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Trip Report My trip to Easter Island

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I have wanted to see the statues at Easter Island for quite awhile. I was planning a trip to the Falkland Islands at the end of January, 2009, so I added in a side trip to Easter Island. There aren't many trip reports about the Easter Islands so I thought I would post that I've been there in case anyone has questions. I apologize in advance for bad grammar, misspelled words, etc.

I arrived at 1 pm on January 25th and had reservations at Taura’a Hotel. The owner (Edith) picked me up at the airport and we drove a short distance to the hotel which is in the city center. I believe it's rated 3*. Breakfasts are included and they are a lovely start to the day. The rooms are nice and clean, have comfy beds, tea/coffee and a refrigerator. It's within walking distance of restaurants, the post office (where you go to get the beautiful Easter Island stamps in your passport), an internet cafe is across the street as well as a little store to get drinks, snacks etc.

It was hot while I was there and the rooms aren't air conditioned but they do have a ceiling fan. I couldn't (wouldn't) leave the windows open while I was gone because my room backed up to a main street and I didn't want to worry about leaving my photography gear in my room so the room was pretty hot in the afternoon.

I was by myself and met several people stayng there and ended up touring around with a couple I met there and several of us met up for dinner one night. Several of us from the hotel took a tour the first full day there and it was arranged by Edith. The tour was of the east side of the island. The next day we (the couple I met there) rented a car and toured the west side of the island on our own. The third day we still had the car (until 10am) so we went to watch the sunrise at Tongariki, the 15 statues. Beautiful. We also went back to the quarry and got photos without any other people and the early morning light.

After we returned the car I went to get my passport stamped and the post office was closed for a couple of hours. I think it closes every day so if you go there make sure you know the hours they are open. You also have to pay for them, I think it was $5.US. It was raining later (and hot in my rain jacket) so I just took a taxi to the post office the second time. The taxi guy had a little video screen taped onto his dash so I got to watch Ricky Martin sing Livin' la Vida Loca a couple of times. The taxi was cheap.

Edith pointed out a couple of restaurants to try and warned us off others. The food I had was good, not great, and I didn't write down the names of any of the restaurants. I/we walked to all of the restaurants and enjoyed seeing the people, the town and the ocean. And the horses roaming around. And the most polite dogs! There were many dogs everywhere but they didn't bother you. At all. They may walk beside you and if you go inside a shop or restaurant they would sit outside and wait for you. Like an escort. I'm guessing they hope you'll feed them but we didn't.

I left at 11:30am on the 29th. Edith took us back to the airport after brunch. I had an uneventful flight to my next destination.

I really enjoyed my stay there and although it is very easy to get everywhere, I would recommend taking a tour. I had read about the Rapa Nui and the Moai and knew a lot before I got there but taking a tour from one of the descendents and having him tell us the history of "his family" made it all come alive.

I took some photos if you would like to see them and am happy to answer any questions.
http://www.pbase.com/cjw/2009_january_easter_island

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