Chile and Easter Island

Easter Island – Papeete, Wednesday 12th February 2003


Smiles are Everywhere, Easter Island, Chile


There was dancing and drinking on the porch with the Chileans last night. I was cutting it a bit fine this morning with the diving at the northern end of the Island, leaving 11 hours of decompression time before my flight, where now at the airport spontaneous Polynesian singing has broken out. I have such rich cultural experiences when I go travelling! There was lots of surf and two of the boat passengers were hanging on to a rope – average visibility, strong currents. I was sick (surprisingly) at the end of the dive so I must not eat breakfast in future. It was the first time I dived without a depth gauge, so I had to trust the dive master’s judgment. I showered and then wandered to the Internet place that was closed – I was lucky yesterday. In fact I have been extremely lucky with my visit to Easter Island coinciding perfectly with the festival. I sat watching surfers in the sun, and then moved into shade. I then watched the amazing carnival, a great spectacle. I used about two-and-a-half films, and continued digitally. The photos speak for themselves. Beautiful people! I sensed a beautiful attitude to community spirit – the highlight so far. It is what travelling is all about. I am going to remember my nickname, christened by the Chileans at the hostel: Marquito, or little Marko! I ate lots of Pina (pineapple). The next few days are just flights to get to Australia.There is roughly a ten-hour wait before my next flight leaves for Auckland. So instead of staying at the airport, I have decided to go to a late bar in downtown Papeete (Tahiti). There is a piano bar here and a dodgy looking Bar d’Amour. It will certainly be more interesting, although the taxi was expensive downtown; I will have to wait for 6.00am before the taxi becomes cheaper. A contrast in atmosphere – pavements!

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