I originally come from Lima, the capital of Peru, but happened to live in Brisbane and Canberra, Australia for a few years. Although I was a student at the time, I still managed return to my country a few times to visit my relatives . The usual way of travel then was with stops in Tahiti and Easter Island. Fascinated as I was with the statues after reading so much about them, I never stopped in Easter Island to have a look at them, as I was more concerned about getting to Lima as fast as I could.
That changed in 1990, when my husband needed to go to Chile for a couple of weeks to do some work. Instead of flying direct to Lima, like I used to do before, we flew from Easter Island to Santiago.
We travelled by bus to Rancagua and even went to the coast to visit Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. We then returned to Santiago and from there crossed the Andes to neighbouring Argentina, to visit some colleagues of my husband in Mendoza and Santa Fe.
After three fantastic weeks of travelling over snowy mountains and flat pampas, we returned to Santiago to fly back to Australia, via Easter Island and Tahiti. On arrival in the Mataveri Airport, we were surprised to find that our plane was met by a group of locals carrying banners, protesting about by Lan Chile prices, the airline that had brought us there. They took our passports away and barricaded the plane, so it could not leave the island.
Days went past and passengers called Australia to see what could be done, but we could only sit and watch a lonely plane flying overhead one morning. It was only then that we realized that we might be in paradise in the middle of the Pacific, but we had actually been high jacked!
The only thing we could do was visit the main volcano and walk around the island taking pictures of the mysterious gigantic statues, or moai. Some of the passengers even attended parties, with Polynesian music, being celebrated around the lonely Lan Chile airplane on the runway. After a week the locals reached an agreement with Lan Chile and we were allowed to go, but there were many tears, as passengers and locals embraced each other!
The other day a friend sent me an email about the eclipse over Easter Island in 2010 and that immediately brought back many memories, not only about our high jacking experience in 1990, when we were living in Australia, but also about our last eclipse ten years later, in the year 2000, when our home had changed to Austria.