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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The motorcycle diaries

Easter Island was AMAZING. I absolutely loved it (or maybe I just loved staying in the same hostel for three nights straight!!!) The island itself is captivating. We arrived on Saturday and found a great hostel with our own room, a kitchen for us to use and great hosts for only about $15 night (each). I know...a little pricy, but it was well worth it. We wandered around on foot, checked out the local mini marts and saw some of the famous moai. The island was warm and had some of the bluest ocean I have ever seen crashing against a coast. On Sunday we rented a scooter and covered most of the island. It was a little yello yamaha...which I kept calling a Vespa, and Rahima kept correcting me. The first few places wouldn't rent to us without a motorcycle license, and in retrospect, I see why. But of course, we persisted and with a 2 minute lesson on driving a scooter, the guy took our $30 and let us go...up to our own devices I guess. Luckily (or unluckily) I was the driver for the first part of our journey. We meandered along, on paved roads, stoping to gaze at the moai, fallen or standing, in their serene beauty. Rahima took over for a while, and we continued on our merry way. Then, we took a little more of an adventurous road (much like dirt biking on a vespa) which was quite the adventure. Rahima decided that I was going to drive on dirt, if we were going to live. I don't know how (or why) she trusted me so much, but I am grateful she did. We were the two most inept people ever put on a scooter, that is for sure! (Alex, you can laugh now, knowing that your 10 year old can ride better than I can....but I guess we knew that before! Devin, I want lessons when I get back!) At one point (convinced we were going to die, but there was no way back) we stopped and seriously, a rainbow came out of the sky to our left. We took this as a good sign, and then a few minutes later a herd of wild horses ran by us on our right, cantering along beside us. We took this as another good sign and were able to make it back to town...alive.
The next morning, sore butt and all from the rough terrain and managing a scooter along it, we decided to rent bikes and bike the length of the island. Whose brilliant idea was that? Of course, poor planning and not doing the full conversion of kms to miles led us on an 8 hour jaunt, 51km in total, or 34 miles. For someone who does not bike (aka ME) it almost killed me. For someone who does bike )aka Rahima) it was "fun". After I was almost attacked by a hawk (for apparently riding by his nest too slowly (I am NOT joking here) I wanted to lay down and die. Right there. On Easter Island. Really...how do you bikers do it??? (COLIN??? JESSE??? KEVIN???) You are all crazy. I literally got back to the hostel at 8pm, took a shower, craweled into bed and fell asleep. I was THAT tired. It was still light outside. But seriously...can I really complain? :)
So today we arrived in Santiago, just got to a great hostel, and went out for beer and empanadas at about 11pm. This place is great. Feels so safe, friendly people, good times. Did I mention how much I love Latin America?
Well, I miss you all and will try to post more pictures soon. Besos.

p.s. Notice that I have now officially been to 8% of the countries in the world! Yipee!!!


lipner said...

glad to hear you survived the motorbike experience. remind me to warn you prior to going to greece, france, or bali and attempting to ride a "vespa" there.

Joseph said...

Hawk attack? Hmm....karma?

Alex said...

When i paint the mental picture of you two riding that "Vespa", i cant help but thinking you guys looked like Jim "Annette" Carrey and Jeff "Sarah" Daniels in the movie Dumb and Dumber, the only things you were missing was a briefcase and some really cold weather.LOL There's a slight difference between Motorcycle Diaries and Dumd and Dumber... In Moto Diaries they at least knew how to ride a "Vespa". :) Sounds like you are having a blast. I Miss you and cant wait to see you again.
Love Alex
P.S. Devin said he will be happy to give you lessons when you get home.

Shelly said...

Ahh a scooter adventure. I bet this won't be the last time we read about you and Rehima on a two wheeler.

Jamison is wonderin if you're going to hit up Valparaiso while in Chile? Since we'll be going to Valparaiso, IN next week.

I understand about the hawk, I once had a bird land on my head and peck at it for standing to close to its nest.

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