My Travels Around the World

Tag: Paro

Easter Island

February 1-7, 2017

Our trip started in Santiago which we had visited before, so we just spent the one night before leaving for Easter Island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and the most remote island on Earth. We flew Latam Airlines on the Dreamliner. We got to sleep some as it is over a 5-hour flight. Easter Island really is in the middle of nowhere. As we approached, we could make out the triangular island that would be our home for the next week. We were traveling with Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) along with our friends Melissa and Michael, Helene and Alan, Sherry, and Phyllis. Note please that a few of the photos are from Helene and Melissa. We had several wonderful guides, including Nune Hucke, Lili Pate (who was the queen of the Tapati in 2012, see more about that in the Tapati post), and others.

Rapa Nui

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), a Chilean territory, is a remote volcanic island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the south-easternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle (the other corners of the triangle are Australia and Hawaii). Easter Island became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The population of Easter Island is about 7000 with  which about 60% are descendants of the original aboriginal Rapa Nui, and the entire island is only about 10 miles long and 63 miles square. It is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world with Chile being 2,182 miles away. The first commercial flight to Easter Island was in 1967, and tourism is now the largest industry with fishing and agriculture as close second and third.

Why is it called Easter Island?

The first question you should ask, as I did, is, “Why is it called Easter Island?” The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen was the first European visitor to the island and he landed on Easter Sunday in 1722. And thus he named it Easter Island. The Polynesian name, Rapa Nui or Big Rapa, was coined after the slave raids in the early 1860s and refers to the topographical resemblance to the island of Rapa. It has also been called “the naval of the world (Te pito o te henua).

Bhutan – a country of happiness

We flew about 2.5 hours and landed in Guwahati. In case you are wondering where that is, I had to look it up. It is a major city in Eastern India. So I guess now we have been to India! From here it will only be a 35 minutes flight. The excitement is building. But so is the nervousness. There will be altitude (although we have taken our Diomox and have tingling toes to prove it); there will be long car rides over winding roads (although the views are supposed to be spectacular); there will be steep paths and mountains to climb. There is the unknown – more so than in any other trip we have taken. I just finished reading (no really, just a few minutes ago), Beyond the Earth and Sky (which by the way means Thank You). It was written quite a few years ago by a Canadian woman who spent 3 years teaching in Bhutan. That description does not do justice to the book, as it is really about her experiences and life in Bhutan. I learned much. One of the things I learned was to be present in the moment (mindfulness). Not to worry about the flight home and the short connection time and whether we will miss our flight. Not to worry about whether I can make it up to the Tiger Nest Monastery. What will be will be. Que sera sera. Be in the moment. Enjoy where you are and what you are doing. Remember it. I guess that is the Buddhist way. Sounds good. But I am not a Buddhist. Nevertheless, there are always lessons to be learned and I will try to stay in the moment. Yes, the excitement is rising.

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