A disgruntled librarian packs it up and leaves fabulous New York City behind,
going on random adventures through South America,
while simultaneously promoting literacy
and spreading the love of the written word.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Honeymoon adventures part 3: more than just heads

(subject headings: "honeymoon," "easter island," "excursions," "big holes")

There are three main tours you can take on the island, which leads me to wonder ... Are there three seperate tours worth of sights on the island, or have they strategically divided the three main interesting sights into three different tours that are then pumped up with filler activities so that you have to do all three tours if you want to see the three interesting things? I believe it is the latter.

the bolshevik in front of una vetana
So after having done one full-day tour, which was very good, we decided to go it alone and we rented a car for the day. Turns out those other two tours are unnecessary if you're willing to do some daring feats without supervision. First, we explored some random caves without flashlights. Tour guides have flashlights. We don't need no sticking flashlights! (this is my ego talking, we really could've used some flashlights)

The first cave was called "dos ventanas" which means two windows. We had no idea what this meant as far as caving goes, but nevertheless we entered a big whole in the ground without any equipment or knowledge about what was inside. Sometimes I'm amazed we don't get injured more. Anyway, I used the flash of my camera to guide us through the dark, which gave a sort of jolting strobe light effect. Seizure sufferers would not have been happy. And after banging around in the dark for a while, we reach a fork in the cave and randomly choose one direction. Then we see light up ahead and we realize that the cave ends in the center of a cliff with a huge drop into the rocky ocean. Cool! And totally dangerous! This must be one of the "dos ventanas.". We explore the other fork and it is a second, equally cool, drop off into the ocean. We took a gazillion pictures, but it's not easy to capture it.

The second cave we explored was quite long, maybe a 15 minute walk through the dark. It was here that my camera battery died. Apparently, using your camera as a flashlight really uses up the battery very quickly. Luckily, we we able to find our way to a hole where you could climb out. Not sure how well we would have retraced our steps. And then of course once we were back outside we had to figure out where we were and where we had left the car.

But I think one of the most impressive things we saw was the giant crater. We were going to skip the crater entirely after we had been shown a rather inferior crater on our tour that really just looked like a lake. But we saw a picture of this superior crater in the tourist office, and thought it looked worthwhile.
 


Obviously Easter Island has the head thing going for it, but they really need to start marketing this crater! It was phenomenal! I have never seen anything like it, and I have seen a fair amount of stuff. The sides of the crater were crazy steep, and there were all these cows hanging around as though grazing by an enormous crater is totally normal for them, which I guess it is. Also, the crater is right by the ocean, which is odd because the meteor or whatever that caused it was only a few feet from breaking right through to the ocean, and then there would be no crater. Actually, you could see two coasts of the island from the crater, so it really was a very precise hit on the meteor's part.
honeymoon!

After taking about a hundred pictures of the crater, we were satisfied that we had seen all the sights of the island, and did not need to employ the help of any guides.

So what do we learn from this?
1. Easter Island = more than just heads.
2. Tour guides = often unnecessary.
3. Flashlights = good to have with you.

Honeymoon adventures part 2: here a head, there a head ...

(subject headings: "honeymoon," "easter island," "excursions," "making up stuff," "big headed statues")
these heads are all located in a quarry where they believe
most of the statues were carved.  they carved the statues
laying down, and then somehow moved them to other
parts of the island.  no one is sure how they were moved.
a researched dug one these head up and found that the
entire body was still intact below,
but then they re-buried them.


This is a small island, and there are a lot of heads on it. Not just heads though, there are full statues too. In fact, there is only one area that is just heads. we found out that actually those statues do have full bodies they've just been slowly buried over the years by the mountain eroding.

I would like to say that I've learned many things about the origins of these statues ... But I haven't. 

As usual I have only half listened to our tour guide and will therefore pass on half truths and conjecture and pretend it is fact. And who are you to question it? Have you been to Easter Island? Yeah, I didn't think so.
So you'll just have to believe whatever I say. I am a librarian after all, a credible source of information. Ironic, no?








these 15 moai statues were reconstructed after a
tsunami.  large japanese cranes were brought in
to move them.  some of them had been dragged
miles away from their original site.  also, one of these
statues went "on tour" and was in times square!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

honeymoon adventures part 1: business class travelers

(subject headings: "business class," "easter island," "honeymoon")

we are classy ... business classy! so for a long time the only thing I knew about our honeymoon were the following clues ...
 1. there are beaches, and people could relax near these beaches even though the weather itself would not be "beachy."
 2. the destination is remote, and while there are activities and things to see, it is not inundated with activities.
 3. the flight is long and would require business class (maybe require is a strong word, but a business class flight would be "worth it")

so I wondered ... how long can you make it at an airport without seeing evidence of where you are going? can you make it all the way to the gate? can you get to the gate and then not look at the little sign saying the time and destination of your flight? can you put your hands over your ears and go "la la la la ...i'm not listening!" while flight attendants announce that you are on the flight to ...... please listen closely as we explain the various safety features of the flight? because I threatened the bolshevik with this.

but it didn't get to that, luckily as it may have resulted in me getting kicked off the plane... the proverbial jig was up at check-in. the bolshevik, a notorious mumbler, was using hushed tones to tell the man at the counter where we were going, while I stood several feet away pretending to fuss with the luggage, but not so much so as to arouse suspicion. it's a delicate balance.

and that's when I heard it, the man behind the counter finally deciphering the bolshevik's whispers, "oh, you mean Easter Island!"

so there you have it, it's difficult to get beyond check-in without finding out where you're going.

and then I remembered that someone at the wedding had told me we were going to Easter Island, but in the wedding haze of excitement I had forgotten immediately.

moving on ... once we got past security we were able to go in a VIP lounge for business classy people. we're special! the VIP lounge was amazing! there was a buffet, and a fancy orange juice squeezer, and an OPEN BAR! all free! and there were newspapers and a TV and a nap room and fancy arm chairs ... oh it incredible. our flight was supposed to leave at 1am, and it was delayed an hour, but I didn't even mind because the business lounge was so lovely.

when we got on the plane not one but two flight attendents introduced themselves to us and explained that they were there to help us. then they brought us champagne so we could sip it while the steerage passengers walked by. you need to put those people in their place quickly.

after takeoff we reclined our seats into beds and quickly fell asleep. Then one of our flight attendents woke us up to tell us how important eating dinner is, it's a long flight after all and we'll need our strength in the morning. so we selected wine from a wine list and got warm rolls and breadsticks, and then a large adult-sized meal with dessert.

and then we were so full that we reclined our seats into beds, pulled up our cozy comforters and fell faaaaast asleep.

I'm ruined now ... I don't know how I'll ever fly with the commoners again.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

could we start again please?

(subject headings: "animal encounters," "food we have eaten," "Peru," "the Bolshevik")

as you may have noticed, i have not blogged in some time.  i had all these delusions that i would write a whole bunch of posts about malaysia, and that i would be able to catch up before the next adventure began.  this of course did not happen.

then my computer crashed and refused to open iPhoto ever again.  but it is unfair to blame my old computer.

so here is an extremely brief recap to get you up to speed ...

1.  malaysia was awesome.  the food is delicious, and if for no other reason i highly recommend going there just so you can eat.  we also saw a whole load of asian temples, and i fulfilled my dream of being attacked by monkeys.  it looked something like this:
















2.  while in malaysia, sampling the most incredible food imaginable, the bolshevik finally proposed to me.  after carrying around an engagement ring for over two months, spanning several continents, on the 3rd to last day of our trip he asked me to marry him.  it looked something like this:

(dramatization)

















3.  then in the following seven months i worked as an ESL teacher, went to an international job fair, secured a librarian job in Peru, finished my school media certification, finished my novel, captained a competitive jump rope team (we placed 3rd in the Punk Rope Games!), helped start a union, and planned what i am told was a pretty awesome wedding.  the wedding looked something like this:

















and that's what has happened since i stopped blogging back in november.  so we can just start from there, right?  cool.

so now the bolshevik and i are in a hotel room in Lima ... we just arrived last night and very soon someone will be picking us up and taking us to our apartment.  (the school found us what appears to be an incredible apartment).  then tonight the bolshevik is whisking me away to a secret honeymoon location.  you know how bolsheviks like to whisk people away.

i'm going to see how long i can go before i figure out where we're going.  i am wondering if it's possible to actually board the plane and still not know our destination.  we'll see.

to be continued ... (in a reasonably punctual fashion, i swear)