An early start
17.09.2013 8 °C
Set the alarm for an early start, double checked by placing a wake up and set our watch alarm. The flight departs at 0915 and we needed to be at the airport at 0700. It was dark, the weather was cold, I didn't have a morning coffee and Mandy hadn't slept well. All in all not a promising start. The airport was crowded for a Saturday morning this early. The queue to check in was long and Mandy was already angry at me for dragging her along the check in lines trying to find the Business queue. It was a public holiday long weekend. Great.
Checked in and told that no lounge existed for National flights; we were told that Easter Island was considered to be international. Passed through security, found a coffee shop and had a god awful chicken sandwich.
No one spoke english, the coffee was shit and Mandy's linguistic skills were not so good. Things are still not looking positive.
Off to the check in counter and ready to board. Flight delayed. Next update at 3pm; it's only 8 am what the......oh its alright they have provided a breakfast for us and a lunch at the Gatsby Cafe. My last experience with the Gatsby was not good; I fell asleep after 30 minutes of the movie.
Things are definitely not looking up, the coffee is still shit. The banana is rotten and the buffet nearly all gone; not that I would have eaten that crap after the chicken sandwich. Finding the cafe was a challenge in itself based on the limited language level and Mandy's book of phrases. What's spanish for shit.
Should we take the $50 cab back to the hotel where we still have the option of a 4pm checkout or stay here at the airport. In fairness, I'm not complaining despite the previous words.....I would rather stay on the ground drinking shit coffee than trying to land on a small island with strong rain and high winds. It's just that hell, the airline was adament that we had to provide a telephone number, address and contact whilst in Chile. I must have missed their call this morning at 5am at the hotel. They must have tried to tell us the flight was going to be delayed..........because they needed our bloody number. We had been warned that LAN was good in the air but no so on the ground.
5pm finally arrives and we're told that the plane will leave at 7pm. Not so good on the updates, no screen announcements and the webcam on Easter Island doesn't look too bad but then again I'm not flying the plane.
Finally we're off at 7.30 and the flight is uneventful. 6 hours later we've landed on EI and thankful its dark because the runway is tiny. See a later photo.
Our bags arrived with us thankfully and after a short wait to collect them, paid our National Park entrance fee ($60 US each) we walked outside to be met by Christophe the owner of Cabana Christophe. It was still raining and windy but in his broken english he indicated that it had been worse all day. Maybe a good decision pilot.....
Christophe was very nice, presented us with a Lei and fussed over our bags into his ute. All part of the Polynesian welcome and style of people.
There are 3 flights into EI from Santiago and 1 from Tahiti each week, so it's an event for the locals. The island is so small everyone can hear the plane and knows whats happening. End of a very long day, its 2am again and we're finally off to bed to prepare for an early start tomorrow.