Monday, 21 March 2011

The Isla de Pascua

Moai at Rano Raraku, the quarry where they were created

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui to the locals, is where we've been for the last few days. Best known for the stone Moai scattered across its shores and slopes, its also a first class South Sea Island with all the chilling-under-a-palm-tree potential that that entails.

For me the Moai are the big draw - I was captivated the first time I saw a photo and have wanted to visit them for as long as I can remember. It's partly the sheer spectacle, and partly the mystery that surrounds them. There are many theories but still no agreed story for how they were transported and put into place - the biggest are over 10 meters high and weigh many tonnes. The Moai were all toppled during inter-clan warfare precipitated by exhaustion of the island's natural resources. Seeing so many lying in ruin at the base of their Ahu (platforms) is very poignant.

Restored Moai at Tongariki; toppled Moai at Ura Uranga Te Mahina

Thanks to a great recommendation from Rob & Iz we've been staying in a great little Cabana a stone's throw from the breaking waves (we can watch them from our veranda) and right next to one of the best sets of standing Moai.

Sunsets

The sunsets have been coming thick and fast, as have the caipirinas (Rob - I'm converted!).

Obligatory cocktail

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