With my Easter Island goal well and truly achieved, I have been enjoying my time on the island, practicing my Spanish with Andres, and riding around on his scooter checking out things I haven’t seen yet. I have also spent a bit of time catching up on emails and website tasks which I have let slip a little recently.
While checking my email yesterday I got one from Val, who I meet up with again very soon in Cuzco in Peru. He suggested that my next goal, our trip up to Cuzco and onwards to see Machu Picchu may present us with some serious challenges. He sent me a news link which reports that heavy rains and mudslides have blocked the train route that we will be taking, stranding tourists there, and causing the government to declare an emergency!! People were being airlifted out, and we are wanting to get in within the week. Oh dear!
“This year is absolutely atypical. This situation hasn’t occurred in the last 15 years. … the river has never been so high,” Tourism and Foreign Commerce Minister Martin Perez said at a news conference.
What timing! More at Yahoo News here. Oh well, nothing we can do about it until we get there and see what the situation is. It has been suggested that Machu Picchu will be closed until the 8th February, and our flight out of Cuzco is on the morning of the 9th, so maybe all is not lost!
However, these pictures suggest otherwise – that railway is certainly going to be tricky to repair:-
I once read that if you are worried about something, there are two possibilities:-
1). You can do something about it – if so then get on and start doing something!
2). You can’t do anything about it – then you may as well stop worrying!!
I think that this certainly falls into the category of “There’s not much I can do about that at the moment!”
So, in the meantime, I still plan to enjoy my last couple of days on Easter Island, and then a couple of days in Peru’s capital, Lima.
Last night Andres took me on a bit of a tour, and we explored a couple of caves that I didn’t know about. One was very interesting, with a tiny little crawl-hole entrance, leading to a cavern which split into two, each branch opening out in a spectacular window halfway up the seacliff, looking out over the ocean.
This morning I headed out on the scooter to the foot of Terevaka, the highest volcano peak on the island. I climbed towards the summit, and teamed up with Janet and Jose, mum and son from Santiago who were just ahead of me.
At the windy summit the horizon was a bit cloudy and hard to see, but the view on a clear day must be awesome. You can see the whole island, and then beyond in every direction, nothing but the vast Pacific Ocean. Easter Island is so incredibly isolated. The nearest populated land is Chile, 3,510 kilometres away to the east, and to the west the next populated place is Tahiti, at around 4,000 kilometres distance. It was a bit hard to make out today, but apparently the curvature of the Earth is easily discernable from the summit.
This afternoon it was back to more immediate practical matters, as I had nowhere to sleep tonight. Andres’s sister and brother-in-law return home today, after a week on duty at the fire station, and the house is full once again, so I need to find alternative accomodation. At least I had the scooter for the afternoon to go searching!
My first port of call was a campsite I had spotted down by the beach, pretty close to Andres’s house. I had soon managed to rent a tent for a couple of nights, and got myself settled in and connected to their wi-fi.