From Papeete to Ft Lauderdale Cruise

cicerone imposter
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 08:11 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Dec 28, EASTER ISLAND: Easter Island is the reason most people came on this cruise, and all three tours sold by the cruise line were sold out at $84 a pop. The bad news is that our tour of the island was for only 3.5 hours max.

In addition to the several mysteries surrounding Easter Island, it's also the most remote inhabited island on earth. It's 2300 miles west of South America, 2500 south-east of Tahiti, and its closest inhabited neighbors, Pitcairn Island, is 1260 miles away. It was first discovered by the Polynesians about 400 AD, and it is believed that the rock sculptures were made between the 4th and 5th centuries. They weigh from 40 to 50 tons each, and all came from the same quarry on the island.

Easter Island got its name because a Dutch explorer, Jacob Roggeveen, sighted and visited this island on Easter Sunday in 1772. It is now a territory of Chile, and we were able to visit without the $100 VISA to visit for the half day.

The people of Easter Island are called “rapa-nui.”

Our three hour “cultural” tour covered three sites, and was lead by a Chilean, Jose Letelier, who earned his degree in Architecture at UC Berkeley, and also lectured at Stanford. He was an excellent tour guide. All the roads outside the port village are unpaved and more than a little bit bumpy.

We drove up the hill for twenty minutes to our first site, ORONGO, a ceremonial village with 50 stone houses used only to sleep and get shelter from the heavy rains. They faced the sea, and their entrance faced away from the volcano (rano kau) near by which they considered to be evil and represented hell (fire). One long curved rock was used at the short entrance that kept the inside of the “room” dark to bop people on the head if they tried to enter uninvited.

Stone houses.



We then proceeded to the volcano a short distance away with water and vegetation settled on the bottom. As we approached the volcano, Jose told us about how the rapa nui people selected their king. During the bird's mating season, the men swam out to an island, Motu Nui, two miles away in shark infested, heavy current waters to fetch an egg and bring it back in a basket attached to their head. The first one to do so was declared king for one year. Jose also told us that the volcano was one mile wide, and the vegetation on the other side were trees and not bushes as they appeared to the naked eye. On the site are petroglyph's that resembles Roman numerals. Nobody has been able to translate them, because for the lack of a “Rosetta” stone.

A man must swim to this island and return with an egg first to become king for one year.

On our way to the second site, we stopped on a hillside to take pictures of the port village, Hanga Piko, and the 2.5 mile runway built by the US for shuttle landings, but it has never been used for that purpose " yet. Chileans do use it regularly for flights from and to Chile.

Port village with runway.

The second site, VINAPU, is a location with stone walls constructed in the same manner as the Incas where the stones fit perfectly from piece to piece in many different shapes and forms. We were told similar walls can also be found in Peru and China. The front of the walls look almost perfect, but the backside remains the original rough rock. On the site is also another mystery; there's a rock sculpture buried with only the head showing, and a “hat” sitting out in the open field some distance from the buried sculpture. The rock statues are called “moai,” and there are (at last count) about 877 of them. In addition to the rapa nui people destroying them during their many battles, the missionaries who arrived on their island saw them as idols, and had them destroyed. Jose told us about a Japanese team that made a cement sculpture weighing 20-tons to demonstrate how the rapa nui people were able to move the sculptures that weighs about 45-tons from the quarry to the many locations throughout the island. They essentially built a tent like structure with poles, and “rocked” the sculptures to the different locations on the island. Once they got the “hang of it,” they moved them with some speed.

The sign.

Rock walls.

The buried sculpture.

The last site on our tour was saved for the best, AHU AKIVI; seven rock statues, the only ones found inland and nine miles from the quarry. They line up perfectly with the equinox, and was used for the best seasons for planting and fishing based on a 28-day “month.”

The sign.

The seven disciples.

Another view.

The single one close to the pier.

Till tomorrow; we had four at sea days before arriving in San Martin, Peru.

Like other Easter Island sites the statues were found knocked off the ahu (base), lying face down in the ground. In 1960, American Archaeologist William Mulloy's team spent several months raising the statues to their original positions.

For this site, pictures speak louder than words ever can.

Tenders into Easter Island.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 16 Jan, 2009 11:50 pm
I reallyreallyreally want to see your photos, c.i. But none of them are coming through. Instead, your photo site is just repeatedly displaying a large photo of a blue-black cat with the caption: "yu haz no ackcess to dis fotoh. srsly."

Oh, the photo of the tenders to Easter Island DOES show, though. However you did that one, do it again!

Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 05:41 am
Ditto for Eva's reply.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 10:06 am
Eva wrote:

I reallyreallyreally want to see your photos, c.i. But none of them are coming through. Instead, your photo site is just repeatedly displaying a large photo of a blue-black cat with the caption: "yu haz no ackcess to dis fotoh. srsly."

Oh, the photo of the tenders to Easter Island DOES show, though. However you did that one, do it again!

You stored that at photo.com, c.i. .
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 11:41 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Sorry about the pictures not showing up, but they show fine on mine. Soooo...I'm trying another photo sharing web site, and here's the first test. This is a map showing the cruise route from Papeete to Ft Lauderdale. Hope it's big enough to see the detail.

cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 11:42 am
@cicerone imposter,
Can you see it? /BTW, this map was sold for $225 to one of the passengers.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 12:08 pm
@cicerone imposter,
cicerone imposter wrote:

Can you see it?

Neither, c.i. just this http://images.myphotoalbum.com/c/ci/cic/cice/cicer/ciceroneimposter/albums/album01/dec08_jan09_sd_south_pacific_primary_054.sized.jpg
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 12:20 pm
@cicerone imposter,


Belvedere Mountain.

Sacred place; where they made human sacrifice.

Four masted ship we saw in this bay.

Bungalows over water; common in Tahiti.

Our stop at the Catholic Church.

We had a rest stop here for refreshments; the table we shared with a young couple from New Zealand.

The owner of the property; he came to Moorea 30-years ago, and started this business 17-years ago. He owns a good stretch along the beach going all the way back to the mountains.

We passed this small island on our way to Bora Bora.


Batik map of Bora Bora.

Bora Bora.

Sofitel Moku Resort Hotel. Would have enjoyed having a cocktail at the bar along the beach.

The hotel pier.
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 12:25 pm
@cicerone imposter,
I don't know about others, but I can't see any of your photos, unfortunately (besides the single one already mentioned earlier).
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 01:07 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter, Try right clicking on the place where the photo is supposed to be and click on "View image." Let me know if this works.
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 01:08 pm
@cicerone imposter,
See them all, C.I. Ah, Bora Bora. Wish I could be there.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 01:12 pm
Letty, Glad you can see the pictures. It's taking so long to upload my pictures at the different web sites, my patience is running out! LOL
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 01:19 pm
Can't see your photos, c.i.,, sorry.
0 Replies
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 01:48 pm
@cicerone imposter,
The Tahitian Princess anchored off of Bora Bora.

Bora Bora's visitor's information center at the pier.

Departure from Bora Bora.

Pitcairn Island (of HMS Bounty fame).

Capt Ravera giving plaque to the mayor of Pitcairn Island.

A note about Capt Ravera. The passengers on the Tahitian Princess saw Capt Ravera "every day" making the rounds on all the public venues, talking to people. This is the first time in all my cruising I have seen the captain on a daily basis; most show up only a couple of times during the the whole cruise whether its for one week or three weeks, and only at welcome and farewell receptions.

Our approach to Easter Island.

The first tender being prepared for Easter Island.

Our first site.

Jose telling us about the stone houses.

Construction detail of one of the stone house.

To make a king.

Volcano Rano Kau.


Port village, Hanga Piko, with a view of the 2.5 mile runway.

The second site on our tour.

Similar stone walls also found in Peru and China.

The buried rock sculpture. (?)

Our last site saved for the best.

Greg, my roommate, with the seven disciples.

Frontal view.

From the back.

I call him joe.

This "single" is by the pier.

On our way to South America.

cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 01:58 pm
@cicerone imposter,
During our cruise from Papeete to South America, we didn't see any other ship; as if we had the whole of the South Pacific to ourselves. We started seeing other ships once we hit Peru. Some also saw whales and dolphins along the South American coast, but I was not so lucky; didn't see any. I did see whales and dolphins during my cruise in Mexico where they were plentiful last October.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 02:20 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Testing another photo sharing site.

A map showing our cruise route from Peru to Ft Lauderdale.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 02:42 pm
@cicerone imposter,
San Martin, Peru:

Finally on solid ground.

Bus to Pisco. Yeah, it looked arid.

Tourist information booth, but nobody there spoke English.

Pisco is a fishing village.

Wood sculpture for sale.

Pisco is in the process of building new strip malls all over the harbor. This is where Greg and I drank Cristal beer to watch the world go by.

cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 03:07 pm
@cicerone imposter,
oooops! Got ahead of myself and posted the pictures before the travelogue.

Jan 2, 2009: San Martin, Peru: San Martin was named after the liberator General San Martin. San Martin is also the gateway to Machu Picchu, the famed Nazca Lines, or to sail the beautiful islets of Islas Ballestas. 89 from the ship took the Machu Picchu/Cuzco optional tour at $2400 per head for a half day visit to Machu Picchu and two nights at hotels. Because of bad weather, they could not fly out of Cuzco, and missed the ship in Callao (Lima), and rejoined the ship two nights later in Manta, Ecuador. The way I evaluated the total cost to those who took this option, it cost them $2400 for the tour and $800 for the four nights they didn't spend on the ship for a “real” total cost of $3200 for a half day tour of Machu Picchu. Pat, the lady from York, England, went to Machu Picchu, and another couple went to Machu Picchu on their own as an independent tour. They must have paid a fortune to pay their way back to the ship in Manta.

Some from our ship took the 11-mile cruise to Islas Ballestas to see the thousands of Humbolt penguins, sealions, and millions of birds including Chilean flamingos, seabirds, and boobies. Some call it the “mini-Galapagos,” and raved about their experience seeing all those animals.

Greg and I took the $10 r/t bus ride into Pisco (known for their Pisco sour) to visit the shops and booths selling t-shirts and souvenirs, and to look at the fishing boats " and to have a couple of Cristal beer (best in Peru) sitting at an outside cafe watching the world go by.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 04:09 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Jan 3 and 4, Callao (for Lima): Callao is a port city of 600,000, but it has merged with Lima and it is now considered one metropolis of 8 million. I had the opportunity to visit Lima on my journey to Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and the Galapagos in 2003, and remembered the San Francisco Cathedral with their catacombs, the “lovers” statue by the beach with the Gaudi-like benches, the restaurant built on a pier over the water, and the Larco Museum. Lima with its Spanish architecture, ancient ruins, mixed in with the old and the new is a city of contrasts and the unexpected. Greg and I hired a taxi for $15/hour, and visited the San Francisco Cathedral, Plaza de Armas or Plaza Major, Plaza San Martin with his statue, the Gran shopping street before we visited the Larco Museum to view the largest collection of antiquities in Peru. Our private tour cost us $30 each for the taxi plus the entrance fees; a cheap way to see this huge city.

This is a view from the ship towards Lima.

Entertainers welcoming us to Callao.

Vendors set up on the dock to sell to the passengers of our ship.

A poster I saw during our bus ride into Lima.

Plaza Mayor.

San Francisco Cathedral. The left side entrance to the catacombs.

Plaza San Martin.

Larco Museum.

Some of the displays in the museum.
This one resembles the American Indian (to me).
The museum also has some death masks similar to what I have seen in other museums such as the one in Athens' archaeological museum. Other similar artifacts are arrow heads that uses similar flint stone and found not only in the Americas but also in museums in Jordan.

The Larco has many glass cases of this size full of artifacts.

Some artists also had humor.

The beaches along Lima.

I had dinner here in 2003.

The Gaudi-like benches found in a park along the coast.

The "lovers" sculpture.

I had lunch at this Mexican restaurant; Greg just had a beer.

Looking down at sea level.

The JWMarriott hotel, our bus stop for the ship.

This is the shopping mall underground - below those blue tubes.

Back on the ship on deck 9.

Port entrance at Callao.

The following day, Greg and I took a taxi for $10 to the largest shopping place called MINKA in Callao I've ever seen in my life. They have a huge produce section, a huge meats section, cheeses, spices, hardware stores, souvenir shops, fast food and local fare, clothing, banks, cheap internet and international telephone service, and everything we might find in any large shopping mall in the US plus more.


Displayed at the port.
cicerone imposter
Reply Sat 17 Jan, 2009 06:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Jan 5: We're now cruising towards Manta, Ecuador. Ecuador is Spanish for the equator, and the smallest Hispanic nation in South America. The ship put on a celebration on the pool deck for those who crossed the equator for their very first time with costumes and fanfare.

Some info on the equator:
It's an imaginary line on the earth's surface equidistant from the poles, and divides the earth into the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. The latitude by definition is 0 degrees, and its length is about 24901 miles.

Seafaring tradition for those who cross the equator during a voyage undero rites of passage with elaborate rituals. Those who have never crossed the “line” are known as pollywogs, and those completing the initiation rituals are known as “Trusty Shellbacks.” A special title is conferred upon those crossing the equator at the 180th meridian, and the title of “Golden Shellback” is conferred. Those crossing at the Prime Meridian is considered to be an “Emerald Shellback.” These rituals have been ongoing since the Middle Ages, but the current cermonies are probably derived from Viking traditions.

"Shellbacks" ceremony on crossing the equator.

Ceremony participants.

At Manta, Greg and I tried to venture on our own to see if we could find a taxi or van to take us to Quito, the capital, but without our ability to communicate in Spanish, we were relegated to a short trip to Manta, a tourist resort town of 140,000. The port at Manta provides bus service to Manta for shopping and nothing much more, so we hired a taxi at the shopping center to take us to Monticristi, birthplace for the Panama hats. Yes, they're not made in Panama. Monticristi has a one block square in front of the church where they have established as their marketplace. They sell Panama hats and other souvenirs including necklaces and other handmade crafts. After taking some pictures in and around the main square, the driver took us to the memorial built in memory of General Delgado.

Info on the Pacific Ocean (you always wanted to know, but was afraid to ask):
The existence of the Pacific Ocean was unknown until Vasco Nuez de Balboa marched across the isthmus of Panama in 1513. When he first set his site on this broad expanse of water, he fell on his knees and thanked heaven for being the first European to have this great ocean revealed to him. However, it was Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator, who first crossed the ocean between 1520-1521, and he named it PACIFIC OCEAN. The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the oceans measuring twice the size of the Atlantic Ocean, and stretches 10492 miles from east to west with the average depth at 14000 feet. The Mariana Trench at 36198 feet (about six miles) is the known deepest on earth.

Manta, Ecuador, port.

Monticrisit church.

Inside the church.

Vendors in front of the church.

One of many shops making the Panama hat.

They make more than Panama hats.

Another church in Monticristi.

General Delgado memorial.


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