Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easter Island Is Calling

Monday, January 25
Happy Australia Day and first day of the Chinese New Year! Another beautiful day at sea. We are passing over some of the deepest parts of the ocean—about 14,000’! Highlights of the day: Ron has a good walk and I have yoga; we attend two lectures—one on the cultures of Latin America, and the other on keeping the computer safe; I try escargot—not my favorite; Ron is enjoying reading “Edgar Sawtell.”
Tuesday, January 26—3006.4 miles
The day dawns overcast on our third day at sea. Walking the track is more comfortable today and I include some yoga stretches. We got a little too much sun yesterday—so easy to do here. We find a scrabble game; join a ship’s choir, and I pig out on video games. There’s a ton on the new laptop! Don’t have time for that at home!
Wednesday, January 28
The last of our four continuous days at sea; sure has gone fast! I don’t get up to the track till late and it’s too hot to do two miles. We have a wonderful lecture on Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Early inhabitants called it “Bellybutton of the World” thinking they were the center of everything. The “heads” that we see in pictures (moai) were carved of volcanic tuff about 1000AD and actually include full torsos which have been buried over the years. They represent upper class leaders of the early Polynesian clans and are believed to have caused the demise of the culture because they denuded the island making palm logs to help move the moai from the quarry to the apus (platforms of rock and dirt found all over the island).The first European landed there on Easter Sunday 1722, so came the English name. There are only 3500 inhabitants there now; an air strip helps keep them supplied with goods. We meet with the choir and begin to work on “Summertime”, “Oklahoma” and “Getting to Know You” which we will sing on a passenger talent night when we leave Papeete. Ron attends a lecture on the Concord and I read by the pool. The sky clouds over a bit so we walk our other mile after supper; the decks are awash with water—must have rained! We watch a movie before bed—“Rapa Nui” co-produced by Kevin Costner; it very closely follows what our lecturer told us. Easter Island tomorrow!
Thursday, January 29
Got soaked today trying to get in my two miles; first rain we’ve had! It was neat to watch Easter Island come into view during my walk. We head for the tender early as we want to walk into Hanga Roa (the main town on the island) before our tour at 1 pm. The sea has heavy swells and it’s a real carnival ride to shore! We pick up some gifts and mail some cards in town, then our tour bus takes us to several areas where there are moai. We also visit the quarry (Rano Raraku) where most of the moai were carved out of the rock of the volcanic crater then moved to apus; some still remain which never got moved. The red topknots on some moai come from another crater on the island. We see free-range horses all over the island; they are a status symbol there. Another carnival ride back to the ship and oriental food for dinner—yum! I decide to do the wash tonight; I figure everyone is tired from the hot day on the island!
Friday, January 30
We are at sea for a couple days now before Pitcairn Island, and we will be changing clocks on the ship an hour back for several days in a row so that when we land again we’ll be synchronized with shore time. The day is warm and sunny, but I get in my walk before it gets too hot. Ron attends two lectures: “World Famous Oceanliners” and “Coral Reef Life” while I spend the day with Kay Scarpetta—I can’t believe I missed this Patricia Cornwell book! We play a game of scrabble by the pool then dinner in our room so I can watch the video of the coral reef lecture. We sleep so well each night, the movement of the ship is like being rocked to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sue, Jackie and I are following your trip with great interest and definitely wishing we were there. It is still really cold in the Twin Ports; this morning it was
    minus 10 degrees. Have fun for all of us!!! We are looking forward to your next positng.