Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Shopping and dinner – last night on the island.

Our final day and we need to spend some time shopping. We need gifts for the family who is taking care of Winston and also some mementos for ourselves. Besides the municipal artisan fair in town, there are also numerous other smaller stores, some a little chintzy with cheaply made moai statues, birdmen figurines and other classic styles of the island, some stores were more upscale with beautiful but expensive moai carved from semi precious rock primarily lapis lazuli which is mined in Chile and a variety of quartz. Some were tiny while others were carved from large chunks and stood a foot tall or more. There was also the ubiquitous number of T-shirt and island clothing stores and even a small boutique called Colette’s. One of Tom’s sisters is named Colette and laughingly we took a photograph to send to her. She loves to shop. After a couple of hours, we had purchased shirts for Jaime and his son and earrings for Isabella and their daughter. Winston’s caregivers will be happy. We also purchased shirts for the family to take home with us when we return for a vacation in a couple of weeks. And then there was us. Tom bought several shirts for himself and I found a beautiful carved wooden bowl. And then there is the moai. At the first store we had purchased two small lapis statues, one for us and one for a gift. At the artisan fair where I purchased the bowl, Tom saw a second carved lapis moai, standing about 6 inches tall. Had to have it. The final store we went to had a fabulous carved Lapis moai, this one about 12 inches tall and quite expensive. Had to have it. Yes, I now have a perfect ahu of my own with three gorgeous Lapis Lazuli moai. The credit card got a lot of use but we are happy with our permanent reminders of Easter Island. Returning to the hotel we began our packing, one bag holding the gifts, snorkeling gear and some of our clothes. Our plan is to have an early dinner because we have reserved tickets for a dance show for tonight. There are three island dance groups in town with ne Kari Kari being the longest running and most well known. However with suggestions from Belem at the hotel, we decided on the dance troupe Vai Te Mihi which she strongly recommended. She may have been a little biased since she also works with this particular show but we were willing to try it. As we were making the reservations, Mark wandered up and since he also has not seen a show yet also decided to book with us. Belem also recommended purchasing the medium priced tickets. She told us the most expensive was the first row but it was really close to the stage and you are looking up the whole time. The medium priced are rows 2 and 3 and she would make sure we had good seats in that section. Deal done! For our final dinner we have chosen a small family restaurant, close to the hotel but on a side street off the beaten track. Here they have outside wood ovens and a fire over which they cook whichever fish they have caught that day. There is no menu; you simply eat what is available that day. When we arrived there were three varieties of fish. While I am not sure of the names, one looked like a cod, one flat fish like a sole or flounder and the other a sea bass. As they were laid over the fire on a bed of banana leaves, the owner tended to a wood oven to prepare some bread and cook the potatoes and vegetables that would accompany our meal. That taken care of he went inside to make us our pisco sours. It is a beautiful evening, still quite light and we walk around their garden as we sip on our drinks. In the meantime, his wife is setting up our table on the deck overlooking the ocean. The garden is well taken care of and whilst there are plenty of gorgeous exotic plants and flowers, there is also a large area dedicated to growing a variety of herbs and vegetables for both the restaurant and presumably their own use. We also wander over to the fire to check on our dinner, especially when they remove the leaves to check on the cooking. The aroma of fish and herbs sweeps through the air and we sniff in anticipation. More wood is added both to the fire and the oven and we chat with the owners as we wait. We are told another 15 minutes or so. Finishing our pisco sours, I order a glass of wine and Tom a beer and we settle at our table to eat the salad that has been set down along with freshly baked, hot bread. We are the only customers and feel quite at home. The fish along with a big pot filled with potatoes and vegetables was then brought over. With the three whole fish laid out on a platter, it is quite a feast and we are hungry. During the meal, the sun sets in a blazing red ball over the horizon. Our final sunset on the island and this was a great place to watch it. Gushing appreciatively over the meal, we ask the owner to call us a taxi to take us to the show. “Taxi” he said. “No, I will drive you. You are our guests”. We thank him and his wife profusely and decide if the remainder of the evening is half as good, it will have been a fabulous way to spend our last night here.

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