22 September 2009

Dreaming

I'm going to let you into a little secret. A few weeks ago I told my son Ian that I was planning on some travelling this autumn. I wasn't sure where I might go - perhaps just throw a tent and camping equipment in the car to revisit Cornwall or southern Wales. Maybe I'd go to Corsica or Crete. Ian said "What about Easter Island?"

He'd remembered my lifelong interest in the Pacific Ocean and its peoples and how years ago I would say how much I'd love to visit Easter Island - the most remote inhabited place on Earth. Cogs turned in my brain and I started to investigate the feasibility of such an adventure. Isn't it incredible that such a journey is of course eminently possible for anyone from the developed world who chooses to spend their money that way?

I haven't booked any flights or absolutely committed myself just yet but what was once a dream is gradually turning into a certainty. First I will fly from London to Madrid and then a longhaul flight to Santiago in Chile. Next it's a two thousand mile hop to Rapa Nui - a triangular island measuring ten miles across and famous for its enigmatic statues - the moai. Perhaps I will stay there four or five days and then spend time in central Chile. Maybe travelling on to Argentina and flying home from Buenos Aires.

The idea of this trip is already exciting me. I have read so much about Easter Island - not just about the statues but other archaeology, the craters and the Birdman cult whereby each spring young men would risk life and limb to dive from the highest cliffs, swimming out to a rocky islet to collect the first seabird eggs. Once Easter Island was sufficient in itself - so far from anywhere else that the outer world really did not matter and then as the last trees were felled the island's thriving society began to perish in what is often thought of as the world's first manmade environmental disaster.

What is life for? I'm going to go while I can, while I have the health, energy and money to make this dream come true. An adventure. I feel comfortable and grateful that my lovely wife, Shirley understands this wanderlust, encouraging me to go for it. One day we hope to visit New Zealand together but for now I have a date with the moai - all I have to do is click the keys on this keyboard and the tickets will be booked.

9 comments:

  1. What an absolutely crazy and yet absolutely marvelous idea!

    I have blogger's envy now. The most exotic place I have ever visited was Victoria, British Columbia, in Canada.

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  2. Wow! I'm impressed. I always thought I wanted to travel, but as much as I like to dream, I really like to read about adventures more than have them. YP, I am genuinely thrilled when someone like you dreams, plans, and then makes the vision a reality.

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  3. The photographs you'll take! What an adventure you'll have! Do the stone heads talk?

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  4. You'd certainly be making a major contribution to the next manmade environmental disater (pleasing symmetry don't you think). Go to South Wales - the weather's lovely and the people so friendly.....

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  5. Just do it, YP! If you need inspiration, look at Natalie's post on Cafe Europa called "Ralph Potts is my Hero." As much as I don't like the idea of her moving to Europe, I understand why she needs to do it. And it's the same reason you should go to Easter Island.

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  6. Let me know what it's like as we're determined to visit one of the Pacific islands on the way to South America via Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Oz and NZ.

    You could also keep going west over the date line and visit us you know.

    It's a lot cheaper than you think- we have just bought a 'round the world trip' for £1500 each to travel back to Bangers from the UK in the summer via Jamaica, San Francisco, Hawaii and Japan- we also get the flight home at the end of our contract (via other countries like India etc if we wish)in July 2011.

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  7. Deirdre5:33 am

    OOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh....CAN I COME CAN I COME CAN I COME? ALLLLLWAYS wanted do that trip....but guess I wont fit in your kit bag....look forward to all you posts and pictures though.....

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  8. Yorkshire Pudding7:24 am

    RHYMES When I first read about Easter Island years ago I could as well have been reading about the Planet Neptune such were the chances of me ever going there.
    SAINT FARIDA In the course of time, I will try hard to reflect my experience with words and photos that can give you a vicarious sense of what it was like. Thanks for your encouragement.
    MOPSA I think the stone heads only talk in your dreams or when you have had one too many in The Rapa Nui Arms!
    DAVID Good point - the symmetry issue I mean and I admit I am guilty. My carbon footprint is already as big as a minor volcanic crater...but to tell you the truth David, I couldn't get quite as excited about South Wales - especially in October.
    SAM Thanks for your encouragement. We are of a similar age and our sense of time passing is also similar. You're right - I gotta go.
    BOOTH (FOUNDER OF SALLY ARMY) - Pacific Islands to visit... well it depends on how far off the beaten air routes you'd be prepared to go. The Cook Islands would be brilliant for you or perhaps Western Samoa... Just to be talking about such trips is literally fabulous.
    DEIRDRE Quote -"OOOOOOOOOOhhhhhhhhh....CAN I COME CAN I COME CAN I COME?" Yes madam you may but regarding the trip to Easter Island I think the customs people would spot you!

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  9. My carbon footprint's tiny compared to many people's and I'm sorry to say that I hope to make it bigger pronto. Your Easter Island trip sounds great and I hope you go for it. I'm still rather excited by a day out just about anywhere, except possibly Normanton.

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