RAPA NUI (EASTER ISLAND)

RAPA NUI (EASTER ISLAND)

Before this trip I didn’t really know where this very remote island was, and everything (I thought) I knew about the history of the island I learned from the fictionalized movie Rapa Nui that I watched as a kid. So I really had no real idea what awaited me when I chose to visit the island. What I discovered was a small grassy tropical island with a coast of jagged volcanic rock, a refreshing lack of resort development, horses literally everywhere roaming wild, a passive uprising taking place against the Chilean government by the indigenous people (the Rapa Nui), and of course the Moai. There’s over 1000 Moai statues on the island in various states of decay and restoration.

Traveled April 2015
Photos shot on Fuji X100T and Lomo Diana+.

So this is where Easter Island is! A five hour flight west of Santiago.

So this is where Easter Island is! A five hour flight west of Santiago.

Horses taking a break on our horseback ride to the highest volcano peak on the island.

Horses taking a break on our horseback ride to the highest volcano peak on the island.

Sand and palm trees are not a very common sight on Easter Island, but both are plentiful on Anakena Beach.

Sand and palm trees are not a very common sight on Easter Island, but both are plentiful on Anakena Beach.

These frequently photographed Moai in the hillside are the statues still at the quarry where they were carved. For one reason or another they didn’t make the journey across the island to their intended site and platform. There are dozens if not a hundred of them dotting the outer and inner side of the crater.

These frequently photographed Moai in the hillside are the statues still at the quarry where they were carved. For one reason or another they didn’t make the journey across the island to their intended site and platform. There are dozens if not a hundred of them dotting the outer and inner side of the crater.

Our host Paul, a retired archaeologist who was involved in restoration of the moai statues as early as the 1960s as a young student. Paul operates Tekarera Inn, where we were lucky to be his only guests for our week on the island.

Our host Paul, a retired archaeologist who was involved in restoration of the moai statues as early as the 1960s as a young student. Paul operates Tekarera Inn, where we were lucky to be his only guests for our week on the island.

My travel companion Jenny at Rano Kau volcano lake.

My travel companion Jenny at Rano Kau volcano lake.

Peeking over the cliff where the Birdman competition used to take place. Sort of like a primitive type of triathlon, the competition involved climbing down the cliff hundreds of feet tall, swimming a mile to the island, finding a bird egg, securing it within a basket worn on the competitors head, swimming back to the cliff, and climbing back up. This competition may have taken place as recently as the late 1800s.

Peeking over the cliff where the Birdman competition used to take place. Sort of like a primitive type of triathlon, the competition involved climbing down the cliff hundreds of feet tall, swimming a mile to the island, finding a bird egg, securing it within a basket worn on the competitors head, swimming back to the cliff, and climbing back up. This competition may have taken place as recently as the late 1800s.

I dove with Mike Rapu Diving to see this underwater Moai.

I dove with Mike Rapu Diving to see this underwater Moai.

Ahu Tongariki at sunrise.

Ahu Tongariki at sunrise.

CHILE: Dome yurt under the stars in Elqui Valley

CHILE: Dome yurt under the stars in Elqui Valley

Souvenir Shopping on Easter Island

Souvenir Shopping on Easter Island