On Sunday night, the 12th, we took an evening walk to the cliffs to watch the sunset over the Pacific. There is a very nice park along the top of the cliff and we walked it from the Parque del Amor to the Parque El Faro (lighthouse) enjoying all of the Sunday evening sights: paragliders swooping along the cliff's edge giving their passengers some exciting views of the city and the ocean below, people picnicing, dogs playing, kids skateboarding, couples strolling arm in arm. After the sun settled into the ocean we made our way back to the apartment to begin preparing for our departue from Lima.
Paragliders and the Lighthouse
On Monday we visited the South American Explorers Club to see what they had to offer. It is a good organization and if you are spending time in Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina would be worthwhile joining with their language classes, book exchange, discounts, extensive reference library and a place to meet other South American travelers.
Our flight to Easter Island did not leave until 0115 Wednesday morning so we were very happy when Charo said we could stay in the apartment until 2000 Tuesday night before going the airport. She called a taxi for us and despite the heavy Valentine's Day traffic we arrived at the airport before 2100. So far, the job was going well.
LAN only allows 8 kg of carry-on luggage in economy class and our bags were each about 11 kg, so they got checked again. Customs and immigration went smoothly so all we had to do was to wait another three hours for our departure. Again, the airlines worked their magic and due to an "equipment" change we only left an hour late. At 0300, our fitful sleep was interruped by the serving of a hot meal! The seats on this Boeing 767 were extremely uncomfortable and neither of us got much sleep on the 4+40 minute flight to Rapa Nui.
Exiting the plane in the pre-dawn fresh air of Easter Island we were met by a drug sniffing dog and friendly immigrations/customs officials. We were quickly leied upon exiting the terminal and taken to our hotel. After waiting about 1 1/2 hours to check in, we were unpacking in our very nice room at the newest hotel on the island, the Puku Vai; our job for the day was complete.
After a short nap, we walked down to one of the two ATMs on the island, got some Chilean pesos and headed for downtown. We had lunch at La Taverna du Pecheur, a French restaurant and suposedly at the top of the heap on this speck of real estate over two thousand miles off the coast of South America. The Lonely Planet did not lie, it was the best meal of the trip to date! From the restaurant's balcony we had a good view of our first moai (stone head) and ahu (platform), the Ahu Tautira.
The Ramblers Have Arrived