The flight to Easter Island, or Isla de Pascua in Spanish, took around five hours, and I was met at the airport by Barbara from Kona Tau Hostel, which I had booked for one night. I have been trying to find a couchsurfer to stay with on the island, but I have only found three people here registered on couchsurfer.org. I managed to get in contact with two, but unfortunately both have their couches occupied during my time here. However, at the last minute, late night on my last evening at the hostel in Santiago I got a message from Andres, the third person I had written to, and he said I could stay at his place for a couple of nights. Fantastic, I think it will be great to get a bit of local insight into the island, rather than just joining an island tour.
After dropping my bags off I took a walk into the little town, Hanga Roa. The whole place reminds me very much of Christmas Island, where I spent two weeks in December last year. The islands are similar in size, Easter Island being a little bigger, I think. Both are formed by past volcanic activity, both pretty tropical, although the slopes of Easter Island are bare compared to the thick jungle of Christmas Island, and both are very remote. The population on Easter Island is bigger than Christmas Island, around 3,800 here compared to 1,400 on Christmas Island. The whole little town has a very similar, local, friendly feel to it, with small shops filled with hideously expensive food, all of which has to be flown in from afar, just like Christmas Island.
I walked down to the seafront, where there was a surf competition taking place on what looked like a pretty dangerous break with some nasty hidden rocks. Just along the coast by the tiny little harbour I came across my first carved moai, one of the huge, elongated head-shaped sculptures that the island is famous for.
In town I researched car hire prices, which are, unsurprisingly, expensive. I think a scooter, at $60 for two days represents better value than $80 per day for a car. The island is only 24 kilometres long and 12 kilometres wide, so shouldn’t be too bad to get around on too wheels. I am looking forward to doing some exploring over the next few days.