Easter Island, Isla de Pascua y Rapa Nui
That was a little test, and if you answered they’re all the same you passed and may continue reading. Isla de Pascua is the Spanish version if Easter Island while Rapa Nui is what the native islanders call their home.
A Little Background
By many accounts, Rapa Nui is the most isolated inhabited place on the planet. It’s a five hour flight from Santiago and we’re taking the evening flight that gets us in around 9:00. I believe we pick up one hour because we just set our clocks back (remember it’s fall here) on Saturday.
Side note: they also set their clocks back at midnight instead of 2:00 a.m. as we do in the states. Aren’t I full of useful and fascinating information?
The island belongs to Chile for no good reason other than that Chile claimed it first. The island seems not to benefit much from this relationship. The native islanders are not related to Chileans in any way and the island doesn’t seem to derive much economic benefit from being technically part of Chile.
But Enough about Them, Let’s Talk About Us
We arrive late Monday, then Tuesday we have an all day tour. Wednesday we were supposed to have a half day tour but apparently there’s a cruise ship in that day and hundreds of people apparently take priority over five. Harrumph. So we’ll probably take a taxi to a close site worth seeing and have some free time. Thursday we take an afternoon flight that gets us in at night, so we’re spending the night in Santiago and will come back to Viña on Friday. Sounds relaxing, eh? But we’ll see the important sites and have an experience that few have the opportunity to have, so there’s that.
Get Me To The (Correct) Gate on Time
Ok, so we for to the airport no trouble, plenty of time. Used the self service machines to get checked in, then got in the line to check our bag. We figured Domestic was the correct line because, as noted above, Easter Island is part of Chile. Got to the front, got the bag tagged, then was told we needed to take it over to the International line to actually turn it in. After waiting there while they had some difficulties with people in front of us go it turned in.
So we figured, ok, it’s international for whatever reason, ad headed towards the international gates. While in line we decided to ask someone there is this was correct and he told us no, we needed to go back to the other side of the airport to Domestic boarding.
Cecile hurried on ahead to check, and sure enough while it is considered an international flight, we boarded through the domestic wing. This became (a little) clearer when we got to the gate an finally figured out what was going on. Our plane was listed as boarding from two gates because it was: two gates separated by a glass wall. Easter Island was only the first stop before the plane headed on to Papeete, another 12 hours west.
Here’s a shot of those on the other side.
Once on board everything was great, another fine LAN flight with our own video screens, meal with free wine or beer, and early arrival. Here we are on the plane.
We arrived safe and sound, our hotel is great, breakfast was delicious, and we’re about to head out on our all day tour. As you can see we got leid at the airport and we have a great view from our room. Now if we can just get the roosters cooked for dinner we’ll be able to sleep better tonight. I’ve got a shot from the bathroom window, just need to pick up the right weapon today. Haha.