Day 4 – 9/5 – Easter Island

We woke up early and had breakfast at 8AM. Our tour bus picked us up at 9:15AM and we were on our way. Today’s tour was a full day tour. Unfortunately though, there was nothing but rain in the forecast. At our first stop we visited moais that had been knocked down during the East/West warfare of the Rapa Nui tribes. It was believed that the moais provided power, so it was important to take down the enemy’s moais.

On our second stop, we visited a site where fifteen moai statues had been restored on a platform. The platform itself is sacred ground, so we had to be sure not to step on it or touch the moais. The moais represent ancestors of the upper class, as evidenced by their long ear lobes and long fingernails.

On our third stop, we visited Rano Raraku, the rock quarry where 95% of the moais were constructed. The moais that stood here were a little bit different than the ones we saw earlier. They were buried into the ground, more slender, and much taller. In fact, the tallest moai, at 21 meters, can be found here. Another unique moai that can be found here is a kneeling one. It remains a mystery how the moais were transported from the rock quarry. Some experts believed that they were rolled on their backs (similar to the techniques used by the Egyptians). But there have also been historical accounts that the moais “walked” out of the quarries. So other experts believe that the moais were transported standing up using ropes to twist the moais from side to side (similar to the technique one would use when moving heavy furniture).

Our fourth stop was Ahu Te Pito Kura, where we went to see a large magnetic ball. It was believed that the very first settlers on the island used it as a compass and brought it onto the island with them. The ancient people believed that the ball had mystical powers, called mana. If it hadn’t been raining today, we could have placed our hands over the ball and felt a tingling sensation.

Our fifth and final stop was at the beach. At this point Alice and I were soaked from head to toe; so we hopped out of the tour bus, took a peek, and hopped back on the bus. I guess beaches aren’t that impressive when there’s no sunshine.

We got back to the hotel around 5PM and couldn’t wait to take a hot shower. We knew that the hotel restaurant wasn’t going to be any good, but we had had enough of the rain for one day and didn’t want to head out into town. So we had dinner at the hotel and stayed in for the night.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.