Easter Island

I had a few days in Easter Island. It was a bit of a nightmare to get to, Cancun - Lima - Santiago - Easter Island. That's about 14 hours flying, with six hours in Santiago. When I arrived, I discovered I could have flown straight from Lima on a flight that left about 10 minutes after my flight to Santiago and arrived on the island about six hours earlier. Something to remember for next time.

Easter Island is everything I hoped it to be. Completely different. It's in the middle of no-where, just a lump of rock, several thousand kilometers from anywhere. It had the thriving population which exploited all the resources then they faced the effects. The population may have been as high as 15000, then dropped down to just over 100. There was fighting, canniblism and who knows what else.

Of course, Easter Island is best known for its Moai. The big giant heads, which scatter the island. The former village sites use to have them to represent various ancestors to watch over the village. They think, as resources became more scarce, the locals got a little annoyed that their ancestors were not answering their prayers, so they pulled them all over. With the exception of the nursery site, any others you see standing have been restored recently.

And there is stuff everywhere. Go for a drive and there are ruins all over the place. Some are big, the Ahu, which are the platforms the Moai sit on, ruins of the houses and stone chicken houses everywhere. Each Moai is different, they all their own identity. The nursery, the area where they use to carve the Moai from is amazing, like these things are crawling out of the ground.

I discovered there are some extensive caves, former lava tubs, which I would have loved to have seen, but that will have to wait until next time. I also missed out on going up the old volcanos which I would have liked, so obviously I'll have to go back.

The townsite is lovely and laid back, not a lot there since everything on the island has to either be made there, or shipped in so that means most things are expensive. Fish and chicken are plentiful though. According to our guide, the common conception is Easter Island thinks of themselves as the navel of the world, but they tend to think of themselves as a good place to have chickens.

Getting off the plane at Easter Island
5:36am 9th April 2012
1200x900 212kb

One of the cats at the hotel
6:56am 9th April 2012
1200x900 233kb

Looking down Te Pito O Te Henua (what a name of a main street)
7:06am 9th April 2012
675x900 206kb

Moai at Hanga Roa harbour
7:21am 9th April 2012
675x900 135kb

Looking out over Hanga Roa harbour
7:25am 9th April 2012
1200x900 329kb

Wild horses on the countryside of Easter Island
10:59pm 9th April 2012
1200x803 387kb

Looking up towards the end of the island
11:19pm 9th April 2012
1200x803 349kb

More big yellow flowers
11:22pm 9th April 2012
1200x803 185kb

The Ahu at Te Pito Kura
11:31pm 9th April 2012
1200x803 417kb

The toppled Moai at Te Pito Kura
11:37pm 9th April 2012
1200x803 616kb

The magnetic stone at Te Pito Kura
11:44pm 9th April 2012
1200x900 376kb

This was carved into the rock, no idea about any more of it though
11:50pm 9th April 2012
1200x900 557kb

Terevaka volcano from Ahu Tongariki
12:32am 10th April 2012
1200x900 233kb

Ahu Tongariki
12:33am 10th April 2012
1200x900 225kb

This moai is at Tongariki, I'm guessing its not upright because of its erosion
12:35am 10th April 2012
1200x900 398kb

I think it wants to join its relatives
12:35am 10th April 2012
1200x900 354kb

Close up of Tongariki's moai, that topknot may or may not belong to that moai
12:37am 10th April 2012
1200x900 179kb

Ahu Tongariki
12:42am 10th April 2012
1200x900 257kb

The moai posing for their photo
12:42am 10th April 2012
1200x900 198kb

Look! I'm at Easter Island
12:46am 10th April 2012
1200x900 322kb

Yeap, its Ahu Tongariki
12:50am 10th April 2012
1200x900 275kb

There really were this many moai there historically, probably because it's close to the quarry
12:52am 10th April 2012
1200x900 215kb

Top knots!
12:53am 10th April 2012
1200x900 319kb

This is a small moai near the entrance
12:55am 10th April 2012
675x900 191kb

They all have a distinct profile
12:56am 10th April 2012
675x900 113kb

I made a new friend
1:05am 10th April 2012
675x900 192kb

Tongariki, its moai on their ahu
1:08am 10th April 2012
1200x803 510kb

The coast at Tongariki
1:08am 10th April 2012
1200x803 302kb

Looking up at Terevaka volcano, the Rano Raraku is on the left
1:08am 10th April 2012
1200x803 613kb

Probably one of my favourite photos of Easter Island, a bit of everything
1:09am 10th April 2012
1200x803 320kb

Sometimes the moai need a break and a rest
1:38am 10th April 2012
1200x803 433kb

The slopes of Rano Raraku, aka The Nursery
1:40am 10th April 2012
1200x803 309kb

Moai on the nursery slopes
1:42am 10th April 2012
602x900 213kb

Another moai
1:44am 10th April 2012
602x900 377kb

The paths wind around them
1:46am 10th April 2012
1200x803 395kb

They're buried though a mix of erosion and spoil from other sculptings
1:48am 10th April 2012
1200x803 322kb

So they look like they're rising out of the ground
1:49am 10th April 2012
1200x803 411kb

These are the cliffs where the moai were carved
1:50am 10th April 2012
1200x803 405kb

They are everywhere, there are actually two half carved ones there, side by side
1:52am 10th April 2012
1200x803 539kb

Looking back at the cliff, noticed the huge one onthe right?
1:54am 10th April 2012
1200x803 518kb

I believe this was the biggest, albeit half-finished, moai ever found
1:57am 10th April 2012
1200x803 532kb

Looking down to Tongariki
1:58am 10th April 2012
1200x803 225kb

They're coming out of the ground!
1:58am 10th April 2012
1200x803 293kb

Tukuturi, the unusual moai, possibly one of the last made, or perhaps a skilled moai builder
2:00am 10th April 2012
602x900 297kb

Saying bye to the moai
2:05am 10th April 2012
1200x900 396kb

Anakena Beach
4:55am 10th April 2012
1200x803 277kb

Nau Nau, the moai at Anakena
4:55am 10th April 2012
1200x803 317kb

The solo moai at Anakena
4:59am 10th April 2012
1200x803 256kb

The Nau Nau's ahu at Anakena, showing the petroglyphs
5:00am 10th April 2012
1200x803 462kb

The backs of the moai at Anakena, you can still see the carvings on them
5:01am 10th April 2012
1200x803 247kb

Detail on one of the moai and the ahu at Anakenu
5:01am 10th April 2012
602x900 199kb

Anakena Beach through the palms, makes it look tropical
5:08am 10th April 2012
1200x803 492kb

Anakena Beach
5:16am 10th April 2012
1200x803 328kb

Small rockpool at Anakena
5:26am 10th April 2012
1200x803 754kb

Anakena Beach
5:46am 10th April 2012
1200x803 333kb

Carved dolphin post at the hotel
6:33am 10th April 2012
675x900 222kb

A small moai at the airport
12:28am 11th April 2012
675x900 254kb

Leaving Easter Island
12:31am 11th April 2012
1200x900 149kb

<-- Go back Images and content © Ryan McConigley, 2012
Not to be used without permission, for profit, etc.
Last modified: July 02 2023 04:35:22.
Contact: web *at* madphin.com