Easter Island – Rapa Nui

It’s far far away and its famous for its stone statues: Easter Island. That’s what we knew. Now we can confirm: yes, the island is far away from everything. It is a 6 hours flight from Santiago de Chile (east) and another 6 hours flight to Tahiti (west). The Dutch admiral Roggeveen landed on the island on Easter Sunday (5 April) 1722 giving it the name "Easter Island" (he must have been a very creative person). The stone statues are called Moai. They are huge human figures carved by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500 a.c.. Nearly half of them are still at the Rano Raraku (a volcano), where they were produced. Hundreds were transported to other places on the island and set on stone platforms called “Ahu”. Almost all of them face inland overlooking their clan lands – symbolizing the holy ancestors of the Rapa Nui people. The tallest Moai is almost 10 meters (33 ft) high and weights about 82 tons.

The island is small, only measuring around 160 square kilometers with nearly 6.000 inhabitants, who mainly live in the only village – Hanga Roa. The landscape is dominated by deep green grassland with wild horses grazing peacefully, a coastline made up of cliffs and small mountains. The main sights are easy to cover in around 3 days but we had 9. So what is there to do if you have three times more time than the average tourist? Exactly right - nothing. That’s the reason why we decided to visit most sights by foot. One day we hiked for 5 hours up and down the coast, visiting some Moai´s and caves, when we realized that walking back takes at least 3 more hours. Lazy as we are we searched for a solution; no public transport, no own car, no own scooter – we went for hitch-hiking (@ Ma: the island is absolutely safe, most people don’t even lock their doors). The first car passing buy immediately stopped. As we found out the driver got pulled out of the plane by the police the day before because he was involved in a fight in Chile before he started travelling one year ago (…. first time hitch-hiking….). Well, we survived and the following days we kept on hiking a lot but didn’t need a lift. Another highlight was meeting Gauthier de Tessieres (e.g. 2nd place WC in Garmisch), who stayed in the same place than we did. Our 9 days on the island felt like a wellness treatment and we left the island completely relaxed.

Typical Moai on a Ahu IMG_2478

Some culinary highlights (noodles, a huge bottle of the finest honey and salami roll) IMG_2503IMG_2469IMG_2475

More Moais during sunset an day time called Ahu TahaiIMG_2550 IMG_2554 IMG_2565IMG_4752IMG_4787

During dinner we discovered this nice creature - a black widow having a cockroach for dinnerIMG_2569

Yes, we are still backpackers, but we got upgraded to this great apartment with 180° ocean view (see next pics)IMG_5164IMG_2586IMG_2723IMG_2738IMG_2698

Getting up at 6 am to see the sunrise at Ahu Tongariki with its 15 Moai statues
IMG_2643IMG_4922IMG_4935Panorama15IMG_4925IMG_4959 IMG_2677IMG_4981

Cute street dogs everywhereIMG_2705

Impressions while hiking (cave made by a lava tube, cows, Moai`s and beautiful landscape)       IMG_4823 IMG_4842 IMG_4849Panorama13

The only Moai`s not facing inland but the sea - Ahu AkiviIMG_4885

Rano Raraku where around 600 Moai statues were carved from the volcanic rock and are lying around the whole areIMG_5001 IMG_5070Panorama25_1Panorama21

The only beach on the island - Anakena Beach also not to be forgotten more Moai`sIMG_5108Panorama20

Orongo craterPanorama05_1

Skiing in the Andes - Valle Nevado

Because of unprepared / stupid people without snow chains it took us 2 hours to reach the the ski resort of Valle Nevado. The day before, it snowed a lot therefore the snow was powdery and light. For Eva it has been 7 years since she last stood on ski but it worked surprisingly well 😉 We skied the whole day and only had a quick lunch break with Empanadas, Hamburgersa and a hot chocolate. A little different from what we are used to in Switzerland or Austria but well... you can't have it all. Tired from our ski trip in the Andes we return to Santiago late in the evening (7pm 😉 and fell asleep early.


Someone seems to be very happy about the snowIMG_2370 IMG_2378

The highest point we reached to day was 3.679 m.


Enjoying the snow  IMG_2396 IMG_2408 IMG_2414

Eva was very happy exiting the T-bar lift which took around 15 minutes to arrive on the topIMG_4561

Great lunch with Empanadas, Hamburgersa, hot chocolate and cokeIMG_4571 IMG_4577

The end of a great day of skiingIMG_4596


We had no idea what to expect and were extremely surprised. It’s a modern metropolis with nice neighbourhoods, restaurants, and parks. Most important: it’s remarkable safe compared to all South American countries. But the best thing is its location: flanked by the Andes to the east (40 kms) and the coast to the west (60 kms). In the hostel we learned that the three major ski resorts of Chile are just an hour drive from Santiago.

On our way from the airport two ladies from Santiago gave us a quick sightseeing tour. While in santiago we met a lot of friendly people like these two, for example an old lady came up to Niels in the supermarket and told him not to take the apples he chose but other - better - ones. The next day we went sightseeing and Niels convinced Eva to book a day trip to Valle Nevado the next day (next post).

Yes, we are backpackers/ sleeping in bunk beds (sometimes)!IMG_2312

Great viewpoint Cerro Santa Lucia which provides a 360° panoramic view of the city (see above at least 180°)IMG_449902_Panorama

Some impressions of SantiagoIMG_4492IMG_4497IMG_4535IMG_4553IMG_2336

Hungry for education and culturally interested, we visited the university and the national libraryIMG_2334IMG_4534

Mercado Central, where you find a large variety of fish and seafoodIMG_4547

If you are looking for a night out this is the place to be - Bellavista. Its like the Schanze in Hamburg, centrally located with a lot of bars, nightclubs and restaurants.IMG_2341

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