Monica and Nick's World Adventure travel blog

Easter Island was declared a UNESCO site in 1995. It is an island literally in the middle of nowhere, the nearest inhabited island being pitcairn island some 2000km away ! It is famous, of course, for the huge Moai stones that line the shores and inland of the island. No-one quite knows how they were erected or transported around the island, but one thing is for sure..... they look impressive !

We arrived to be greeted by Angelica, the owner of the place we were staying. It was raining, not an ideal start to a tropical island visit !

The next day we had a walk down to town Hanga Roa and saw our first Moai. We had a look around and then decided to rent a car for the afternoon and the following day. Matt was our designated driver as neither of us had driven for ten months ! We drove to Orongo but the weather was not very good so we only had a look in the crater before heading back to look at the Ana Kai Tangata (cave with pictures). We then took an extremely bumpy trail to see several different Moai and lava tubes as well as remains of villages. One of the most impressive was the Ahu Akivi which was a set of seven Moai. Also on this trip we saw the only statue with the eyes painted (mad eyes!).

Our car was a bit dodgy and the steering column locked on us at one point. We were stranded for an hour before it suddenly decided to unlock again. By this time we had called for help, so it was hard work trying to explain that it was now fixed to a tour guide as he kept saying steering locks were common on cars....... yes we know....

The second day with our car (a suzuki Jimmy) was spent on the main island tour. This runs along the coastal road where there are many Moai. Unfortunately alot of them are face down as some time in history they were all knocked over. Only some have been re-erected for tourism. The most impressive site in this tour is the Rano Raraku Quarry where it is possible to see over 150 statues in various states. Some of them are still part of the mountain and others are partially carved or half buried. All the statues from the island originated from the stone in this quarry before they were moved to the edges of the island. There is the only kneeling Moai statue at this site as well. The historians reckon that a large Moai would have taken a year to carve by several men !

The other impressive Moai were the Ahu Tongariki which were a line of 15. Matt tried to make it 16 and was told off as he climbed over the stone platform ! We also visited a lovely beach which looked out of place on the island as all the other coast line is cliffs and stoney bays. After this we returned and went up to Orongo national park. They charge $10 per person to enter and it is very strange. You can see all the famous Moai around the island for free and they then charge to walk around for about half an hour to see some hobbit looking houses and some carvings on some rocks (petroglyphs.... which were actually quite impressive). The view from the top was pretty good as well.

In the evenings we cooked our own meals as we had the use of a kitchen. Matt also cooked us a demon omellete one morning and one night he took us paupers out for dinner to a lovely restaurant. Unfortunately the food didnt really match the setting and Matt was done by a bowl of Thai soup (at least it wasnt a cheese sandwhich this time...!).

We said goodbye to Matt who had a long journey back home. It was good to see him and we are glad he got to do Easter island as it is a very special place.

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