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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Dream Destination Diaries: Enchanting Easter Island …!

Easter Island. Just to be here, means pure magic. I decide to keep a travel diary for each day I spend on this fascinating island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A public diary, of course, sharing my thoughts & feelings with you here on my travel blog. As usual really, including lots of travel tips & inspiring photography, but also very personal. I am going to share with you what makes up this singular and somewhat peculiar spot on Earth. The culture, the history, the land, it is so unique and worthwhile. Coming to think of it, it still blows my mind.

 

“So how did you feel when you arrived on Easter Island?”, sweet local lady Tía Berta asks me only a few hours after landing on Rapa Nui. “Acogida”, I tell her and smile. Welcomed.

My first point of contact with this “terra incognita” is the warm subtropical wind that constantly blows here on latitude 27° South, blessing “Te Pito O Te Henua” to its mild, well-tempered Oceanic climate. “Te Pito O Te Henua“, Easter Island’s original name, literally translates into: “The Navel of the World”! And this is exactly how the first people, Polynesian seafarers who arrived on Easter Island some 1000 years ago, look at it today: A powerful place full of energy that allowed them to raise their impressive Moai statues together with a highly organized cultural society. Wow! These Moai keep fascinating me – and the rest of the world. “Think of the entire island as one gigantic open-air museum”, Maria of my accommodation, the charming Hotel y Cabañas Tea Nui, tells me. She has come to greet me & another couple from Santiago de Chile at Easter Island’s tiny little airport, located at the edge of an even smaller “capital city”, a village with about 5.000 citizens, a three kilometre runway – and dozens of Moai. “The Moai are everywhere, dotted all over the island”, Hernán now laughs with me. I have met this charming musician of the national Chilean Symphony Orchestra during my first walk on Easter Island; Hernán who together with 150 of his colleagues is about to perform in a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime free open air concert on Easter Island.. tonight!! I cannot believe how lucky I am. Hernán points towards the other end of the bay and continues to smile at me: “Over there, by the Moai. That is where we are going to play tonight. Just come on over and join us!” And joining you I will …

My trip to Easter Island starts with this visit of Santiago de Chile only a day earlier ...

My trip to Easter Island starts with this visit of Santiago de Chile only a day earlier …

 

... where I meet with charming local artist couple Nano Pulgar, of Walka Studio, who count among Chile’s most well-known contemporary jewellery artists (always tracing the creative locals of this world!).

… where I meet with charming local artist couple Nano Pulgar, of Walka Studio, who count among Chile’s most well-known contemporary jewellery artists (always tracing the creative locals of this world!).

 

Just a little later, after a five hours flight from Santiago de Chile, I set foot on Easter Island together with some 200 other passengers, who arrive here from all over the world – Chile & Europe mostly, that is.

Just a little later, after a five hours flight from Santiago de Chile, I set foot on Easter Island together with some 200 other passengers, who arrive here from all over the world – Chile & Europe mostly, that is.

 

“Mataveri” Airport is really tiny ...

“Mataveri” Airport is really tiny …

 

... as well as the island itself, displaying a triangular surface of about 12 x 17 x 24 kilometres on a volcanic bedrock rising well over 3.000 metres from the seafloor!

… as is the island itself, displaying a triangular surface of about 12 x 17 x 24 kilometres on a volcanic bedrock rising well over 3.000 metres from the seafloor!

 

The stormy welcome …

The stormy welcome …

 

… is balanced by the comfort of my Polynesian accommodation, the comfy Hotel y Cabañas Tea Nui.

… is balanced by the comfort of my Polynesian accommodation, the comfy Hotel y Cabañas Tea Nui.

 

Reading corner ...

Reading corner …

 

... and Santa Claus in the Tropics bid me welcome!

… and Santa Claus in the Tropics bid me welcome!

 

This thing about Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is something I have never fully understood. Just too bright & hot here for Christmas, if you ask me! “No cabe”, is what I keep repeating, laughing with the local people: “It just does not fit!” My first such encounter with the locals of Rapa Nui is with dear “Tía Berta”, who I have already mentioned before. Once more, I am conscious – and happy – that my fluent Spanish opens up doors, in this case to some of the first stories about Easter Island from a local point of view. Little by little, I keep “disarming” dear Tía Berta, who upon hearing my travel tales launches into a sermon of how much she enjoyed travelling in Europe – Austria, Switzerland & Mont Saint Michel in France, that is! She then goes on to reveal some of the lesser known stories about Easter Island, careful to mention the ruthless attitude of some of the nosy journalists that have visited her 😉 and does her best at reminding me that the “fascinating mystery of Easter Island” is not an easy story to tell. Quite the opposite really, from what I have gained from this first little introduction. But let me tell you more about that in the next “dream destination diaries”. For now, let us enjoy Easter Island’s food scene!

Fresh bananas grown in people’s yards …

Fresh bananas growing in people’s yards …

 

(or Rapa Nui ice cream?) …

(or Rapa Nui ice cream?) …

 

… all cannot beat the sweet taste of this freshly squeezed mango juice …

… all cannot beat the sweet taste of this freshly squeezed mango juice …

 

… or Tía Berta’s delightful empanadas made from corn flour and filled with tuna & coconut milk: My first gourmet travel tip here for you!

… or Tía Berta’s delightful empanadas made from corn flour and filled with tuna & coconut milk: My first gourmet travel tip here for you!

 

My plate is empty quickly, as much as my heart fills with warmth: Happy to be making my first friend with this lovely local lady here in Rapa Nui!

As my plate empties, my heart fills with warmth: Happy to be making first friends with this lovely local lady here in Rapa Nui!

 

The Chilean Symphony Orchestra performs together with local Rapa Nui musicians against the mighty backdrop of a tremendous sunset on Easter Island. Sound waves sweetly weave around the stoic stone sculptures of the ancient Moai, amplified only by the relentless waves pounding the coastline. A masterpiece unparalleled, both unique and ever so enthralling.

I am mesmerised. Completely. As if the magic of being on Easter Island was not enough, I am witnessing a concert that has never before taken place on planet Earth. The combination of musicians from the Chilean Symphony Orchester, performing together with those of the Fuerzas Armadas and supported by a local Rapa Nui pianist/singer duo, is tremendous, to say the least. Even for the very musicians themselves, who have come to perform in such an environment for the first time ever. Right by the mighty Moai. And in front of one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever watched in my whole life. I feel like having to burst with happiness !!!

My way over to the evening concert that lovely musician Hernán has just invited me like that is marked by “everyday life” views on Easter Island – Surfers & Moai that is …

My way over to the evening concert that lovely musician Hernán has just invited me like that is marked by “everyday life” views on Easter Island – Surfers & Moai that is …

 

… and what a presence the face of this spiritual leader of a people has. Wow.

… and what a presence the face of this spiritual leader of a people has. Wow.

 

Everywhere, signs ask visitors to look after this great “open-air museum” that is Easter Island, both spiritually and culturally …

Everywhere, signs ask visitors to look after this great “open-air museum” that is Easter Island, both spiritually and culturally …

 

Hernán takes it easy: This is what Chile’s most famous musicians look like right before their premiere on Easter Island …

Hernán takes it easy: This is what Chile’s most famous musicians look like right before their premiere on Easter Island …

 

… and this a look upon tonight’s location !!

… and this a look upon tonight’s location !!

 

Pure magic!

Pure magic!

 

And dedication. As well as passion … Love this picture of a musician taking a break, as if making love to the music …

And dedication. As well as passion … Love this picture of a musician taking a break, as if making love to the music …

 

… and here the conductor in a truly special moment, bathed in stunning sunset colours.

… and here the conductor in a truly special moment, bathed in stunning sunset colours.

 

This backdrop exerts its magic on all of us, musicians as well as spectators …

This backdrop exerts its magic on all of us, musicians as well as spectators …

 

… and honestly, who would not go quiet upon a view like this?

… and honestly, who would not go quiet upon a view like this?

 

Or this?

Or this?

 

Or this … ?

Or this … ?

 

Magic. Once more, I am completely hooked …

Magic. Once more, I am completely hooked …

 

… overwhelmed & flooded with delight of sharing and living such an extraordinary experience …

… overwhelmed & flooded with delight of sharing and living such an extraordinary experience …

 

Maururu Rapa Nui – Thank you so much, dear Easter Island, for so much love & energy within only a few hours of arriving!!!

Maururu Rapa Nui – Thank you so much, dear Easter Island, for so much love & energy within only a few hours of arriving!!!

 

For even more magic from Easter Island, head on over to my Flickr Photo Gallery here:

I have also written & published the following stories about Easter Island:

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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