February 2010. Easter Island, Chile.
It is one of the most isolated places on earth and also one of the most mystiques. The island is tiny (150 square miles in area) and it lays 2000 miles off the west coast of South America. And it’s full of those famous stone figures that nobody really understands. Yes, there are a number of theories but they are just that – theories.
I am going to be very honest – if it wasn’t for the Moais (that’s what those stone giants are called) there probably wouldn’t be a single reason to visit Rapa Nui. It’s because the island wouldn’t really have much to offer to a regular tourist. It’s in the middle of South Pacific, but it’s nothing like the stereotypical paradise island. There is just one proper beach, there is no reef to snorkel or dive on, and there are no fancy resorts. I should also mention almost complete absence of trees, so forget about relaxing under the palm three while reading your book.
What can I say – the island itself is quite average.
But of course there are the Moais. And they are awesome. Two places stand out. First of them is Rano Raraku, which I call the Moai’s factory. It’s located on the extinct volcano and it is the place where the Moais had been cut out of the rock. The first thing you see when you get there is a hill covered with tens of finished and half finished status that got partially covered over the years. The other breathtaking place is Ahu Tongariki, which is probably the most recognizable part of the island. It’s those fifteen Moais standing arm to arm and looking straight ahead of them.
It would be interesting to know what they have been looking at for all those years…