Easter Island and its 900 Moai Statues
06 April, 2015
My wife and I are currently on a round-the-world trip and it was during one of our initial planning sessions that we decided to include a visit to one of the world's most remote places, Easter Island. Located in the South Pacific more than 2,000 miles off the Chilean coast, the land mass was named by a Dutch naval commander who arrived on the island on Easter Sunday in 1722.
We ended up staying for a week in the only village, Hanga Roa, and from there travelled inland to the national park. A number of sites are accessible by foot from the village - a hike at sunrise to the volcanic crater (Rano Kau) and uninhabited village of Orongo was a definite highlight for us. The legendary moai statues can be seen all around the island and interestingly, nearly all of them face inland with only a few facing out to sea. In Rano Raraku, the volcanic quarry where all of the statues (900 in total), it is possible to see a number of them scattered across the rock face in various stages of creation.
It is difficult to comprehend how the moai were crafted so long ago using such basic tools and how they were transported across the island to their designated platforms. Ahu Tongariki is one of the most iconic platforms on the island with fifteen statues standing side by side and supposedly a great place to watch the sunrise. Being able to walk amongst the statues and photograph them up close was a surreal and unforgettable experience; a bit like walking through a documentary.