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Santiago to Easter Island
Craig and Steph's Horseback Ride in the Andes

(Stephanie Smith)
We woke up at 5:30 am, took showers, and were all checked out at 7. That was a shame since we would miss the breakfast in the lobby, but we figured we'd find something someplace at the airport. We left our big backpacks in storage at the hotel. There were plenty of belongings that we would not need on Easter Island: all of our heavy rain gear, long underwear, cold weather gear. None of that would be necessary, so we were able to leave quite a bit behind and take just what we'd need on Easter Island. We weren't sure what the money situation would be on Easter Island, so we changed some U.S. money at the hotel lobby. We couldn't change as much as we had planned, though, as it was early in the morning and the desk clerk hadn't received his money supply for the day. We figured this would be alright, though. We still had some U.S. cash and our ATM card was working fine.

At 7:15, our taxi showed up and drove us to the airport. It was a much more reasonable cab ride this time. No frills, no excitement, just a friendly drive to the airport. We got to the airport at 7:45 for our 9:45 flight. We thought we had plenty of time but we found ourselves in a massive line. Our flight was supposed to start boarding at 8:45. By 8:30 we were through security and with a little extra time.

At the gate we saw the Dunkin Donuts that had been closed the last time we flew out of here. It looked like we might finally get our Dunkies coffee. I stood in line while Craig got us some seats at the gate. I was in line for several minutes and all looked well. People in front of me were being served, etc. Then all of a sudden, the two employees turned the rest of the line away saying that they were closed. Just like that. Because they needed to restock the doughnuts on the shelves. Now, with two employees, you would think one could restock doughnuts while the other continues to serve customers. But this was apparently not the case. After coming so close to getting a coffee, I was determined and couldn't take no for an answer. I grabbed my boarding pass and headed out through security to go to the Dunkin Donuts outside the gate. All I wanted were two regular coffees and two muffins. Well, this Dunkin Donuts had no regular coffee. Matter of fact they had no coffee at all. I ordered two large coffees and was made two medium sized lattes. And of course the process was painstakingly slow. He needed to grind some more beans, go get another package of lids for the cups, etc. And there was just one muffin. I didn't recognize the Spanish name for it but it turned out to be cranberry. I bought it as well as a double chocolate doughnut. All the while I was looking at my watch, knowing that our flight was about to board. And it's not like there are any options if you miss a flight to Easter Island. You would be waiting for at least a day, maybe more, for the next plane. It was now just after 8:45 and the lattes were finally ready.

I grabbed the hot, non-insulated cups and ran through security with burning fingers. They were already starting to board, and we immediately got into line. For once we weren't at the back of the plane. We were in row 13, just 2 rows behind first class. We drank our coffees (I'm not a big fan of latte and it was a bit of a let-down) and we split the muffin and the doughnut while the flight was delayed for an hour. I guess the airline is good about making sure everyone that supposed to be on the flight makes the flight. We finally took off at around 10:25. To think that we had been in such a rush! By now Craig and I were already looking for more food and they came to our assistance quickly. Soon after taking off they served us a toasted ham and cheese sandwich, fruit, a roll, a muffin, apple juice, and coffee. There was no movie on the 4 hour 15 minute flight. This really surprised us since it was a full plane and even some of the short flights on Lan-Chile have had televisions. During the flight Craig and I read all the Easter Island material we had with us. He also read quite a bit of the Chile guide book but I started getting drowsy and just relaxed for most of the flight.

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