After a quick halt at the Intercontinental Tahiti (above), a 3am flight is the only option because Tahiti to Easter Island is not the busiest route in commercial aviation:
LATAM don’t have a lounge at Tahiti, only Air Tahiti Nui do. It’s in the Priority Pass network, so I could get in, except they close after their last flight, which is at midnight. So, 2 hours to wait for boarding in a shitty, hot, tiny island airport.
But joy, the last Air Tahiti flight is delayed, so they’re keeping the lounge open.
But no joy, the security and immigration controls are closed for LATAM passengers until 1 hour before the flight.
But joy, 5 minutes of relentless pestering and pretending not to understand them, and they give in and let me through, and I’m into the very quiet and air-conditioned lounge for a not bad selection of wines and sandwiches:
LATAM seating is not the best, and their food service is poor (and badly timed for a 3am flight) but all I’m going to do is sleep, and it’s good enough for that:
A very slow immigration process will leave you glad you were in business class because at 6th in the queue you’ll wait 30 minutes and the rest of the plane is behind you.
Then out into Rapa Nui, its indigenous name. A tiny spec of utterly unappealing ugliness miles from anywhere. Which also works as a caption for this photo of my hire car:
It’s a volcanic speck of shit in the middle of the Pacific and it makes you wonder why the hell you would choose to stay, especially in the wind and rain:
Take a drive to find some Moai, and even though it’s “closed”, it’s just a field so hop over the gate and try to keep camera and spectacle lenses free of rain for long enough to take some photos: