Last leg of the Sth American adventure, Easter Is.
Trip Start Apr 03, 2003
16Trip End Oct 01, 2003
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This island is truly magical and everything I imagined it to be. The moai (the big statues) are just incredible, and the island itself is absolutely gorgeous.
I met up with a couple of funny Belgian hard rock fans and an enthusiastic Japanese guy at the hostel I stayed at and the 3 of us rented a jeep to tour round the island.
Day One was unfortunately the day that the wind decided to get up to near hurricane strength, so we decided to just walk around the island and check out the local sites. Belgian Rocker number one decided that it would be hilarious if he got up onto one of the platforms where a moai used to stand and have his picture taken
She came marching down the hill shouting and waving her arms at him, and my not too bright travelmate mistook her shouts to get off the platform for shouts of 'move over, I want to take a photo', to which he responded with 'Wait your turn!'. This of course enraged Miss Lomu even more, who very nearly punched Hugo when she finally reached us. Of course him trying to explain the misunderstanding rather than simply apologising enfuriated her EVEN more, to the point that she threatened to have us thrown off the island (quite how Im not sure, given that Easter Island is the most remote inhabited piece of land in the world and is only serviced by 2 flights a week!). So Day One nearly ended in disaster with us being banished from the moais!
Luckily Day Two turned out slightly better and we managed to hire a jeep and tour around the island. Moai are scattered all over the island and while most of them have been toppled over during past tribal wars, many of them have been restored and look absolutely magnificent.
Best of all was the quarry, where 200 moai are scattered all over the place, some half buried and others only half carved and still embedded in the rock
I also visited a traditional Easter Island show at a restaurant where the dances resembled a mixture of Hawaiian hula dancing and the maori haka. Needless to say the men were not wearing very much at all, and I was very glad to have bagged a front show seat. Once again Taro stole the show when he was pulled up on stage, dressed in a grass skirt and encouraged to wiggle his hips with the women. Ive yet to see a happier Japanese guy ....!
So that finished off my 6 month trip of South America. My fears that 6 months would be too long were completely wrong, and I wish I had taken longer! Top of the list was definitely Colombia, and I cant wait to go back (however will this time be staying away from the Sierra Nevada and potential kidnapping!). Second best country was definitely Bolivia, which was completely stunning and obviously gave me the opportunity to work with the monkeys (oh, how I miss my monkeys still!) and definitely the most beautiful place in the world was the Galapagos Islands.
So Im in NZ now, and off to Australia next week for a couple of weeks before heading to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka for 5 months, where Im sure there is lots more mischief to be found!
Miss you all, make sure you stay in touch and watch this space for more crazy tales!