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Trip Report 2 weeks in Chile/easter island : first timers but not last timers...

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For 12 years+, our "winter's vacation" see us in Tucson, White Stallion ranch for 7-10 days : sun, horses, hikes,...
Anny could no more ride and Salome our daughter is now in university and so this destination loose its interest.
In addition, we find that WSR had not the same atmosphere the 2 last times : wine and beer rides are not our cup of teas...
So we decide to change totally but always for a sunny destination , with possibility of hikes, culture... The budget is greater in flights but not in hotel/diner(only Easter island is the exception...) as dude ranch are not cheap...
The date : January the 25th, in flight and February the 9th, out flight.

January, 25 and 26, Friday/Saturday :
Nantes/Paris/Santiago, as Air France has a direct flight, 13-14h, and without really an amenaged economic class...Fortunately as I'm gold member skymile we got seats on emergency exit with more place for the legs...
Arrival in Santiago at 11am, and big change of weather...we quite Nantes with minus 2° celsius and arrive in Santiago with...36°celsius...
We had an arrangement with our agency and so a "guide" was there to drive to our hotel.
For 3 nights we were at the ORLY hotel, Providencia, very well quoted on guides/Tripadvisor,...
It's a "boutique" hotel : 30 rooms, not big but sufficient, with nice bathrooms. I request a room on the back for quietness and so we got...
The breakfasts are perfect and notably the pastries and marmelades...The fruits were also on the best we'll have during our 2 weeks.
During the day, there are coffee, fruitjuices and some small cakes and fresh fruits.
Providencia is not in "downtown" but it's quiet, with a lot of restaurants.
Buses and subways are 50 m from hotel for who would use them...We do all by feet...
After a small shower(they have a bathroom for early arrival if your room is not ready) we decide to have our first Santiago's taste..
We walk along the river to Bellavista, see the mountains, not so far, and then looking on the lapis-lazuli shops .
We decide to eat at Azul Profundo : good, not exceptional as we think it could have been reading the guide...cevice is average, shrimps and congrio very good, "crabcake"(not the one of US...it's more a crab "gratin") good not more. Desserts average. Good wine and beer.
And then , Cerro San Cristobal : the funiculaire is out of order an so we go by bus.
View is a good beginning to have an idea of Santiago and the different parts of the town.
The Virgin's statue itself has nothing exceptional.
Coming down always by bus and then, direction La Moneda,the government buildings, but without approaching them too near as it was protected due to an international meeting... the catholic university, the commercial "pieton's" street...and back to Orly hotel at 7 for a small relax hour before our diner.
We chooseAqui Esta Coco, near the hotel.
That was a good choice: very large and good choice of wines, very good starters (shrimp a la pili pili, octopus) and good fish/scallops.
The desserts were exceptional, and that was our first "lucuma cream and ice cream"..not to be missed. It's out of all the savor we know...
It was then 10'45 pm, time to sleep(jet lag not too difficult : only 4 hours and night flight...).
To be continued....

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    Sunday, January the 27th.
    Direction Plaza des armas, and we choose to walk by Providencia, then Merced to see the basilic(open, nice but museum closed), the multicolor house(closed for renovation...In fact a lot of public buildings ans specially some of the museums are closed due to the earthquake and it's not the priority to renove them...).
    The Plaza is a very beautiful and animated site with a lot of historic buildings around(cathedral, historic museum,...).
    Both buildings-cathedral and historic museum worth the visit.
    We were surprised than in a south-american country only 100/110 persons were present at the church office for a sunday!!
    The "ensemble" is harmonious ans relatively quiet on sunday.
    We pursued to what was the archeological museum, but it was closed and so we walk thru the small streets in front of the
    deputy assembly and then direction to the market.
    Nice cast-iron building but with lot of +/- small eateries, the larger in the middle...It's good, fresh but on those warm days, the odors wlaking thru the shops before arriving at the eateries could be a problem.Starters(crab, shrimp, razors) and fish are of top quality but dessert are less than average : "heavy"...Good choice of beer , good wine by the glass, but little choice. All those eateries seem the same so take the one you preferr.
    Then, we walk to Paris/Londres, thru the commercial streets and some shops are open on sunday. Paris/Londres is named due to 2 of streets in this part. Very nice part, but as in most of the town too much tags on some of the houses, even historic... The chilean socialist party has his office building here : not bad..Revolution has been good for it.
    back to Merced as in the morning there was an "office" there and we visit it.Less gold than in the cathedral but more "religion"...
    Then, direction Cerro Santa Lucia, to have another point of view on Santiago but in the center...It's quiet, green and well conserved. Fountains and small "streets" allow a nice walk to the top.
    While returning to Orly Hotel we do a stop to Emporio La Rosa for an ice cream and it's a adress to keep in mind...
    One of the best ice cream we have eaten of our life...Lucuma, Chocolate, rasperry and lemon were our choice and we have not been disappointed...
    We continue walking to Orly Hotel to relax 3/4h before diner at 8'30.
    Sunday night is a relatively "off" night for restaurant and so we go to "Lomit's" on Providencia. It's a sort of chain but there are some out door tables and a lot of local were seated...No disappointment: very good, fresh and large shrimp sald for Anny as unique dish. I began by a chilean salad(tomatoes, sweet onions, coriander and salad with a mild spicy sauce) and then a grilled congrio, with sweet potatoes and lemon.
    We finish by a dulce lecce, very good and one enough for 2...
    Very good choice of beers...
    After, abck to hotel for a good night.

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    Monpetit,
    I have certainly enjoyed your first installment. My husband, daughter and I are looking to make the same trip some time next year, and very much look forward to your next post!

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    Monday, January the 28th
    Full day in Valparaiso.
    Weather was rainy on the morning and so the road to Valparaiso did not enjoy us. Succession of winery, orcahrd...Even the Casablanca valley semmed not attractive...
    Some parts are dominated by hills but nothing to make a stop...
    We drive north to Cocon and then Vino del Mar before arriving in Valparaiso. Very "good" exemple of what not to do!!! The seashore, rocky and nice has been "destroyed" by construction, none nice or attractive...How this has been authorized...It's like some part of the atlantic seashore in France inthe '60s...
    We park Plaza Sotomayor, give a little look to teh port and then at the discovery of Valparaiso.
    Plaza Sotomayor has some very interesting buildings, notably the blue one of the navy and the pink hotel regina(no more an hotel...). Well restored...Some other buildings have a stange restoration : they keep the external wall and inside they build a "glass" tower which is higher than the original building...Not so nice and the "valparaiso's" atmosphere is not kept...
    Then the best way is to take a funiculare and to explore the hills...Houses of different colors, materials(wood, stones, metal,..) , some luxuous, others miserables...It's the charm of the town.
    We pass from hill to hill by foot or by funicular(some are no more in order to work...).
    Don't forget the museum of art, the outdor museum(even if half of the wall paintings are tagged...).
    We eat at the Colombina : nice view, surraned atmosphere, very good Pisco sour and fish. Desserts average.
    The exploration occup us the whole day and we were back at Santiago at 8 pm.
    We eat at the small restaurant of Orly hotel(nice sea salad and shrimp).
    Quite night as the day after we wake up early for a flight to the lake region.

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    Gatormama : you will not be disappointed...
    Elizabeth : you will expect the lake district sejour...
    Tuesday January the 29th
    Santiago/Puerto Montt , flight by LAN no problem and by chance it will be the rule for all our domestic flights by LAN.
    We "got" our car at Hertz, a type B but it was a mistake...Due to the quality of thenroads outside the highway, a suv or a 4wheel should have been the good choice...
    The first stop was Puerto Varas to buy some drinks and bread/fruits can/ cheese/tuna and chicken for our hikes. Then direction Ensenada. The road is along Llanquihue lake and with the volcan Osorno , really an extraordinary vision...the volacn is black with a snow cone!!!
    We eat at Dom Salmon , not too bad but nothing exceptional.The salmon is good, the salad bar average, the desert buffet is not so bad. As i driv, my first non alcoholic beer and it was good and tasty, nothing to do with a bud or a coord light!!!
    Then we hikentthe salto Petrohue trail , not difficult and the saltos are interesting but the nicest is the.contrast between the water, the saltos and the volcan ..
    Then we hike the "enamorados" and Carimelu, one along the river and the other in the forest, relatively flate but a food approach for the region...
    It was time to arrive to Petrohue Lodge, our home for 2 nights. It´s like a lodge in a western park...No A/C no TV no phone in room but like in the parks you are not here to stay in rooms. They give us a room with lake view, as thenlodge is on the lake todos de los santos. Other possible view is volcan Osorno but partial..the only difference is thebsize of the room, larger than in US park, much larger...
    We relax on lakeshore and then a nice diner at the lodge : cevice and salmon + nice lucuma cream.
    We walk to the lake for a while before a good night.
    Wednesday, January the 30th
    After a very good brakfast-good coffee, very good fruits and pastries.
    Then we hike Desolation Pass hike. Easy in the beginning , flat and in wood but only for the first...half mile. Then, it became without shadow, and it goes up...but the view on the volcan is terrific!! The trail is around its base . By chance we had our hats as it was a very hot and sunny day. We hike till the pass but it´s possible to go more but you have to arrange for the car.
    For us back by the same way. Anny decidevto swim in the lake and i read in our lodge drinking a nice juice.
    Diner at the lodge and a good nignt.

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    Thursday, January the 31st
    We quite Petrohue and we had to say with regrets.There are a lot of hikes to do and the lodge is very pleasnt : large rooms, good breakfasts and diners, very good staff.
    Our travel agency organise us days with a "guide" as we want to hike in some retired areas...
    Today, the project was Les 3 saltos in Llanquihue park.
    But our guide didn't even know this part of the park...
    We had to find the valley of the Ulmos and then hike. Finally we go to a bed and breakfast with horses trail organisation but as we request only some directions and not the excursion with them they give only some "light" informations...
    We find the beginning of the hike and the guide, says : "I stay to survey the car..."
    So we hike alone, which is not a problem for us, but with some very little knowledge on the trail.
    This part is very pleasant as the you have view on 2 volcans : Cabulco in front of you and Osorno behind. There are a very nice flora . At 2 miles from the trailhead we find a group of 4 "old" men(in their 60-70's) "lost" . In fact the trail pass thru a private property and they didn't know if it was possible to pass thru the gate...I profit to have a "look" on their map to have an idea of the future direction...
    Then the trail is on an open meadow and views are terrific.
    We arrive to what seems us the end of the meadow and find a little trail entered in the forest, sort of primitive forest...We hike 1/2 h in those woods and find a little gem of cascad, but small...And no more trail..So i think we loose us...
    We had a break here since it was very nice and come back, and try to find the "passage" but all the possibilities we try go to this cascade and so we go back to the car.
    It was only 2 pm and as we had time we decide to go to the volcan Osorno. There is a road and after 6-8 miles you arrive to the departure of the chairlift.
    We hike to some small seconday craters, in fact to the arrival of the 1st chairlift.
    Not too difficult..It's an hour hike to go up, not too steepy and views worth the effort.
    After a small break to explore the views on Osorno but also Cabulco and the petrohue valley + the Llanquihue lake , it was time to drive to our hotel in Puerto Varas.
    On the road we stop on the lake shore in a small snack to have what they call an "once" : small pastries and ice creams.
    Cake was with blackberries and rasperries and ice cream rasperry/chocolat . Once is a Chilean tradition. Men who didn't want to do some housework go out of home and drink a liquor, aguardiente eleven(once) letters. Another explanation was that for the pause workers was not allowed to drink liquor and invent the term once...
    Whatever the explanation it's a nice tradition.
    Our hotel was Casa Molinos, on the lakeshore, not in the town but one of the adress of our sejour.
    Quiet, clean, nice rooms and bathrooms.There is a "private" beach and so perfect for Anny. And the view is : lake with Volcan Osorno on the "horizon"...
    Why asking for more ??
    The diner was perfect and their wines are good(not a lot of choice but excellent quality).The fish notably is perfectly cooked.

    Friday, February the 1st
    Direction Puyehue Park.
    It's normally an 1h30/2h drive but our guide (the same that the day before...) was not in hurry and it has been a 2h45 mn to arrive finally to the park.(a guide for the 4th age...).
    We stop at the headquarters to have some explanations/hike we want to do : From Lago Toro to laigo Paraiso.
    As the day before, the guide stays to "survey" the car...
    This is a very nice hike but we do, unvoluntary a "variante".
    Arrived to a "fork" we didn't find the trail to lago Paraiso and so we arrive on another trail "sendero de integracion" old indian trail.
    An old indian woman give us passage thru her farm and indicate us the way from there to lago Paraiso, and so we do some miles not expected but the trail is really terrific and so it was a "welcome" mistake.
    It's along a river with a lot of cascades and the arrival to Lago Paraiso is by the opposite shore than the usual one. Only problem : no bridge to pass to the way back and so, socks and shoes off and then a pic nic break. The lake is in an woody amphitheater with volcan Casablanca in view.
    By chance we find a group of young hikers and they give us the direction of the original trail.
    So we have done a loop and it's more pleasant .
    The trail is in a "tropical" primitive forest and as in some US parks, respect to the nature's work and you have to make some detours/failed trees.
    Juts before arriving to the car, we saw a fox and a then a preybird, with a head like an helmet.
    It was time to drive back to Casa Molinos : beach for Anny, a book for me, and the a nice diner.
    We had then a liquor for me and an herbal tea for Anny in the garden, looking for the sunset on the lake and the volcan.
    Breakfasts in casa Molinos were perfect, specially the pastries(notably the lemon tart and the peach tart...).

    Saturday, February the 2nd
    We quite Casa Molinos direction Chiloe.
    We arrive in Ancud and our first stop was to the "piguinerias" .
    Don't think it's an easy road...On the maps you had the impression it's short but it's a 10-12 miles "road" and the last 8 miles are a very primitive gravel road...
    But it's then nice : one of the 2 parts on the world where magellan's and Humboldt's pinguins live together...
    You have to take a boat : there are some companies here. It takes 35/45 mn and if you are lucjy you see pinguins, otters and sealion.
    Then we eat in one of the 2 small restauarnts here : very good "locos" empenadas and then chilean salad and grilled congros.
    All was perfect and good and..cheap!!(4 $ the loco empenadas..).
    Afterthat, direction Castro.
    To be continued

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    On advice of our guide in Puerto Varas, we took a shorter way(and i write way... no road) to rally the Piguinerias to Castro.
    25 miles on a non gravel road...and sometimes, by chance some locals who can say that we were on the good direction...
    Some churches, some farms, but nothing really exceptional.
    If there is a mystic spirit in Chiloe we didn't find it...
    Arrival in Castro we find without too much difficulties our hotel, Palafitos 1936, in a typic quarter with houses on piles on water.
    Not bad but nothing exceptional...Room of good size, view on the laguna, but some houses near the hotel are nice, others ruins with some misery...
    We walked to downtown Castro to see the "highlights", in fact only the Cathedral, which is really "to see" : in wood, yellow, red and purple in exterior and monochrom wood interior.
    The statues inside have real clothes.
    The contrast of the exuberant exterior and the natural wood inside is strange.
    Then, museum was closed and we walk to the laguna's shore...
    Alternance of nice quarters with miserable quarters, not very much local artisan,...
    We eat at Octavio, near the port. Very good seafood and we eat samples of schrimp at pil/pil, mussels, crab,fish,...
    All was very good but atmosphere was "cold" : only 3-4 tables...were occupied and it was the same in the other restaurants we see in town.
    Back to hotel and a good night(very quiet).

    Sunday, February the 3rd
    Poor breakfast in Palafitos : a commun table...and if we can understand that some people like to be together or speak to others, if we go to an hotel it's also to have the choice to be "alone" and listen to people who like to speak on their "mystic experience to find themselves in the poverty of the island(sic)"...but in one of the best hotel of the town...is boring us...And the coffee was not good and no pastries and poor cereals...
    So fast in car, direction Dalcahue for what has the reputation to be the nicest artisanal market of the island, if not the lake district...
    What a deception : poor ponchos(more than half are from Peru...), some wood artifacts, but half coming from Asia...
    Some baskets but nothing to spend $ or €...
    So we decide to quite Chiloe, because we didn't find the feeling here...
    One day to see some pinguins and a nice cathedral was not for us sufficient.
    Road back was easy to Puerto Montt.
    The town has nothing exceptional according to the guide and it is...true. They speak about Pelluco, beach 3-4 miles on the east side and this don't worth the drive...
    We eat at the Club Aleman and as I wrote in Tripadvisor it's the clacissism at its paroxysm...
    Back in the '50...A salad buffet like the one we had in the 50 early 60, service also.
    Elms "a la salsa verde" not bad, but cooked like my grand mother...
    Then, as we had time before our flight we drive to Angelmo and we find a very charming place, too much deserved by the "guide books".
    Very nice "small harbor", a lot of artisanal shop(not what we like to buy but some can find some good items...).
    A lot of small restaurants, cheap, good ice cream parlor,...
    This is the place to go while in Puerto Montt.
    We had a very very good lucuma ice cream and Anny find a nice poncho and we find some scarfs in alpaga for our daughters.
    It was time to drive to the airport, return the car(NB in the lake district ask for a 4 wheel drive as the road are terrible..).
    They propose us a sooner flight to Santiago and so we arrive at Santigo airport at 9 pm(normally it was 11'30).
    We had a room at the holiday inn and so we can sleep early as the day after it was the departure to Easter Island.

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    We felt the same about Chiloe - didn't get the mystical part and also left early (but also enjoyed Octavios) We did love the Angelmo area of Puerto Montt - the restaurant stalls were fascinating we thought.

    Great report!

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    I began the easter island part and not bingo, web crash all the first part is gone...
    I will do it this evening...
    Just the F for Finally I have time to...is stayed...
    Informatic mistery as big as Easter Island mistery...
    Erik

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    Monday, February the 4th to Friaday, February the 8th
    Esater Island, child's dream finally realised..
    Check in was long that day and fortunately we were early at airport...Sometimes Santiago's airport's oragnisation is strange...
    Flight is 4-5 hours but LAN plane are comfortable and we had more romm for legs in this flight than in the Air France transatlantic one...
    We arrive at 11'15 take our car (a small 4x4) and direction our home for those days:
    Hotel Altiplanico : no A/C, no TV and ni Wifi in room...like in almost all the US park's lodge we know...and it's not a problem...You are not on EI to watch TV in the room or surfing on the web...For A/C the old manner is always good: windows open during the day with stores in down position and the room is more than acceptable in the evening...and you are nice for the planet earth...(more A/C is cooler inside but warmer outside and so not really ecologically interesting...I do a trip with my parents in east Africa while a child and this manner + fans were sufficient for us and is always sufficient now...
    Our room was ready and so after changing we go for our first hike...
    We let our car at the conaf building and direction Orongo and Rana Kao.
    It's not difficult even it's a whole way up...but it was warm, no wind no cloud and at half way we notice we let water...in car!!!
    Arrival on teh crater is terrific...The inner lake is like a mosaic and there an open slope with ultrablue sea behind which gives a particular beauty...
    A 1/2 mile more and you arrive at the visitor center. We buy the pass for all the archeologic sites of the island , but no water...
    Orongo is a ceremonial village where took place the "bird-man competition" : the athlete who win allows his chief to be the island's sacred man for one year...
    Houses are well restaured and there are a lot of petroglyphs. Down tehn cliff there are the "motu", small islands where athletes find the first egg allowing to win the challenge.
    It's a very special place "soulfull" as many sites in EI...
    We go down to the car and decide to drive to Vinapu, behind the airport. It's an ahu, where persit only the plateform where moais are erected.. It's one of the nices ahu and the one who give birth to the theory which links EI with aztec civilisation, due to the construction of the wall...Is it sufficient to base a such theory ??
    Then, back to hanga Roa-described in the guidebook as the capital of EI...No error can be done..It's the only town on island...
    We walk thru the small artisanal outdoor market, eat a pineapple just prepared for us(and the smallest are the best, ideally sweetened and rafraichissant) and an very good icecream at Pea(restaurant was closed but they sold very good mango ice cream...).
    After this whole busy day we choose the easy way for diner...Back to hotel for shower, relax and diner...
    Not bad, but not exceptional...Pisco sour were perfect, schrimp salad just average, grilled tuna correct, desserts perfect. Good wine.
    It was time for a good night. We request the manage rthe "rapa nui's festival schedule" and to find us a guide speaking frenc to hike...

    On tuesday, after a more than excellent breakfast : the best fruit salad of the sejour, and 3-4 tarts/day, 2-3 different sort of cakes...
    We got our program and appointment with the guide for 6 pm.
    This was the "turistic" day, but it's an obligation in EI...
    We drive the south coast, where there are a lot of archeological sites, +/- visited and as we were free of "tour" and alone, we were on some sites alone...
    We stay a long in all sites, looking for the sea's access as every ahu has a sea's access, contourning the plateforms to look how they appears from behind and so for who arrives from the sea...
    IOn fact the moais are back to the sea as they look to the village in goal of protection...
    In almost all the sites the moais are down and it's not the erosion... there are 2 hypothesis
    - wars between tribes and the winners destroyed the ahu of the loosers
    - or destruction by all the tribes when they are thinking the moais have not arrived to protect them from the ruin...
    Which is the real hypothsesis...Noone knows.
    Some moai are broken and it was intentional...A big rock was posed where neck was supposed to fall and so the moai was broken, llosing definitevely its sacred signification...
    Some are re-erected but not on the Ahu. And only a few can be verticalised due to their fragility...
    Some sites have secondary smaller ahu and it's important to see all of those to understand at the best the pascuan civilisation...
    We arrive at Rano raraku, the moais's acrreer...
    We hike up to the crater, with its inner lake where each year the 2nd sunday of the festival took place the "pascuan triathlon"...Build a rettes raft, take a banana's regim, run with it and back to the raft..Seem difficult...It will be for a future yera to see it..
    Some moais are on the slopes but not on allowed trails..
    Then we walk the outer slopes where hundreds of more or less finished moai lay down..Thye appear as only heads, but Thor Heyerdal during one of his archeological work "deburied" one of them and below each head there is a whole moai.
    The smallest are the oldest as with times a competition arrived between the tribe for who will have the biggest one...
    Some think that it was part of the pascuan decline...
    Looking on their hands and on their backs you can examine the degree of achievment of the statues. Hnads, arm and back were sculpted at the end before transportation. on Ahu the moai was erected and finally were sculpted eyes and the final apparence of the visage(nose,...).
    How they walk...Big mistery : an hypothesis by archeologist and by pascuans and no theory acceptedby a majority...
    This site is impressive and at the far extremity , arriving at Tukututi the only moai on his knees, archaic, you see in distance Ahu Tongariki...
    To be continued

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    Sorry
    - 1) for the delay to finish this report but lot of work
    - 2) for the commercial link someone put on the respons...
    So, after the moais's carreer we drive to Ahu Tongariki , one of the most powerfull site of Moais.
    15 habe been "re-erected" at the end of last century by a japanese grant. They prepared the moais allowing them not to be destroyed when rerected due to natural erosion.
    The site is spectacular with all that statues, the colossal ahu and the sea behind.
    At entrance you have the "migrant moai" one which have done a travel to japan...
    After this site the "road", -no gravel...- is along the north shore and you pass at Papa vaka a site with lot of Petroglyphs and notably fish, hooks and octopus.
    Then in the "la Perouse" bay the largest "out of carreer" maoi let down and near the "center of the world" or said so...
    Some volcanic rocks which alter compass,..;and so people are sure there are some telluride forces where there are only magnetic natural phenomens...
    We eat a small pineapple here and then direction Anakena beach.
    Before arriving we do the detour by Ovahe beach, nice and known because of its pink sand.
    Theere were too much people there(like the riviera in summer) and decide to continue directly to Anakena.
    At Anakena, you have the beach, the palms and the moais, Nau Nau.
    Palms have been imported from tahiti but they made anice spot.
    The beach is enough large to allow people to swim and some to let on sand, other under the palms.
    The ahu is nivce and the proximity of the beach did not alter the majesty...It's wehre in the myth the first king arrives in Rapa Nui and so it's a particular site.
    We eat in one of the small "taverns" here : a delicious sea salad for Anny and a very good tuna for me with a chilean beer.
    It was time to relax till the end of the afternoon.
    We drive back to the hotel to a nice "underthesky" shower and direction hango Roa

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    We had diner at Haka Honu, yquicly "sold out" with both locals and turists...And when locals come to a restaurant it's generaly ...good and it was...
    The sea salad is exceptional as is the tuna carpaccio.
    The grilled fish of the day is fresh and cocktails(pina colada and pisco sour are top...).
    We didn't take any desert as we had to walk to the Rapa Nui's festival for the "show"...
    We arrive to get good seats just behind the reserved one for the officials.
    The "beginning" of the show is based on competitions(pascuan tango, accordeonists, some dances...).
    The way they are judged is obscur for us turist but also for the assistance...The public's favorite were not always the jury's one.
    After began the evocation of the island's history with music and dancers...
    This year all the different group and/or school were reunite for this evocation...
    The hours pass agreably and when you look to your watch...it was 1 am...
    Back to hotel and a very good night full of dreams...and dances...

    The day after was the first of hike. We met our guide the day before, Tito Atan, a rapa nui's native, who speaks french, spanish, portuguese, english and...pascuan.
    He makes some classic visit(by car) but has also some hiking visit.
    This day we walk from Ahu Tepeu to Anakena, along the north shore.
    There are no roads here and a lot of archeoligical sites, far from the turisitic area.
    It's possible to see
    - a lot of villages with ruins of "boathouses", houses for hen, natural and artificial caverns where people retired during tribal wars,
    - petroglyphs(birdman, fishs, boat, turtle,...),
    - natural wonders(false sea-geyser, some nice sea spot)
    - a lot of "ahu" and moais, some little, some large, small and large ears; even one used in a ahu's wall(recycling way...).
    - some other natural wonders for the "gourmands" : wild mangos, wild figues and wild goyaves...
    And you know what : nothing to do with those fruits we got in our occidental markets...Juicy, just sweetened as it have to be...It was a dream...
    Finally we arrive at Anakena and no need to eat today...Just relax. Tito's wife was here to take him and we stay on the beach for 2 hours, Anny swimming , I reading and relaxing. Tito came back to take us "home" for our underthesky shower and then back to Hanga Roa...
    We decide , despite some bad reviews on the "boss" to eat at the "tavern du pecheur"...The boss was not here, or perhaps as we are french he stay hidden...
    We had an excellent diner : tuna carpaccio and then "rape-rape" which are small local lobsters just grilled at perfection.
    A bottle of local wine and nice fruit sorbets to end the meal and it was time to go to bed...

    The day after was another "hiking" day...
    We do with Tito the "Poike" walk. Poike is on the east part of easter island, east from moais's carreer. The landscape is irreal , hills after hills, with some horizon's views allowing you to see that "earth is a sphere", a lot of archeological site-moai, ahu,...
    Ande some caverns with petroglyphs : cavern of the virgins and cavern of the priests...Theea are on cliffs, and to hike to them no need to have some vertigo..
    But it worth and the hike and this sensation to be between sky and sea...
    The real "airport's moai" is also on the way...
    This hike if completed from north to south arrives at the cliff above Ahu Tongariki and it adds to the superb day...
    A "boathouse " is at the foot of the cliff and also some petroglyphs, maoi and ahu, not visited by turist...
    At half cliff Tito says to us to continue down as he had something to do...
    At we do a "rest stop" not too long before we were surprised till he arrives with 3 "wild pineapples" that he prepared for us and so the hike was just perfect...
    Then back to Altiplanico hotel and this was the end of Tito's work.
    We took our car to drive to Anakena but on the way on we visit Ahu Akivi, the only moais which have heads oriented to the sea, but only because there are in the island and not on the shore and head toward the village they theorically protected...
    There are seven, like the seven first wariors of the island...

    Then, Drive to Puna Pau where the red buns overhead were sculpted...It's a small hike here, but it add to the mistery as how they sculpted each "bun" to each head with a good correspondance...
    Finally back to Anakena but it was winduy and so Anny swimms only a few minutes and we analyse more the Ahu here..
    On the road back to hotel we stop to the only "for arms moai" Ahu uri a urenga... The exact signification is not really known . Some advances solstice's theory...

    After this day, we drive to Hanga Roa, park the car and walk to Ahu Tahai, near the museum to the sunset...
    It's a nice spot, very "turistic" with the only Maoi with reconstitued eyes...
    Difficult to be alone, but it worth the wait.
    We had our diner at Haka Honu, same carpaccio ,and then octopuses salad and a nice ice cream...
    We go to bed early as the day after we have to wake up early.

    For our last day, we drive, sun not yet rise to Ahu Tongariki for sunrise..
    On advise from Tito we arrive early and walk on the top of the site, half way between the Ahu and the road...And so you can see the sun rises, the moon down and all the colors of the sky...
    The people stay just in front of the moais and so have only 2-5 minutes of show when the sun appears between the moais...the whole sunrise from the small hill is really something not to miss...
    Then we came back to the hotel, pack the luggage and after a passage to the postoffice(to have the easter island "visa" on our passport), we had an ice cream on the small harbour,at the Mikafe and the reputation it had is not an usurpation...Our maracuja ice cream was a wonder.
    It was time to drive to the aiport.
    Our heads were full of wonder and we promess to come back...

    We arrived at 9 pm at Santiago, and back to hotel ORLY.
    Then, the day after we walk to the Lappi lazulli shop's quarter for some purchases. We had a lunch at Liguria, very nice spot on Providencia;
    Our driver was on time for the airport and we flight back to France...

    Results of our sejour : a lot of wonders, needing us to come back...
    Next year the programm is South patagonia, Easter island and 3 days to relax near Santiago in the altiplanico hotel in a canyon.
    And in 2015, back to lake district and all its parks and atacama desert..
    The only disppointment was Chiloe but perhaps we have not this modern feeeling of who I am, wehre I go...We are more on "take advantage at maximum of the presnt moment"...
    Erik

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    Erik - thanks for the wonderful report. It brought back so many fond memories! Did I understand - you're going back to Easter Island next year? Jealous! So glad you went to the topknot "factory" and saw the sunrise at Tongariki.

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    Erik: Thank for this report on one of my favorite countries anywhere. I enjoyed your description of Acqui esta Coco..first time anyone has ever mentioned the restaurant on this forum. It turned out to be our favorite while in Santiago. We drove most of the way...Sntiago to Valpo, Vina del Mar and on to the south through wine country and to a horse ranch/hotel you would enjoy..Hacienda Los Linques.

    Continued driving the Pan Am highway with overnight stops at several lakes including Llanquihue. Then on to Puerto Montt and eventually took the Andes Lake two day trip to Bariloche.
    Here are my Chile and Bariloche, Argentina pix. Again, thanks for rminding me of Acqui esta Coco (the little white house with a superb seafood menu).
    stu

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