Around the World for the 1st time [Day 7] Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Today we finally fly to Rapa Nui. After completing check-in procedures at the airport, it was time to board the LAN Airlines plane…beautiful…! Tears were already streaming down my face as soon as I stepped onto the ramp. I thought how happy I was to see my dream come true. Everyone says, “I would love to go there someday,” but in the end there are so many people who make up reasons why they can’t go and don’t take action. I want to use up the life I was born to do just what I want to do!
The distance from Santiago airport to Rapa Nui is 3,745 km. 5 hours and 20 minutes by plane.
It was late at night when I arrived at the Mataveri Airport in Rapa Nui, I think it was around 0:30 to 1:00 am. The moment we landed at the airport, there was a round of applause in the plane. I cried myself to sleep as I was surrounded by the applause. Rapa Nui is a special place, isn’t it?
Mataveri International Airport of Easter Island
Since we are in business class, we go down the ramp first. The moment I step outside, I smell an indescribable sweet aroma! It is a scent that envelops the whole of Rapa Nui. Even now, as I write this article, I am moved to tears remembering that scent.
There is a ticket booth just before you get off the ramp and enter the building. This is because the whole of Rapa Nui is a national park, and this ticket is required to visit the moai and ruins. Only $80 cash US is required. If you don’t buy a ticket here, there are places on the island that sell them, but I couldn’t find one. So this counter was jammed with people getting off the plane. Thank goodness we were in business class. The following photos are my 3rd and 4th tickets in 4 trips around the world.
And then there was baggage claim. Business class baggage was supposed to come out first, but in Rapa Nui, priority did not matter, and I had to wait quite a while. I don’t dislike this messiness. The owner of the inn came to pick up us in the middle of the night and put a bouquet of flowers on us. There were almost no street lights and it was pitch black. I was filled with mixed feelings of freedom and loneliness, having arrived on a small island at the end of the world, and gazed blankly outside from the car on the way to my lodgings.
The inn was a one-story hotel about a five-minute drive from the airport. When I checked in and stepped out of my room, there were no moai in sight, just a series of dim orange streetlights on a wide road. I slept soundly, my heart pounding with excitement for the island tour that awaits us tomorrow.