Just Another “Easter” Sunday

This blog entry about the events of Saturday, January 01, 2011 was originally posted on January 07, 2011.

DAY 17 (PART 2):  “I’m amazed that this place hasn’t exploded with all of us here,” said newlywed Pattey, as we sat on the steps of Iglesia Hanga Roa, the island’s Catholic church that Sunday morning.  Traveling with a lesbian couple shunned by archaic doctrine, one might not think we’d end up in such a place, but Pattey was keen on seeing what it was like from an anthropological perspective — a throwback to her Irish roots.  Besides, Kati had mentioned to me that the guidebook recommended Sunday mass for its scene, with all its lively singing.  Anyway, there was nowhere else to go because pretty much all of Hanga Roa was there at church, including all the tourists around it seemed — if not, they could hear it all on the loudspeaker throughout town.  Perhaps attendance was high because the chisel-chested beefcake local surfer stud that all the girls swooned over was there, helping his grandmother.

Mass was much like everywhere else it is in the Catholic world on any given Sunday, only with Spanish-speaking gospel readers wearing “Hawaiian” shirts, the priest wearing a lei, and the crucifix of Jesus carved out of wood and with a tribal headdress on his head.  And of course there was the music, which was quite nice — sung in Rapa Nui instead of Spanish — led by pews of musicians with drums and ukeleles.

A bell rang at the end of mass.  “Let’s get beers!” I proclaimed to my compadres, spawning high-fives.  Across the street was a small grocery — a place where condoms were next to the Nutella (as Leigh-Anne pointed out) — where we picked up some cans of Escudos and bottles of Mahina’s tasty locally-brewed pale ale

“I will get sausages for the dog,” Kati told us.  She was referring to the limping stray dog that had followed us around almost everywhere in town.  “My good deed for Sunday.” 

The gimpy dog ate the hot dogs like, well, an animal.  “Apparently, it hasn’t learned how to eat politely,” Leigh-Anne commented as it scarfed each one down whole.  There was another couple near the dog that had also felt sorry for it, who arrived with real dog food. I was starting to think the dog was quite an artful dodger.  But the real crafty ones were in the tourist trap of an artesenal center next door, that sold overpriced tchotchkes to mainlanders.  Shirley used her Chilean-Swiss ways to try and bargain down a foot-high wood-carven moai.

“[It says eighty dollars, but the woman said I could get it for sixty-five,]” Shirley told me.  “[I will think about it.]”  The smaller pocket-sized ones were $30 USD each; I declined any purchases and simply posed with them.  Just then, with no signficance whatsoever, 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up” came on the speakers. 

“Come on, Erik,” Renee egged me, “Get in touch with your inner lesbian.”

“And I cry-yyy…  Oh- my- God- do I cry-yyy…”

The song became an earworm in my head as we started touring that day.

“THIS IS GREAT,” PATTEY SAID, this time wearing a pig snout from her bag of tricks.  “It’s like we’re the only tourists on the island.”  We had arrived at a parking lot with only one other car at Puna Pau, the extinct-volcano-turned-redstone-quarry from which most of the red “topknots” were made, those cylindrical headdresses that appear atop some of the moai — or a sextet of silly but creative travelers

“Puna Pau.  Poon.  I said it,” Leigh-Anne joked, keeping the perpetual college humor going.  I put on the black afro.

The winds picked up as we walked from the flowery field, up along the caldera ridge. Shirley posed as a samurai with the parasols instead of opening them.  “If I open both, I will fly,” she told me.  The winds were picking up because we saw a storm coming from the horizon of the ocean, but so far everything on the island was still peachy from the incredible view.  There wasn’t much left to do there after Shirley’s makeshift tour guide talk, so we left before the rain came.  And as if on cue, we departed as another vehicle came.

Beyond “wedding road” (as Shirley put it), we took to the dirt road past the playground near where Pattey and Renee exchanged vows the evening before, to get to Orongo, a spectcular site with its amazing view inside Rano Kau, an extinct volcano whose crater is almost still completely intact, which contained a colorful swamp of pearly water and totora reeds.  There was also major historical signficance, for Orongo was the ceremonial village and site of the island’s birdman cult in the 19th century, where people who lived in the stone houses there competed in feats of strength to honor the god Makemake.  This was done by going down to the shore, swimming against the waves to Motu Nui, the rock formations off the coast, and stealing the eggs of the sooty terns that flew around the area. 

“Interpretive birdman dance photo!” Pattey and Renne called for.  We set up their Flip HD camcorder along with my timered Sony Cybershot to capture the antics.  We shot our photos and admire the views, but the wind started picking up and the raindrops falling, so we left.  Plus, I really had to pee after all the beer-induced birdman moves.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty relaxed.  It was Sunday after all, with many places closed.  There wasn’t much to do but hang out by the beach and admire the surfing scene, while sipping on more beers and eating at a local family-run food stall, where I got the sloppy, artery-clogging, pesce-ovi-lactarian Churrassco Ahi Ahi con Kana-Kana, a massive sandwich with fresh local kana-kana fish, avocado, tomatoes, and shredded green beans, swimming in a pool of melted mayonnaise — and all topped with a fried egg

“You put a lot of food down,” my fries-sharing friend Leigh-Anne told me.

“Yup,” I said smugly.  “I’m not going to deny it.”  There were scraps of mayonnaise-soaked bread left, which we gave to the nearby stray.

To work off the calories, I decided to go surfing that afternoon.  Fortunately Pattey had really made an impact on Catalina (from Santiago) and Chef Juan Carlos (from Patagonia) at “our restaurant,” the Miro restobar near the cemetery, who had offered up their longboards the day before.  I took to the wheel of the SUV and got a refresher on how to drive stickshift from Pattey and Shirley (after putting the beer down, of course), and drove across town to pick it up.  Thankfully their offer for the surfboards still stood, and the new puppy they had just saved from the trash dumps didn’t seem to mind (picture above).

With a storm somewhere out in the Pacific, the waves varied from beginner to expert, not that I was the latter by any means.  The pros looked like this, and I looked more like this.  But it was a good workout trying to set up and catch a wave amidst the choppy waters, and fighting my way out of the outbound rip current in the one area I accidentally floated into.  I managed to stand and surf at least once in my hour and a half out there, if only for a few seconds.  In any case, I got my surfing-on-Easter-Island bragging rights to make up for my loss of scuba dives, plus the gals cheered me on from the beach — conveniently across the way from where they could admire the hunky locals playing soccer.

“Surfin’ Rapa Nui…” Shirley sang to the tune of “Surfin’ USA.”

“SAVE THAT VIDEO,” PATTEY ASKED ME.  “Because I’m going to show it to Shatner.”  I had just shot a video tour of one of the rooms at Explora à la MTV Cribs, which the former Captain Kirk — and Pattey’s client — would eventually see. 

Earlier that evenning, we had driven about four miles out of Hanga Roa to Rapa Nui’s one luxury eco-resort, Explora de Rapa Nui, to get sunset cocktails — only to be turned down not for our appearance or toilet humor, but for the fact that they only had enough booze stocked for those with reservations.  (They probably gathered we could have shut that place down with our alcoholic tolerance.)  Instead, we spent our brief time there wandering the grounds, from the restaurant area, to the lobby, to the pool and sauna hut, stage for another silly video.  (Whether or not Bill Shatner would enjoy that one I don’t know, but why not?  We’re talking about the guy who did those wacky Priceline ads.)

Explora, modeled after the round, stone houses of Orongo, was quite a chic place but completely sustainable and green.  It was not created by a hotel conglomerate but by Chilean entrepreneur Pedro Ibáñez, who made it a point not to disturb the habitat in his three Explora hotels here, and in Patagonia and Atacama.  Most signficantly, he used the profits of his hotels to put back into the local communities.  I grabbed some literature for a possible future project with American Express.  Meanwhile, Renee and Pattey got a wedding ring.

As fancy as Explora was, Renee noticed one thing about the clientele there.  “A lot of grumpy faces in there,” she told us.  “[The men in there had looks on their faces like, hey, it’s cheaper to keep her.]”  Without alcoholic refreshment, Explora was a sort of buzzkill for us, so we left to go back to “our place.”

It was Shirley who had driven us to secluded Explora, using her Swiss cop detective skills to follow tracks down unmarked roads, and it was her that drove us back to Miro restobar, where Catalina and Juan Carlos welcomed us yet again, this time, offering up a complimentary bottle of wine for the newlyweds.  We also had a bottle of wine, one with a cork.

“Does anybody have a Swiss army knife?” I asked before realizing the obvious.  Chilean-Swiss Shirley opened it up with her blue one with three cows painted on it.  Meanwhile, Kati had grown quite fond of the new puppy there, who only made the first dog jealous — jealous enough to pop into my crotch from underneath the table and beg for scraps

We wined and dined with kanu-kanu pizza and ceviche, followed by one last ride on a see-saw that evening.  It was a happy albeit melancholy last night out with my “harem,” for I would leave them all the following day — but not without one last morning excursion…






Next entry: It’s Not A Lonely Planet

Previous entry: Early to Head, Early to Rise




Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments for “Just Another "Easter" Sunday”

  • One more to go…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  01/08  at  06:10 AM


back to top of page


SHARE THIS TRAVEL DISPATCH:


Follow The Global Trip on Twitter
Follow The Global Trip in Instagram
Become a TGT Fan on Facebook
Subscribe to the RSS Feed



This blog post is one of nineteen travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip: Chill Out in Chile," which chronicled a trip through the country of Chile, from the central and coastal cities of Santiago and Valparaiso (plus a quick jaunt to Argentina's nearby wine region of Mendoza), followed by a trek through southern Patagonia, and a journey to Easter Island.

Next entry:
It’s Not A Lonely Planet

Previous entry:
Early to Head, Early to Rise




THE GLOBAL TRIP GLOSSARY

Confused at some of the jargon that's developed with this blog and its readers over the years? Here's what they mean:

BFFN: acronym for "Best Friend For Now"; a friend made on the road, who will share travel experiences for the time being, only to part ways and lose touch with

The Big Trip: the original sixteen month around-the-world trip that started it all, spanning 37 countries in 5 continents over 503 days (October 2003–March 2005)

NIZ: acronym for "No Internet Zone"; a place where there is little to no Internet access, thus preventing dispatches from being posted.

SBR: acronym for "Silent Blog Reader"; a person who has regularly followed The Global Trip blog for years without ever commenting or making his/her presence known to the rest of the reading community. (Breaking this silence by commenting is encouraged.)

Stupid o'clock: any time of the early morning that you have to wake up to catch a train, bus, plane, or tour. Usually any time before 6 a.m. is automatically “stupid o’clock.”

The Trinidad Show: a nickname of The Global Trip blog, used particularly by travelers that have been written about, who are self-aware that they have become "characters" in a long-running story — like characters in the Jim Carrey movie, The Truman Show.

WHMMR: acronym for "Western Hemisphere Monday Morning Rush"; an unofficial deadline to get new content up by a Monday morning, in time for readers in the western hemisphere (i.e. the majority North American audience) heading back to their computers.

1981ers: people born after 1981. Originally, this was to designate groups of young backpackers fresh out of school, many of which were loud, boorish and/or annoying. However, time has passed and 1981ers have matured and have been quite pleasant to travel with. The term still refers to young annoying backpackers, regardless of year — I guess you could call them "1991ers" in 2013 — young, entitled millennials on the road these days, essentially.




Spelling or grammar error? A picture not loading properly? Help keep this blog as good as it can be by reporting bugs.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
TheGlobalTrip.com v.3.6 is powered by Expression Engine v2.8.1