Chile, Easter Island
Dec 26, 2004
|16-11 / 23-11
The in the booking office of LAN Peru had helped me with a reservation for a hostal at Easter Island. I was welcomed with flowers and we walked to the hostal.
I enjoyed it there, relaxed, recaptured part of the spanish course and exercised my spanish, because that is the language spoken. I took a 2 day excursion with the daughter in law - in spanish. I think a coped rahter well, but I had made sure to read a lot in the lonely planet and other books. I even had some spanish books, and it occurred to me that with my appr. 50% understanding of spanish my interpretation of the text could differ considerably from the english translation!
I even met some Chilean people from Santiago, we spent a nice time in the hostal drinking pisco sour.
Easter Island made a big impression. A small island, where initially people from the Polynesiona Isles had settled with their king. Different tribes with leaders who were the sons of the king had put up altars with the maoi's - the statues - for protection, and in remembrance of ancestors. The maoi's were cut in a quarry in a vulcano, in another vulcano their sombreros were cut out of a lighter and reddish stone.
Setting up altars was also a form of showing the wealth of the tribe, since the workers were paid of the surplus of food produced by the tribe. It is believed that the chopping of wood for the transport of the maoi's and the scarce of food resulted in war between the tribes and the eventual collapse of the culture. The process was stopped abruptly, in the quarry maoi's in all stages of preparation can be seen, even in the land around the vulcano. It made a big impression on me.
After a transition period a new culture developed, with one leader: the bird men.
In a ritual where all the leaders of the island gathered in a village near a vulcano with views on 3 little islands near the coast, followers of the leaders swam to the island to collect the first eggs of the seabirds. The leader whose follower was the first to return with an egg was the chosen leader for a year.
Easter Island made a big impression on me, so much has happened on such a small island.
I took the opportunity to dive, but the rocks are vulcanic and there were hardly any corals. I did see a few anchors of medieval ships!
I spent there almost a week, after which I returned to start my trip.
"He who travels without a real plan can be flexible and shall have unexpected en counters"
Upon my return I discussed my plans with Gerard, and as he pointed out that the rainy season had started in Peru, I decided to start in Cusco. The next day I exchanged photographs with the Chileans in their beautiful home in Santiago and booked a flight a Cusco!