before I arrived? It is a small island in the middle of the ocean with unusual statues near South America. As the journey to Antarctica had already lasted 3 weeks and I had to return to work, I took only 1 day to visit the Island. After taking off from Santiago, in 5 hours I got off the plane in Paradise and realized my mistake - even a week here would not be enough.
You can only get to Easter Island from Santiago. I loved the installation at the Airport of the Chilean capital. I wonder if they glued or bolted them together?
Only the Chilean airline, LAN, flies to Easter Island. I had never heard about it before and prepared to have a protracted flight on a plane. However, my fears did not come true. After 2 flights with LAN I can confidently put it on par with Emirates and Singapore airlines. Lovely aircrafts, comfortable lounges, great service. The next day, tossing and turning in an uncomfortable chair on Air France, I remembered LAN with a kind word many times.
Thanks to the Americans using the runway of Easter Island as a backup runway for the Shuttle, the island's airport can accommodate large aircraft:
The plane is driven directly to the small terminal and the passengers walk to the exit past greeting relatives and friends:
In the hall of the airport is a small hut with a toilet and a pair of desks. All of the new arrivals are greeted by travel agents. If you didn't have time to order a hotel in advance, you can do it immediately upon arrival:
I brought a lot of photos of this island that I want to share with you. So I will divide the story of the island into 3 parts. In order to make it easier for you to navigate my movements and to imagine the geography of the island. I have prepared a map:
Easter Island is the most remote island in the world. The nearest inhabited land is Chile, located 2299 miles (3700 kilometers) away. Less than 4 000 people live here and there are no harmful industries. Water here is the clearest and most transparent in the world. It was named so by the Dutch navigator who discovered it on Easter Sunday in 1722.
The island is the shape of a right triangle and houses many volcanoes. The largest volcanoes are nestled on the peaks. The island is of volcanic origin. There are practically no beaches and all the coast is rugged with sharp, basalt cliffs:
Despite the fact that tourism is the main source of income for the local economy, the infrastructure is mediocre at best. All of the hotels are no higher than 3 stars:
After quickly settling in the hotel, we hired a car and went to explore the island. Following the advice of the concierge, we decided to start a study from the distant beach. Our hotel was two steps away from the airfield, and we had to cross the entire island. It took less than 20 minutes. In general, the roads here are terrible. There's almost no asphalt and parts of the road with asphalt is full of pits and potholes. Most of the roads are made of dirt. The central road that runs through the entire island is a pleasant exception:
On the way we played the game: 'who will see the statue first'. At the end of the road we ran into a palm grove and my child was the first to shout, 'I see!'
We went to a wonderful beach with white coral sand:
It was too hot at +96 degrees F (+36 degrees C) but the beach beckoned us with incredible strength. However, we had only one day so I dejectedly trudged to the idols, trying to maneuver from the shade of one palm tree to another:
. On the island there are less than 1000 statues and all of them, except 7 figures - that I'll tell you about in the next part - are set on the coast and look inward to the island:
Some of them wear caps but most stand with their heads uncovered:
The importance of caps and where they were produced can found in the next post.
Here, theMoai stand in a group of 7 warriors and another one stands alone, slightly to the side:
After a photo session we could not resist taking a plunge into the Pacific Ocean:
Apparently 12 miles (20 kilometers) is too far for tourists to travel, so the majority stay on the beach next to the airfield. There were only a few swimmers here:
I supposed that the local cuisine abounds in seafood but i was wrong. The locals favorite dish is chicken. They run right between the palm trees and tourists. Chicken is served in all of the local cafes:
Next to the cafes, miniature idols are sold for $80 each:
After cooling down and being covered with salt, we left this bounty and traveled along the coast. Now the idols were seen at every step. Unfortunately, most of them were layed on the ground and did not look esthetically pleasing:
After 10 minutes along the dirt road we came to the spot where the largest and most famous sculptures on Easter Island are -