Mother’s Day Trip Report: My Mom’s Version of our Easter Island Trip

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For a special Mother’s Day trip report, I asked my mom to give me her impressions of our mother/son trip to Easter Island and here is her version of our incredible trip. I travel the world and have seen many amazing places, but getting to travel to one of the destinations at the top of my all-time travel wish list had to be one of my best travel experiences – she still is one of my favorite travel companions and I’m sure we’ll head to many more great places together. Happy Mother’s Day to all the other traveling moms out there!

Checking out the moai with mom - they even make me feel short!
Checking out the moai with mom – they even make me feel short!

Back in February when Brian called to say he had booked us a mother/son trip to Easter Island in May, I have to admit that I didn’t know exactly where Easter Island was (geography was never my best subject).  When I looked at a map and saw that it was a speck of an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I actually gulped.  I like travel as much as the next person, but the thought of flying for so many hours and landing in the middle of the ocean filled with me with a certain amount trepidation.

Of course, I had to put on a brave face and not let my  travel-loving son know that I was actually on the verge of a panic attack when I checked out Easter Island on Google Earth.  I decided that learning about the island would be my best course of action.  But, no, the description of “one of the most remote places on earth” and its nickname of the “belly button of the world” didn’t do much to assuage my anxiety.

There was no way I wasn’t going to get the most out of this once in a lifetime trip so I took deep breaths and just went with it. Of course it helped, that Brian told me he had booked us in business class the whole way!

Let the business class fun begin!
Let the business class fun begin!

Never having traveled in business class internationally, I was excited to try out LAN’s lie-flat beds and watch a movie while jetting across the ocean from NYC to Miami to Santiago and then Santiago to Easter Island the following day.

When we finally arrived, I found Easter Island to be exactly the opposite of what I thought.  Instead of a barren, windswept wilderness which I had read about in several books, it was actually kind of lush and it felt like we were in the Caribbean. The island is small, but there are a lot of exotic landscapes – volcanoes, rolling plains, and just magnificent scenery overall. The hotel we stayed at was in the main  town of Hanga Roa and we were able to walk to all of the restaurants and shops (all three blocks’ worth).

crater
Stopping for incredible views at the Rano Kau crater.

Several readers suggested we rent a car, and that was a great idea. There are only two main roads so you can’t get (too) lost and the Pacific coastline makes for a great drive.  Naturally, the main event was seeing the spectacular moai statues, and they did not disappoint.  It’s almost magical to stand in the quarry where the moai were made and see dozens of the stone statues, some falling over, some erect, and some where the entire body has sunk into the ground and only the head is exposed.

You can climb steps to the top of the quarry and see where the natives had started carving moai and for some unknown reason, probably around the year 1300, just walked away from the quarry leaving their tools and never finishing their work. It is one of the world’s great mysteries and incredible to see in person.

Getting a closer look at the moai.
Getting a closer look at the moai.

Apart from the archaeology and the landscapes, the trip was memorable for so many reasons.  It was funny to have individuals approach Brian on the island and tell him that they had booked the trip after reading his blog about the low fares on LAN. One very nice guy even bought us drinks so he could pick Brian’s brain for tips on using points!

People recognized him from his blog and knew that I was his mom, as they had been following his articles. It just reinforced what a small world it truly is becoming and how much more accessible even its remotest parts are to those who have an interest in travel.

I was also glad that my husband and I had encouraged Brian’s travel abroad studies in Spain because most of the people we met spoke Spanish and Brian, being fluent, was able to make all the arrangements. It was very nice to sit back and have everything  handled and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, if I do say so myself.

From trepidation to exhilaration, this trip was more than I could have hoped for and I am so thankful for the chance to travel to such an exotic place and spend some quality time with my son. I know that many other readers were able to take advantage of these deals and have either already traveled there or are planning to soon, and I hope your travels are as enriching as mine were. Although it was amazing to be able to travel to one of the farthest corners of the earth and see a place I never thought I’d ever get, the true highlight was being able to do so with my son. Happy Mother’s Day to all you other mothers out there and happy travels!

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