Seems like so long ago now. This was the start of our 3-month adventure in November to Santiago and Valparaiso Chile. We boarded our ship for 5 days at sea to one of our favourite stops on the whole trip: Easter Island to see the Big Giant Heads! Bring on the head puns: Obviously, this was not a good place to lose one’s head. They were certainly ahead of their time – perhaps ahead by a century? These people were very headstrong, certainly they weren’t falling head over heels for just anyone. Off the top of my head, I think if they just put their heads together they could turn some heads. But I think a lot of it just went over their head. Nailed it. And by that I mean, hit the nail on the head. And I’m done.
Well we made it to Easter Island! It was unbelievably chaotic because there is only one town (Hanga Roa) where we were supposed to anchor at, but due to large swells they decided instead to anchor on the completely opposite side of the island. And we were on our own to get to town 18km away. Us and 1200 other people! The bad news is that we missed our scuba diving appointment (which fortunately wasn’t pre-paid), but the good news is that we managed to meet Joy from Australia. She had pre-booked a car rental but had too many people to share with her, so long story short, I had my drivers licence with me so we got to rent a second car to split the group up, and we got a free ride to town and back. Win-Win!
The landscape of Easter Island felt like being on the moon. But the Moai (aka big giant heads) were amazing! They were everywhere all over the island which is even more impressive once you learn that they were all formed from the rock on one central mountain and moved to their locations. Their hair-pieces were still from another part of the island and were used to keep the Moai balanced (most of them have fallen over now though). It’s unbelievable how they managed to do that. Some of the Moai were over 50 feet tall. And the hair was a separate rock to balance on top. Obviously they were a “head” of their time. Also, this was probably not a good time to lose ones “head”. But really, these guys knew how to get a”head” in life. They were probably very “head”strong. They seemed to know where they were “head”ing… Ok that’s enough.
Yesterday we got a personal tour of Chile from Lorena, (she is cousins with Marcy, who works with my sister Jo and Bryan’s cousin Shirley). She took us around Santiago and then we drove out to the coast through Vina del Mar, and Concon, we stopped for an amazing seafood lunch on the beach and we had our first pisco sours. It’s like a tequila margarita…but stronger. They hit you so fast but are so good! Then she brought us to Valparaiso, and we checked into the floating retirement centre! Just kidding…well kind of. We are not the youngest here, but apparently this trip was set us to be a VIP tour for people with over 50 to 100 cruises in their life, so there are a LOT of Q-tips aboard! Some people had this trip booked over 2 years ago which is crazy to think we got a spot less than a month ago. Anyways, after a big party night yesterday we slept until 4 today which was awesome. Then we had our emergency drill at 5:30 and finally set out on the big blue ocean! So far so good. We are about 6 hours out at sea right now. Only feeling a little queasy from the rocking. Hope that passes soon! It’s 5 days until we hit land again. So far we are loving the boat, the rooms are gorgeous, the bed is really comfy, and the people are really nice. We are seated with a really fun couple from South Africa (and Canada/US) for dinner and so far we have shut down the restaurant each night! They also booked their trip last minute like us and we seem to have a lot in common with them.
We made it! Holy crap that was a lot of flying! Bryan used to do that every 30 days. Man that sucks! Anyways, we walked around Santiago for a few hours to make up for it tonight once we arrived. Anyone watch Amazing Race? We swear we were where they did the shoe-shining task! Just a couple blocks from our hotel. Anyways, tomorrow a friend of a friend (Lorena) is picking us up and taking us to Valparaiso. We are super excited to have a personal tour guide for a while! Also both of us are horrible at Spanish. I think we might have payed the tourist tax a few times because we just didn’t know any better!
Anyways here’s some pics. That’s what you’re here for!
This was the bar we chilled out at in Chicago (with a player piano!)
Flying over the Andes (they seriously put the Rocky Mountains to shame)
Some from around Santiago