Easter Island

Hi Everybody ….Today I am in Rapa Nui – the English name for Rapa Nui is Easter Island, because it was discovered on Easter Sunday, long ago.  Today the weather is beautiful, but that is not always so.  Last time I was here, it was very cloudy with big waves.  That meant that we had to anchor off the north tip of the island and get off the tenders (those are actually lifeboats that they use to take people ashore when the ship can’t dock) onto a homemade dock.  It was kinda scary, but today we can anchor next to the town (there is only one) called Hangaroa and get off the tenders at a real dock.  There are some big waves and I got to stand and watch them for a while.  It was pretty cool.  When we got to the dock, do you know what the first thing I saw was?  It was a sailboat lying on its side ON the dock.

Out of the Water

I am not sure how it got there or how they are ever going to get it in the water again!  There were lots of people selling stuff  on the dock, and of course GD had to stop and look at EVERYTHING.  Then we went for a walk.  We walked along beside the sea and watched the big waves break on the rocks.  A little farther along, we came across two horses in a yard.  Of course I had to stop and pet them.

Easter Island Horses

I think they were glad to see me and to have someone stroke their noses.  Then I saw my first Moai. (MÕ – EYE)  A Moai is the statue that Rapa Nui is famous for.  This one was just standing beside the road, facing away from the sea.  It was very cool.

Moai 3Stage Moais

You are not allowed to touch the Moai or even stand on their platform.  The people of Rapa Nui will arrest you and take you to jail if you do.  All the Moai are sacred – like gods.  Just so you know, some of them have eyes and what looks like a red hat, but is really kind of like a bun, made of hair.  Then we walked around another bend in the road and there were lots of people out in the middle of the ocean surfing.

Surfer A 2

Finally we got around to another bay, like the one where the tenders let us off, and that is where GD and I went diving last time we were here.  GD wanted to go and say hi to Michel, who owns Orca Dive Company, but I don’t think he remembered us!  There were lots of people going diving – all dressed in wetsuits, waiting to get on the dive boats.  There was a little shop and two cafes there too.  Everything looked much nicer than two years ago.  They now have sidewalks and a soccer field and the street doesn’t have big holes in it any more.  Just past the dive shops was my favorite place – the playground!

PlaygroundStage and Moai

GD said I could play there while she walked over to see the Festival Stage.  It was all painted up the last time we were there, with the heads of dancers and warriors.  This year, the painting is not finished, but it will be an ocean theme with a huge yellow fish, some shells and even the sunken Moai!  She had a good time taking pictures and I had a great time on the playground!  After a while, she came back and said it was time to have lunch.  We went to one of the little cafes by the dive shops where the lady only spoke Spanish and GD doesn’t speak hardly any Spanish at all.  We did manage to get a really yummy chicken sandwich that was big enough for both of us.  GD had iced tea that the lady made her from scratch and I had some juice.  After lunch we decided to walk back to the ship on the straight road through town.  Oh, I forgot to say that GW went back to the ship right after we finished looking at the big waves.  His hip has  been hurting and he said he didn’t want to get stuck far away, so that he couldn’t walk back. (He knows how GD likes to walk and her ankle is better, so we really walked all over!)  Anyway, we walked up a little hill until we came to the main road and there was a craft market, so you know what we had to do next!  GD couldn’t find anything she liked, so we were off.  On the main road, across from the Craft Market, there were people selling all kinds of fruit and vegetables from their cars.  We just looked from our side of the street.

Roadside Market

As we walked up the main road, there was a surf shop, lots of t-shirt shops and lots of restaurants.  They were all so much fun to look at that I forgot how far we were walking!  I asked GD how we would know which street to take back to the tender dock and she said we would know when we saw it.  I was not too sure about that because all the roads were dirt and didn’t seem to go anywhere!  Finally, we came to a road that was paved and GD told me to look to the end of it.  There was the sea and the Amsterdam, so she was right – We did know it when we saw it.  Now we walked down hill, which was super nice because we walked up hill to the main road, then up hill through town.  Oh, but when we came to the road back to the sea, guess what we found?  A Gelatto shop!

Gelateria

We were both sad that GW was not with us, but GD said I could have one without him.  It was just chocolate – not the weird flavors I get with GW, but it tasted really good!

At the bottom of the hill, we saw a bright yellow house and funny looking plants in front of it.  GD said they were banana trees and the people probably had fresh bananas on their cereal every single day.

Banana Trees

I think I would like to live there with them.  When we got back near the dock, we saw a little kid about my age, taking a photo of his family with a real camera.  His grandpa was holding a pair of socks, but I don’t know why.

The Photographer 4

We just looked at each other and he showed me the camera, but he only spoke Spanish, like the lady in the cafe and of course, I only speak English.  I am going to try harder in school when we have Spanish class.  It would be nice to be able to talk to the other kids when I go traveling with GD and GW!  We are now back at the ship and GD is making her final shopping run.  They have a big tent and my steward friends are serving lemonade.  GD let me go and stay with them and drink lemonade while she shopped.  Finally it was time to get back on the tender for our ride to the Amsterdam.

Tender EI 3

This has been a really fun day.  It was warm, but not hot, the sun shone all day and every now and again the wind would blow, but not too hard!  I know Captain Jonathan is happy to have a day like today on Easter Island.  I think he really deserves it, since every other time he has been here, it was nasty.

Lots of Love,

Flat Stanley