Archive for September, 2009

Day 10 – 9/11 – Travel Day

Friday, September 11th, 2009

I was really concerned whether or not Alice could survive the 9 1/2 hour flight to Dallas, but by 1AM I was feeling nauseated myself.  I don’t know if it was due to anxiety, lack of sleep, dehydration, motion sickness, or food poisoning.  I was becoming less concerned about Alice and began wondering whether or not I could survive the flight home myself.  I tried my best to sleep, but nausea and turbulence made that very difficult.  We touched down in Dallas at 5:40AM, but weren’t allowed to get off the plane until customs opened at 6AM.  Our connecting flight to San Jose was scheduled to depart at 7:15AM, so there wasn’t much time to collect our bags, go through customs, re-checkin our bags, and transit from one terminal to another.  At this point, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to step on another plane since I was still feeling sick.  Missing our connecting flight wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world.  But, nope, we made it to the gate during final boarding.  We were the last ones to board, but we made it.  So, I had four more hours of torture to endure.  When we finally got home, I was so glad to be able to finally lie down somewhere. 

 Worst trip ever!  But hey, it was very memorable. 

Day 9 – 9/10 – Santiago

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

I woke up early this morning and had breakfast by myself.  Like most mornings, I had some juice, toast, ham, and cheese.  After breakfast, I stopped by the front desk to see if I could get a late checkout or rent the room for half a day.  Our flight wasn’t until 9PM, so Alice wanted to rest in the hotel room for as long as possible.  3PM was the latest checkout we could get, so that would have to do.  We checked out of our room at 3PM but still had 3 hours to kill before our scheduled 6PM pickup for the airport.  Good thing the hotel had a media room where we could hangout for a few hours before departing for the airport.  While Alice rested, I ran over to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of gatorade for her. 

Our taxi picked us up at 6PM, but I think the twenty minute ride to the airport made Alice’s nausea worse.  I don’t know how she’s going to survive the 9 1/2 hour flight to Dallas.  Alice wound up puking while we were in line to check in our bags.  One of the airline workers saw this and recommended us not to take this flight.  But Alice really wanted to go home, so there was nothing they could do to stop us.  Airport security did confiscate our bottle of gatorade though.  Darn TSA regulations. 

Day 8 – 9/9 – Santiago

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Today was not a good day. The weather was absolutely beautiful, but Alice woke up with food poisoning. All the good things I had to say about Del Cocinero….I take it back! Atleast that’s whom I’m blaming, even though I sampled all that she had to eat and didn’t get sick. Alice tried to sleep it off, but she didn’t seem to be getting any better by noontime. We called for a doctor to come to our hotel room, and after an examination, he diagnosed it as a gastrointestinal bug. The doctor prescribed her bunch of medication for the next four days. The cost for the doctor’s visit and the medication was under $200. I wonder what the cost would be for a doctor to visit you at your home back in the US without insurance coverage. Hopefully Alice will feel well enough to go home tomorrow. I don’t think we want to stay another day even though we never got to explore the city of Santiago.

I had an empanada carne from the supermarket for lunch. Yuck! It tasted nothing like the one on Easter Island. For dinner, I ate at the hotel restaurant by myself. I don’t know how some people do it. Meals just aren’t enjoyable by yourself. I had another chirimoya to drink and saved the straw for Alice. She’s on a liquid diet and wanted the straw for her gatorade. I ordered the seafood pizza for dinner. It was a thin crust pizza with shrimp, olives, scallops, cheese, and oregano. It was okay. But like I was saying earlier, meals just aren’t enjoyable by yourself.

Day 7 – 9/8 – Travel Day

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

With a five hour flight and losing two hours due to the time zone difference, most of the day was spent travelling from Easter Island back to Santiago. Our flight was scheduled to depart at 1:00PM, but due to heavy rain, our flight was delayed by an hour. We got into Santiago pretty late and didn’t have dinner until 9:30PM. Instead of eating at the hotel restaurant again, we decided to try the a place three doors to the left of the hotel.

We ate at Del Cocinero. Feeling adventurous again, I had the Jugo Chirimoya to drink. It was a white colored juice that didn’t have a very strong taste to it. It was kind of like a very light milk. For dinner, Alice and I split an appetizer of pesto clams. Alice had chicken stuffed with asparagus on top of advocado risotto. I had the Charlotte lambs with thin slices of eggplant. All the dishes were very good, and the wait staff was extremely attentive. It was among the better places that we haved dines while on this vacation.

Day 6 – 9/7 – Easter Island

Monday, September 7th, 2009

We have another half-day tour today, but this time it’s in the morning. We had breakfast at 8:30AM and waited for our tour guide to arrive at 9:30AM. It’s overcast today, but so far no rain. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the weather will hold up.

We booked a private tour for today with the same tour company. Since, we weren’t able to go to Orongo yesterday, our tour guide/driver Maria will take us there as well as Ahu Akivi, our original planned destination.

Our first stop was a scenic point on the road to Orongo. From this vantage point, you can see the entire city of Hanga Roa. Thirty years ago, you would’ve only been able to see five houses, but the city has grown tremendously since. There are hundreds of houses now.

Our second stop was at Orongo, a crater created by volcanic activity over 2.5 million years ago. It is now filled with water and serves as the island’s source of fresh water. Off the coast is a tiny island where the sooty stern used to nest. That is the island where young Rapa Nui men would have to compete to find the first egg laid by the sooty stern each season. On top of the crater, where we stood, there were 53 “houses” where the people of high society would stay during the competition. The houses are really just bedrooms, since the Rapa Nui people only go indoors to sleep.

Our third stop was at Ahu Akivi, our original planned location. On this platform stands seven moais unlike any other moais; these seven actually face the sea. It is believed that these moais represent the seven explorers that King Hotu Matu had sent to find a new land to inhabit. So they face the sea to remind the people from where they originally came.

Our final stop was to see the three platforms at Tahai. They were just like any other platforms with moais. But nearby, there was the remains of a “boathouse.” The Rapa Nui people were excellent shipbuilders, so when it came to building houses, they would use the same technique as their canoes. The perimeter of the house would be long and eliptical (in the shape of a canoe).

After our tour, Maria dropped us off at an emparada stand in town. Emparadas are pastries filled with meat. Alice had the steak emparada, and I had the tuna emparada. They were actually quite delicious.

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping, snacking on ice cream, souvenir shopping, and walking around town. We had dinner at Au Bout Du Monde. I had tuna in a green curry sauce, and Alice had a beef filet gratin. Both dishes were very good. Alice said that it was the best meal she’s had on this trip.