Iorana, not Kia Ora.
09.09.2007 - 09.12.2007 -17 °C
Written: September 12, 2007
I tried very hard not to vomit.
I did so in order to keep my dignity and not offend the gas pump attendant who had offered me this piece of jerky that I was having so much trouble with. While waiting for the automobile ahead of me to get filled up, he pointed at the jerky he was holding and said, "Horse meat", then offered it to me. My first instinct was to smile and say, "No gracias." But then, I remembered my mantra whenever I confront something dangerous or something I fear: "Do it. Find the courage later." I think I heard it from a Canadian Olympian. In the spirit of trying new things and confronting my fears, I accepted his offer the second time. I took the jerky and chewed off a piece, expecting it to taste similar to regular jerky or chicken. The attendant looked at me for a while, smiled and then turned back to his duties. And that is when the taste and the realization that I was eating horse meat hit me. I could picture, in my mind, one of the many horses I had seen while mopeding around earlier turn and look at me to say, "Why are you eating me? Isn't it bad enough that people ride us?" That's when I started gagging, there was a definite probability that I would vomit right there but I was determined to save my dignity and not offend the attendant. He turned to look back at me, I immediately tried to look as if I enjoyed it though I probably looked like I was wincing and he asked, "Good huh?"
I smiled weakly in reply and quickly dropped the remaining piece of horse meat that was terrorizing my existence into the helmet compartment and hit it under. I then tried to spit out the remaining offending taste in my mouth, paid, thanked him and drove off.
After watching Ocean's 13, Pirates of the Carribeans 3, I arrived in Santiago from Auckland, an 11 hour flight. I then had to pay the ridiculous $132 USD reciprocacy entrance VISA. This is due to the fact that Canada, along with the US, UK, Australia, slapped an entrance visa for Chilenos. I could've avoided it if I had gone to Buenos Aires and overlanded into Santiago but it would've cost me an extra flight anyways. However, next time coming from North America, I'd go to Buenos Aires first. I then waited for a few hours before my 5 hour flight back towards where I came from to Easter Island.
After some price comparison, I got a single room, double bed, private bathroom for $16 USD instead of $20 a night.
Day 1: Explored the town of Hanga Roa, Ahu Tepai and a few surrounding Moais. Used some internet and got some moped rental quotes.
DAy 2: Rented a moped for 8 hours to explore the whole island. I first went to the huge crater of Rano Kau which was awesome since it was filled with water and situated next to the sea. THen I went to the park ranger to pay my $10 USD entrance fee but since they didn't have change for my 10 000 pesos they just waved me in to the Orongo village. I think it was also because one of the ranger and I spoke some French when he found out I was Canadian.
The village was pretty cool since it was situated on a peninsula between the sea and the crater. there werehouses built of stcked slabs of rocks half submerged into the ground. There was also an area where ceremonies were held and the petroglyphs in the rocks. This was where ceremonies were held for the Birdman of the Year. I then sped my way along the south coast, stopping at various Moai and caves to check them out. The landscape was lush green and it was a beautiful day for riding. The highlight was definitely Rano Raku, this was the great hill where Moais were quarried and you cn see many of them there of different sizes and expressions. I took many pictures and entertained myself by imagining the conversations they could've had. I then visited the most impressive and famous Moai of the whole island, Ahu Tongariki, before spending some time at the beach of Anakena and speeding back to Hanga Roa.
Just dreaming and looking at the sky.
Moai 1: Who invited Steve?
Moai 2: That dude's a !$!%
Moai Steve: I just want to be friends!
Moai 1: Yay grass!
Moai 2: What an idiot.
Day 3: Payed back more of the principal and interest on my sleep debt accrued in New Zealand. Then I looked around the shops and bought some postcards to send. Also got my passport stamped with Easter Island - Rapa Nui ones for $1.50. Spent the siesta hours at Ahu Tahei reflecting on many things. a lot of them were the adventures, experiences and people I've met on my trip. But more importantly was on the people and memories of my life before my trip, I thought about friends I missed, people that had been good friends at some point but grown apart for stupid reasons or none at all. I regret not having tried harder or how trivial some of those reasons seem now. I know I am a stubborn man and I guess it took 4 months of traveling alone and a tiny island 5 hours away from any continent to put some things into perspective.
Finished reading "Empire of the Sun" and off to Santiago!