Isla de Pascua (AKA Easter Island or Rapa Nui in the native language) has been a travel destination of mine ever since I was young. The large, mysterious moai statues are the most iconic and unique artifacts I have ever seen. Adding to the splendor is the surprising lack of tourists and a fascinating, intact native culture. When you step off of the plane it feels as though you are entering a really interesting, special place so isolated from anywhere else. The geography and climate of the island is also unique — dry, temperate with palm trees, grasses and rocky coastline. The color of the ocean — beautiful. A deep, dark royal cobalt that perhaps must only occur in such isolated parts of the south pacific — no debris, dirt grass or beach muddies it. To me it mirrors the mystery and intrigue of the island it surrounds. It is really easy to imagine how life existed 500 hundred years previously owing to how undeveloped the island is and accessible to exploration.
I spent four days on Rapa Nui exploring in a rental car I shared with a French Canadian and Argentine couple I met at the bed and breakfast I was staying in. The three of us had a wonderful time enjoying our company and respective culture quirks; by the time my time was done they had been a highlight of the whole thing. I enjoy travelling for reasons such as this – the tangential meetings — the drifting encounters with others doing the same. It affords perspective beyond my own for which I am eternally grateful. Increasingly, for the sake of comparison, the comforts and ease of permanent home are less attractive.
A favorite memory of my time on Rapa Nui was sharing a bottle of sweet white wine along the rocky coastline at sunset, watching the waves come in and the sun fall behind a very far away horizon. Dusk was empty and void of any other complexity — no cars, noises, business. On the island every thing instead seems to run by the tempo of a naturally beating heart — the cadence of the sun, the breeze, air and ocean; an effect of being so far from everything else. After the sunset Aleen, Miguel and I went to dinner.