Island Hopping – Easter Island

Each of us has our own “bucket list” of places we want to visit.  The top of Library manager Helen’s was Easter Island.  However, it is the  most remote inhabited island in the world, being over 3000km from Chile (the ‘closest’ mainland) so travelling there takes some planning.

Helen Easter Island statues2Helen says: I had wanted to visit for over twenty years to see the monolithic human carved moai for which the island is famous.  Strangely enough, my desire came from when I started working in a public library, from shelving a book on Easter Island.  I was intrigued by the images of the moai on the cover. The book was borrowed, and I marvelled at the statues, and from then wanted to see them in person. 

When Helen’s partner suggested travelling to South America for a holiday, the deal was if that was the destination, then Easter Island was on the list!

Our first stop in research was the travel section of the Library, borrowing a number of the books on South America to refine our trip.  One suggested catching a bus over the Andes Mountains to Santiago,  the best way to see the Andes up close – in the comfort of a modern two story bus.  This was added to our itinerary.  We also jumped on-line to get great suggestions on accommodation options and read reviews through Trip Advisor

Organising a flight to Easter Island from Santiago is easy, but the downside is the flight is 5 hours and requires an early morning start of 5am.  Despite this, it was truly worth the journey. The Island is inhabited by less than 6000 people and the main economy of the island is tourism.  There is one town Hanga Roa, which is close to the airport – walking distance even! 

???????????????????????????????There is great food to be had on Easter Island,  especially seafood.
In the mornings, you can see the fisherman selling the fish caught that day to the locals, along with locally grown vegetables, fruit and meat.  If your accommodation doesn’t enable you to cook, the restaurants in town are many and varied.  There are a few good patisseries which feature great cakes and doughnuts (filled with dulcha de leche), but they also specialise in empanadas.  These are very popular especially with the locals. 

The primary reason for visiting Easter Island is of course the famous Moai stautues around the island.  Helen explains to tour options: There are a couple of options, you can arrange a tour with local tour companies where you get a flavour for the history, or you can hire a car and visit any site at your own pace.  Bikes are available for hire – but word of warning, if this is your preference ensure the gears can change and you have a basic puncture repair kit as you don’t want to be stuck a long way from the town with walking as your only solution.

Helen Easter Island statuesThe statues themselves are truly a marvel.   The best site to visit for the statues on the whole island is Rano Raraku, where they were carved from the side of the volcano.  At first the site appears as if the statues were left where they had fallen over, or still in the process of being created.  The closer you get the side of the volcano you can see outlines of a variety of statues which were in the process of being created.  Just ensure you have good walking shoes!

It definitely sounds like Easter Island is a great place to visit. If this has sparked interest for you, start your research on Easter Island today!

Travellers abound at Tea Tree Gully

With Winter now really behind us, it’s been interesting to hear some of the travel stories from our staff who choose to escape the cold for a few weeks for warmer climates.

Hp-Theme-Park-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-13691411-600-450Sonya, no rookie when it comes to overseas travel, has visited six of the seven continents on this planet. On a recent US visit she visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, open now for four years. She says: I just went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  It’s at Universal Studios, Orlando Florida.  There’s a miniature sized snow topped Hogsmeade Village with all the favourite Harry Potter characters. The centrepiece is Hogwarts Castle and inside is a great simulator ride that has you on a roller coaster adventure with Harry, Ron and Hermione.  As you roam the village you can have lunch, (a hearty English fare) at the 3 Broomsticks,  and tuck in to some yummy butterbeer!  Actors roam the streets in robes and perform small skits for visitors. 

We have loads of travel books on the US, and also some of the states including Florida. And of course we carry the entire Harry Potter saga by JK Rowling.

From the first world to the third, Chris talks about his unscheduled, yet life changing stop in the African village of Mpumba.

mpumba kidsSitting beside me on the old rickety mini bus late at night was a young local girl and her friend. Eventually I spoke up, and introduced myself. We discussed the usual – of where I had been and where I was going.  I could see they were not sure of my ability to continue alone, and so Pamela, the one sitting closest to me asked if I would prefer to stay at their house for the night, and make my way to the hostel in town tomorrow during daylight. Chris took the offer and followed them back through their village to their house. He was introduced to the family, who were tobacco farmers. He continues: After an hour, Pamela returned, she brought out an impressive dinner. She has spent the last hour over a fire cooking away to feed us all. We sat in a circle, sharing this food, and I could not help but smile. I was invited into a home, fed, given a bed and treated as a life long friend and I had only just met them a few hours before on a bus in the middle of Africa. My friendship grew with this family and I stayed and worked with them for many days. Whether it was fetching water, working to the tobacco farms, helping to cook, I was treated as a true brother. They truly shared the pure kindness of a human being.

You can read the full story of Chris’ African family here. Check out our full range of travel books and DVDs on the catalogue, you may find ideas for your next adventure!

Stay tuned for further adventures of our travelling staff.



Going on a holiday soon?

If you are, come and take a look at our collection of travel resources in Adult Non Fiction from 914 onwards. You’ll find all the popular travel guide books  from Lonely Planet, Fodors, Rough Guides and Frommers.

Travel area

Visiting London? - travel books and DVDs all in one spot

To make things easy and to provide a one stop travel shop, we’ve moved most of our travel DVDs, such as the Pilot Guides series and Rick Steves, from the general DVD shelves, to sit next to the books about the same destination in the Adult Non Fiction area.

Soon to be on the shelves!


We’ve also bought quite a few new DVDs to add to this collection, with more still to come. 

So when you’re planning your next trip, come and grab some guidebooks and DVDs to pick out the best places to visit before you go!