The End of the Earth

February 15, 2007

Image of moai

According to airline records, a certain wayward American with the name of an alleged terrorist landed on Easter Island at 12:30pm on the 14th. However, I did not truly arrive until today, near dusk. After a rainy day, I walked just beyond the town to Tahi. There, 5 dark statues brood. So uncomfortable are they, with any association with our world, their presence, here, must truly mark the End of the Earth.

That’s what, 20 minutes of magic, late of the second day? And the rest? As is typical for my trips, this one began with a few bumps.

Before I even got on the first plane, I was sick. Nastiest sore throat in memory, though oddly devoid of any other symptoms. I briefly considered if calling in sick would mean anything to the airline. I decided it wouldn’t and kept to the schedule. I consumed my supply of lozenges and water two hours before we touched down in Lima. Nothing huge, I thought. I will re-supply during the layover.

They never let us off the plane. Something less than an hour on the ground and then 3.5 hours to Santiago. As I re-supplied and navigated through immigration toward my departure gate, I noticed there seemed to be a lot of sick people around. I might be Typhoid Mary but no bug moves that fast. Should I feel relieved that I was not the instigator of so much misery or worried that I might catch whatever *they* had. I decided: worried, but there wasn’t much I could do about it so I boarded to the plane to Isla de Pascua.

Image of airport terminal

Just 3 more hours. Oh, wait, isn’t their a time zone change? Ugh. 5 hours later, 24 hours since leaving San Jose, I am finally on the ground. I’m beyond tired and drinking anything even slightly acidic is torture. No major wanders today.

I check in at the Internet café. Everything is in Spanish. No option seems to change it. I’ve been to cafés all over the world. There has always been enough English left in or an English language version so that it wasn’t important what the local language was if I wanted to check my email. Not here. Ever dialog and menu on the whole system in Spanish and resistant to every control panel knob I could find and I need to do things more complex than the standard hotmail check. Oh, well, one of the cafes has wifi. I can use the awkwardly large laptop that I carried all the way from California.

No power cord. Computer: check. Power supply: check. No power cord. Dead weight that I, nonetheless, must protect as if valuable. Tired, and not happy, I went to bed early.

No motivation to get up early the next day. It was pouring down rain. It rained off and on most of the day. ‘Sall right. I had my mission: impossible. I searched all over town for what I knew I would never find: the right cable. Eventually, I found something surprising: the almost right cable. With an astonishingly small amount of McGuivering, I made it work. I didn’t even have to do anything dangerous.

With that bit of accomplishment behind me and the sky less threatening, I went on and end of day wander. I ended up at Tahai and took the photo attached to this message.