Visiting Easter Island (Land-Based)

Getting Settled Ashore (continued)

Looking down Te Pito o Te Henua street just after walking out the driveway of the residencial. To get to the center of Hanga Roa, walk down to the bottom of the hill and turn left.  

Friday, June 11, 2004 (Day 2 Ashore)

I slept well last night, and it was an amazing experience after three months of sleeping on the boat. Last night was very quiet and the big comfy bed was absolutely motionless. Going to bed last night, I could just walk over to the bed, sit down, and stretch out—I didn't have to climb up or crawl in and truss myself up. I don't mean to imply that I dislike living aboard a boat (I've lived aboard my own boat for years), but just like the French say about women: Viva la différence!—right now, I'll say the same thing about the big, comfy, stationary, shoreside bed.

Before I went for breakfast, I needed to visit the harbor for a scheduled 8:00 a.m. radio conversation with David and Marcie on Nine of Cups. As I was leaving the boat yesterday, they had loaned me a small FRS radio (like a little walkie-talkie); they had another FRS radio aboard the boat. We had decided to touch base this morning to see if there was any way I could help them with the fuel problem, such as meeting them at the shoreline and driving them to the gas station. But as yesterday's forecast had predicted, the weather had deteriorated overnight and as I walked down the hill from the residencial, I really hoped I wouldn't see Nine of Cups still anchored off Hanga Roa—conditions in the anchorage were miserable. A stiff onshore wind had kicked up a heavy chop on the ocean, and numerous breaking waves rolled through the anchorage; the dim early morning light was further obscured by a heavy overcast. Once I reached the shore, I carefully scanned the anchorage but saw no sign of Nine of Cups; there was no response to the radio call, either. Obviously, they had moved the boat to a more protected anchorage.

Walking back to the residencial, I thought it was funny to see so much traffic so early in the morning—cars were scooting hither and thither, tailgating each other, with headlights on in the dim early light. It was morning rush hour on Rapa Nui. At the high school they even had a crossing guard, wearing a fancy uniform. It's hard to believe the small island could generate so much traffic that they worry about kids getting run over as they cross the small residential street.

Back at the residencial, I went to the dining room where the table had been set for four, with all the food already served for each person. It was a nice spread, all well prepared and nicely presented, as if in a restaurant. They had bread with butter and jam, but the bread was the size of a hockey puck and was the consistency of a bagel (although it was tasty). Every person got some cheese, a serving of something like pound cake, and a big plate of fresh fruit. The table had a pitcher of hot water to make coffee (only instant was available) and a pitcher of some kind of thick pulpy juice, serve yourself. Across the table was the only other person present, a European-looking man who was from Poland. He had lived in the U.S. (in Hawaii) for several years so he spoke English fairly well. We chatted over breakfast about nothing in particular.

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