Easter Island Is Cursed!

Traveling to distant countries can occasionally lead to a few minor injuries: a toe stubbed on a rock, a sprained ankle, or a bit of food poisoning. Easter Island, however, smacked us around like rag dolls.

On our second day, I agreed to go horseback riding with Robin, and the outing turned into a 4-hour trek up the island’s largest extinct volcano. The hard, padding-free saddle and my complete lack of technique led to some major chaffing and lost skin. Even Robin was sore from the ride.

The following morning, I went swimming and managed to step on a really sharp rock that took a chunk out of my right foot.

But the grand finale was a perfectly-executed, synchronized double dive into a Rapa Nui gutter. As we left the island’s Film Festival, we walked down the darkened street on what we believed to be the sidewalk. It turned out to be a “covered” gutter, and by “covered” I mean “a partially capped 3-foot-deep gutter with giant holes in the top”:

Ultra-safe Rapa Nui "sidewalk"

Ultra-safe Rapa Nui "sidewalk".

We walked a few steps on a long segment of gutter topper, paused a few seconds to figure out if we were going the right way, and then both stepped forward into thin air. To bystanders, it must have looked like a Roadrunner & Wile E. Coyote cartoon. We both skinned our shins, and Robin scraped up both of her hands.

Us, stepping off the "sidewalk"

Us, stepping off the "sidewalk".

Given all the injuries, would I go there again? ABSOLUTELY!! Easter Island was so unique and so fascinating that I’d gladly scrape a little more skin off my legs to see it. Luckily we didn’t lose any teeth or vital organs, nor did we break anything (I was carrying my laptop when I fell), so the story has a [relatively] happy ending.

Would you trade a little bit of pain & blood for a view like this?

Really original, Pierre!

Yeah, like no one's ever taken a picture like this, eh?


  1. Ed
    May 4, 2011

    You didn’t bring those little LED headlamp thingies? I’m making a note of that…!

  2. Pierre
    May 7, 2011

    Yes we did, but we weren’t wearing them. It was light out when we went to the film festival, but pitch black when we got out. There are also no streetlights in the town, so we couldn’t see anything on our way home. We should have planned ahead, obviously…

  3. Troy
    May 7, 2011

    Happy Birthday Pierre!

    Enjoying your stories. Sounds like you & Robin came to the same conclusion as Yimei & I about Chile vs. Argentina (or at least BsAS…)

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your South American journey!

  4. Tina G.
    May 20, 2020

    I had to comment specifically for the drain ditches. I was stationed in South Korea with the U.S. Army and we had those some ditches on base. I’ve seen soldier who were new to the area fall in them. Moreover, the cement plates that cover the ditch (partially cover the ditch) are not always secure which increases the imminent danger. Your post gave me a flashback and a little chuckle.


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