To say that I’m happy to be back is to have my nose grow even bigger than it is already! As I flew into New York last night the grey clouds that hung over the city were really visible.
But don’t feel bad. Every country I visited had a grey cloud over it at some point. And everyone said that now that Obama is president things will be different. Poor guy…what a responsibility!
On to the fun parts, however – after flying for 18 hours from New York I arrived in Easter Island in December for a 5 day stay. It’s a triangular shaped island with not much vegetation and very attractive people (and a population of only 1800 inhabitants). I stayed at the Explora En Rapa Nui Hotel, which was great. It was slightly out of the way and very green (environmentally friendly), with a great restaurant; as much Chilean wine as you can drink, good food and all tours included.
Easter Island is a great place for hiking and horseback riding and the Moai are beyond anybody’s wildest expectations. I always thought they faced out to the ocean, but they actually look in towards the villages, overlooking the chief’s grave. Interestingly enough, the Moai were brought over when a chief died and positioned to watch over the grave and the village beyond. It’s believed that only once their eyes were placed in the socket, would the chief’s spirit start looking out for the village and its people. The experience of traveling and hiking through this island, that has a bigger horse population than people – was wonderful.
A highlight was visiting the dormant volcanoes where now there are small lakes throughout at the bottom of the caldera – there’s an incredible ecosystem with fruit trees and plants growing in the bottom. I’ve never seen water that has almost a purple-blue cast to it. It was truly incredible.
It certainly takes a long time to fly there, but the experience of visiting this island for 5 days will take a long time for me to forget. I found it to be incredibly peaceful, very, very friendly and one of the names on my list of places to visit that I can now tick off.
I leave for Washington DC tomorrow evening to go put the finishing touches on a new hotel for Kimpton, the Lorien Hotel and Spa. I’ll be sure to share photos of this project with you once it’s launched on Thursday. In the meantime, be sure to send me a ‘friend request’ on Facebook – I have joined cyber space in the social networking realm and will post more photos from my travels on there.