Easter Island / Isla de Pascua / Rapa Nui

November 2019

Easter Island is one of the most remote islands out there, but it is not very hard to get to. There were daily flights from Santiago de Chile before the Covid pandemic, each flight bringing 150 people to the island with population of a few thousand.

The island itself is a small beautiful green volcanic island in the middle of nowhere. There are no other land for thousands of kilometers in any direction, so a 5-hour flight there lets you see only the blue ocean.

Thor Heyerdahl helped to popularize the island when he tried to prove the islanders may have come from the South America by rafts. He showed that it is possible, but he was wrong. The culture of the islanders is very much related to other Polynesian islands, even similar to Hawaii.

But the Moai heads are awesome. Unfortunately there were all knocked down by internal conflicts, but Thor and others helped to raise some of them back to their former glory. And the quarry, where they were built, Rano Raraku, is out of this world - you can see hundreds of finished and unfinished heads looking at you from different angles and directions. Too bad they don't allow general public to the inside of the crater.

I was a big fan of Thor's books and adventures in the childhood, so visiting the Easter Island someday was a dream. The longest distance on the island is about 36km, so I rented a small 4x4 car - Suzuki Jimny and could visit and revisit most sites many times, wait for a better light, sunrise, sunset, etc. That was definitely a photo trip.

But what happened after was a huge disappointment and killed my motivation to take pictures for a year or so. I even refused to look at pictures from Chile for quite some time. We were robbed in Valparaiso at the end of Chile trip, with most of my pictures being on the laptop that was stolen, along with lenses, drone with photos and videos, and even the passports. Getting back home was tough.

What you see here are some deleted pictures I was able to recover from my memory card and my phone. Not much, but still something. I really miss some of the ones I lost, but the sadness is going away slowly. Enjoy what is left!

Flying for 5h over neverending blue ocean The island is tiny. You kind of worry that the plane will miss it Walking from the airport to the town. There is only one town - Hanga Roa Moais used to have eyes Ovahe - one of only two beaches on the island Heads are everywhere, some buried Our AirBnb was really nice, especially inside (no photos left) The car we rented to get around. The rentals are easy to find on the main street This is how most Moai are lying for some centuries Rano Raraku from a distance Ahu Tongariki Many bones are just lying around Anakena beach Anakena beach is the only place with some palm trees or any trees on the island This was the first Moai that Thor Heyerdahl helped to raise Most Moais were brought to ceremonial places called Ahu around the island, mostly near the shore Ranu Kao crater at the western part of the island now hosts a swamp Bird islands that were used for shaman swimming competitions in the past from Orongo Unexpected local craft beer The end of a lava tube cave The island has several lava tubes Can you see the huge unfinished Moai? The style of the heads has changed over centuries. These are the most This Moai has a picture of a sailing ship. Probably was carved after the first contact with the Europeans Another Moai being carved Hanga Kloe - popular sunset place to the east of town Local cemetery Ceviches are great on the island! Islanders had their writing system, but nobody can read it nowadays. Still not decrypted Ahu Akivi, the only Ahu not near the ocean Most Moai look like this one - knocked down Food Parts of broken Moai Local life The Pacific Sunrise at Ahu Tongariki Rano Raraku crater from the shore This is where the Moai come from (except for their hats) The reddish hats of Moai come from another place - Puna Pau Park ranger car A good way to finish the visit to the island is to see a traditional performance Becoming and islander
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Easter Island