Santiago / Easter Island 10. - 20.12.06
Posted at 07:10, 11 December 2006 in South America
10. - 12.12.06 Santiago de Chile
After those magnificent calm days in the ice, I felt totally stressed in the big city. All the people, the music out of every shop, the cars... Luckily I found a nice little hotel in the European-like part of Santiago "Barrio Paris Londres".
I mainly hang-out in Internet Cafe's, catching up on mails, uploading fotos and updating my blog. Of course laundry was on the list aswell...
But the city then started to cook! At first I did not know what happened, demonstrations all over, people going crazy, smashing windows, robbing stores - just a crowd out of control!!! Why: Pinochet had just died this afternoon! I was lucky and able to make my way back to the hotel safely.
The next day (Monday), broken glass and rubbish were the only remains - the "normal" life had gone ahead again. I was glad, as now I was able to walk around safely again. I checked out some travel agencies and organized my trip to the Easter Islands.
And as I do not really like to do museums or churches, I just hanged out relaxing... Sitting outside in the warm sun, strolling around in the parks, sitting and watching - not penguins this time, but the lifely South-Americans :-)
13. -18.12.06 Easter Island (Rapa Nui)
After all those exciting things in Antarctica, I decided to leave the hectic city of Santiago and fly "over" to Easter Island. The polynesian culture I already knew from previous travels, and I love it! So here I was again in this very relaxing atmosphere :-)
I did some interesting tours to learn about the Moai-figures and the history of Rapa Nui. Incredible, how the people at that time were able to carve such big statues out of the volcano rocks! And then transport them to the villages - wow, really hard to imagine. Apparently they used the palmtrees for that - and that is why today there is no palmtrees anymore on Rapa Nui.
All Moai's were distroyed in 1800, but lots of them have been restored and so they throne from 5 up to 12 meters high. At the volcano there are still about 300 Moai-figures laying around, as due to a lack in resources (food!), people all of a sudden stopped to produce more Moais. And they just left the workplace and left it as it was - quite an interesting site today!
After the cultural sights, I enjoyed the beach - the weather was great, 30 degrees celcius, bright sunshine... So sunbathing and swimming in the wild waves was great :-)
And it gave me the necessary time to fully relax and get myself ready for the next trip through Chile.
19. - 20.12.06 Santiago
It takes 5 hours to fly from Easter Island to Santiago. Unfortunately the flight came from Tahiti and was delayed, so I had to hang around the very exciting airport in Rapa Nui (there is NOTHING!!!).
But I made it back, and the next day I mixed with the thousands of people doing their XMas shopping as I needed some things! Puh, what a run in the shops - I did not like this.
In the evening then I met up with the new group (Tucan Travel this time) and we went for dinner together. We are 13 people, all native English-speaking (Aussies, Scottish, UK, Ireland). It felt good to be in a group again - have not been in such a group since Ecuador, which seems to be years away ;-)
Yes - and so it's off to the South again... I am keen again to see and do some more exciting "stuff" :-)