Easter Island Time

As is the case with many tropical islands or beach towns, time seems delayed or more relaxed than the rest of the world. This was true on Easter Island as well, but more on that later. After our tour with Marc, we spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the island on our own in our rental car. We drove to the top of the second volcano and hiked around the crater rim for quite some time. We caught numerous, stunning sunsets, we saw even more Moai and caves, and we had some amazing seafood. I managed to get all my workouts in with dogs joining me on my runs and apparently gained the reputation with the locals around the island of being “the runner”.

Then, we were hit with a case of the Mondays where nothing seems to go right. “We” had decided to ride horses to the top of the third volcano and the highest point on the island. I say “we” because I’m not the biggest fan of horses, but was happy to oblige the group. So we start out in a taxi, late by my standards, and then drive to the middle of nowhere and stop in the road. On the right, tied to a street sign, are our horses with our guide. Deep breath Karen, this is going to be fun! So we get started and I learn my horses name is Ballo, basically “Horsey”, and he/she really likes to walk super close to the others so my shins got slammed into the them. No problem.

Fast forward an hour and I am doing okay, but we feel like we are being herded because none of our horses want to move, but they do just to keep from being lashed by our guide. The sky has been overcast this whole time and we had been warned about rain (but not discouraged from going). So then it starts to mist. No problem. Then it progresses to rain. Ugh. But I’m sticking with it. Finally, our guide determines we can’t see anything with the fog anyway, so we should turn around and head home. I can’t say I wasn’t relieved… If only I knew what was to come.

So we are now soaked, cold, on horses, in mud, going downhill, miles from home. I can do this. But then came my breaking point. When the little man started whipping my horse, who was slowly to go down a rocky, muddy, incline. Seriously, dude?! That’s just not safe. But he just kept pushing us faster. I was no longer enjoying this trip. Oh wait, the end is in sight. Never mind your horse keeps slipping and threatening to crush you in the cold mud, there is our sign, our stopping point. No such luck. We trot right past (my butt bones are sore now and my legs raw from being squished against other horses). When will it end? Finally, we turn into the guide’s backyard and get off. Not my most pleasant memory of Easter Island, and not my most positive moment of the trip, but I survived 🙂

That was supposed to be our last day, and you know after that I had switched modes and was focusing on the journey home. Tuesday morning we woke up, packed up, and headed to the airport. But wait, who is Brett talking to on the phone? Why is he looking concerned and asking about tomorrow and planes and just saying “okay” a lot? Because Easter Island is the most remote island in the world, so when a plane Monday night leaves late for Tahiti, it gets back late, which means our flight in the same plane is delayed as well. For 14 hours. Making the most of our bonus day, we hung out at the hotel they put us up in, ate the free meals, and tried to roll with the island.

Our new departure was “2:50am” Wednesday morning. But we didn’t board until after 3:15am and took off who knows when. Island time strikes again. I was awake on the flight, reading. Then we got here to Santiago and have 13 hours to hang out. There was supposed to be a hotel for sleeping, but long story short, that didn’t happen. As long as I have food vouchers and wifi, I’m okay. We leave at 11pm tonight, land in Dallas at 6am, and then I will head west while Belinda and Cynthia head east. I’ve slept about two hours in the last 32 and have about 26 more hours of travel to go. Oh, and we ditched Brett once we got here, I’m sure he’s sleeping in his bed right now (lucky).

It’s been an amazing trip and one I won’t soon forget. I really enjoyed having the time to explore the country of Chile with my family and new friends and already have a list of other places down here I want to go! Once I get home (and sleep) I will post my favorite pictures, but I have over 1,600 to go through, so don’t hold your breath.

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  1. Trackback: Carlsbad Half Marathon « Rays of Funshine

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