owner when she dropped us off at the airport when it was time to go five days later. We also had incredible meals out (albeit a bit expensive as everything on the island). I ate a variety of locally caught fish for lunch and dinner every single day. We are sad we are gone and thrilled we went.
We will let the pictures to speak for themselves. Click to the second page here to see them: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=100440&id=673382190&l=badd514835
We are currently in Santiago and will be on our way to Brazil tomorrow.