Easter Island Ride Report

I chose to stay at a camp site on Easter Island for a couple of reasons. There’s privacy in a tent of your own for one; the stars would  be perfect and able to be appreciated only by camping for another but most importantly though, I figured the island would be so remote, camping would really be the best way to understand all it has to offer.

The whole island is a nature reserve and camping is sort of prohibited but regardless, highly recommended is Camping Mihinoa which provides a tent, sleeping bag and mattress for 6,500 Pesos (that’s < US$10). I picked a spot that’s sheltered from the sea winds by the ornamental rocks but which is smack in front of the ocean. Beautiful.

 

IMG_1128

I’ve read that Easter Island is expensive. Food in general is slightly pricier than the mainland. I bought my food from Santiago just in case so I lived off fresh produce (which is definitely pricier on the island) and some tinned items in my 5 days stay. Still, food isn’t as expensive as claimed – you’d get a restaurant meal for about what you’d pay in the US or Europe and the most expensive groceries you’ll buy is probably water for about $3 a bottle. You can drink tap water anyway (it tastes a tat metallic but it’s drinkable). Read the rest of this entry »

Hablo Español Un Poco PERO ENTIENDO (mas o menos)

There are some things you’ll never forget in life including, say that ‘Eureka’ moment when you first realised you can understand Language. I remember the exact moment I realised I can understand some Spanish. It was when, walking down the streets of Valencia, I was mistaken as a Thai prostitute. The first time you’re mistaken as a prostitute is also one of those moments in life you’ll never forget and that wasn’t the first time, just saying.

ANYWAY, for those of you not in the know, I’ve been meaning to learn Spanish since I was 13. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a ok now where was I?

Right, I never got to learning Spanish but I’ve picked up words from here and there so I do understand simple words and also how to order from a menu – I’m a polyglot when it comes to menus. This time though, I intend to learn proper grammar so I’ve brought along a book to travel with. For me, the Latin American pronunciation is way easier to follow but everyone speaks so fast. In my 2 days here, I think I actually understand more of what’s going on around me. For instance, I totally understood when

  • The lift attendant told me that the building is old so sometimes the lift doesn’t work. Like now (hahaha) so maybe we should call for help.
  • A guy in the lift chats with me about my unicycle and says that he has a giraffe and juggles (something like that).
  • This conversation happened:
    • Hawker: Ni hao!
    • Me: *smile and walk*
    • Hawker: Konnichiwa
    • Me: *smile and walk*
    • Hawker: Sawadeeka?
    • Me: *smile and walk*
    • Hawker: Uh que pais?
    • Me: Singapore.
    • Hawker: Oh. *silence probably cos wtf is Singapore???*
  • Because the stars align, I walk into some random circus in the outskirts of Santiago so of course I’d happen to have my unicycle. And I understood more or less what they’re saying but I don’t really know how to say anything.

So I left 🙁

IMG_1085

The circus didn’t have a unicycle apparently. Of course i’d save the day.

Santiago Fun

Johannesburg, South Africa

It’s quite a coincidence my earlier travel-related post was about Morocco and that I spent the last weekend watching Chappie (I’ll talk about the movie in a later post) because I found myself back in the continent again after my original flight got cancelled and my new route became Singapore – Johannesburg – Sao Paulo.

The cost of my original flight was roughly SG$1600 (That’s roughly US$1.1k) which is a really good price and of course I would jump at a chance to be rerouted to a Singapore Airlines flight if nothing else.

My new initial plan was to take the Gautrain out of the airport to Sandton, a short ride away so I could make it back in time for my 5 hour transit. My arrival time was a bit disadvantageous though – I’d arrive at 6am and I’d leave at 11, presumably when shops actually open so I was still a little torn about whether to leave the airport.

Thankfully for indecisive folk like me, the airport made our minds up. Before I knew it, I had my passport stamped for transit and I was in the waiting area for the next flight. Well, at least there are shops, right?

I tried to change US$10 to buy me a cup of coffee. The counter lady informs me that ‘the network is down’ which basically meant I can’t change money. Oh well, I wouldn’t be able to purchase train tickets.

Most of the shops in the terminal centered around a safari theme.

IMG_1015

I was told by a friend that I needed to get some biltong and droewors. I didn’t have money so that was out of the question. Read the rest of this entry »