My Last Day on Easter Island
It’s not normal to make your first post about a place be about my last day there, but I’m doing it.
The first time I traveled South America, I couldn’t afford the trip out to Easter Island. And so it sat there, a 63sq mile island isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, waiting for me. Ok…I take that back; Easter Island (or Rapa Nui or Isla Pascua) exists as it is for many reasons, none of which involve me. I will say though that since 2005 that island has stirred up stronger “get up and go” thoughts in me than any other part of the world.
Finally I made it happen. I just got back to Santiago from a one week stay. More than a few people asked me what there was to do on the island for a week. I wouldn’t have done it in any less time. In fact, my last day was finally one of those days where you start feeling that nice familiarity with a place, when you aren’t rushing to check any more highlights off your list, when you know your favorite coffee spot, when you start soaking more of the place in rather than just traveling through it. For me it also means I feel that pull of “I don’t want to leave this place”. I suppose this is why I wanted to write about my last day.
That morning I woke up early to go for a run. I headed out towards the oil tanks on the south shore where there was supposed to be a fallen Moai. I got into my running groove and didn’t end up finding it, but I did post up on a rocky ledge for a bit to catch the sun come up through the horizon clouds, and watch the sea roll in. The air was fresh and the sky was still that blueish purple color of dawn. Sitting, looking out and taking the morning moment to think on the past week was just what I needed to round out the trip. It was nice to just exist on the island, if that makes sense.
The rest of that day I rented a bike and rode 1.5 hours across the island to dip in the ocean at the white sand Anakena beach. The sun had come up blazing and it was a hot ride! (I’m getting pretty good at these self-portraits eh? Had to run pretty quick to make this one happen)
Anakena beach was pretty much empty and water was deceivingly aqua, meaning it looked tropical but man QUE FRIO. From there I cruised over to Ovahe beach, made up of mostly red/black lava rock and a 20foot long sand beach that was already covered up by the rising tide.
Apparently a storm came a few years ago and stole most all of the sand from the beach; locals are thinking the ocean will slowly give back what it took but it’s going to take a while. The bike ride home was most all downhill which meant for a lovely cruise home making some breeze!
Ended the day with a quick dip in the pool at Puku Vai hotel, then mojitos grandes (ie you need two hands to hold the glass) at our favorite spot Te Moana right on the water. My dad and I had met Sandra, a Canadian, earlier that week so she joined for a drink to send us off.
While sitting on the patio just off the beach, we saw a guy grab a surfboard from the restaurant’s hanging rack and head out. It’s rocky and shallow out there so you need to know what you’re doing, but they all make the waves look easy! When he returned to shore I chatted with him a bit and turns out he owns the restaurant. What a life! I wonder what living on the island would be like…I also wonder when I’ll return again? I’d like to go back, maybe it won’t even happen for another 20 years and that would be ok, as long as I get to put my feet once again on what they say is the most remote inhabited island on earth. Hasta luego Isla….