Easter Island Journals

Rapa Nui, The Middle of Everywhere

A June 1999 trip to Easter Island by Kelly J

Quote: Equal distance between Hawaii to the north and Antarctica to the south, Chile to the east and Tahiti to the West, Easter Island, Isla de Pascua, Rapa Nui is the middle of nowhere, or the middle of everywhere. Seeing the giant heads for myself was awe inspiring.

Rapa Nui, The Middle of Everywhere

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Overview

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Plan for a minimum of three days. Buy a really good guide book specific to the island or join a tour. Learning the history and listening to the numerous local theories makes the experience much more worthwhile. Without that they're just a bunch of giant heads. Quick Tips: Bring cash or traveler's checks. There is one bank in the village. As of July 1999 it DID NOT have an ATM machine and will not give a cash advance on your credit card. Hotels won't either. If you pay for something by credit card expect the charge to show up as far as 6-8 weeks down the road. I'm not kidding, it happened to me.Best Way To Get Around: Hiking around is great, as is cycling and horseback riding,...Read More

Hotel Orongo

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Restaurant

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In addition to the Moai, Rapa Nui also has a very eccentric chef who runs the Hotel Oronge. Reservations were necessary so I called. I spoke to him directly, told him my name, how many people and what time. Then he asked me what we would be eating. I was caught off guard; usually you don't know what you will be eating until you have a chance to look at a menu. I replied 'probably chicken and seafood.' He said ok and that was that! When we asked the receptionist at the front desk to call a cab to take us there, she did not ask if we had reservations, she said, 'Does he know you're coming?' Very strange... We arrived -without the other couple of our party of 4- and found other people ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2000

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Easter Island goes by many names depending on the language you speak - its nickname is 'the navel of the world.' Landing on Easter Island, it was amazing to see the huge stretch of runway on such a small island. I later learned that it also serves as an emergency landing strip for the Space Shuttle - who would have guessed? Most of Easter Island is no longer inhabited- there is one small town of about 3000 people. The majority of the island has been designated as national park land inhabited by those big, giant heads you would always see on the cover of National Geographic. I also learned that 'big giant heads' is not how people refer to the statues and that generally they are not just...Read More
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Those who know me know I love to dance- I've been known to search for any sign of a disco even in the smallest towns. I didn't see anything on Easter Island that was open- granted, I was there Sunday through Wednesday. Who knows what's happening on a Friday night there. Two out of the three nights we were there we did manage to get a taste of the local culture, by means of live music/dance performances. One was held on the patio of a hotel restaurant, the other in a hotel lobby. The indigenous people of Rapa Nui are Polynesian. If you've ever seen a cultural show of the Hawaiian people, the Tahitians or the Maori of New Zealand (hmmmm Maori, Moai... very similar) you would instantly recogni...Read More