I suppose it is not necessary to present you Easter Island, this small island lost in the Pacific Ocean and which hosts hundreds of statues called “Moaï”. Today this land belongs to Chile but it is most likely that the first inhabitants were from Polynesia!
The name “”Easter Island” is the European name given in 1722 by the Dutch when they discovered the island for the first time on an Easter Sunday! The traditional name is “Rapa Nui”! (But if you still have some childish poesy in you, you’ll notice that it is also the place where the Easter bunny lives… and it took time but after many efforts, we found him!!!)
The island counts many mysteries without any answers! Nobody exactly knows how the 887 Moaï that are on the island arrived where they are! The biggest majority comes from the Rano Raraku volcano; Moaï were directly sculpted in the volcanic stone and then moved to their “Ahu” (sacred platform). But how were they moved? That is a big question… In 1722, when the Dutch arrived on Rapa Nui, the life is flourishing but half a century later, when the Spanish discovered the island, the population was declining. With the time, the attacks, and so on, no one who could read the “Rongo Rongo” (the special writing of Rapa Nui) was left; so many secrets were lost! The oral legend says that these stone giants “walked”; and it is the most probable theory: The statues were standing up after being cut out of the volcano and people make them move with switching! That’s why some of the Moaï are broken “in the middle of nowhere”; they most likely fall during the transportation and stayed there! But why are so many Moaï still in their carrier, waiting for someone to collect them? This time again, many hypothesis exist but one of the most popular is that the Dutch brought with them diseases that killed the Rapa Nui people not used to it! So they couldn’t finish their masterpieces! But this is only suppositions, nobody knows what really happened…. And maybe we will never know! But for me is doesn’t matter because I prefer to imagine my own theory and enjoy the statues and their mysteries as they are !!!
We mostly walked on the island but for one day we rented a quad bike!!! And of course we had a lot of fun! The first Moaï we saw, were the ones from Ahu Akivi: 7 Moaï stand there, facing the ocean. It is the only place on the island where Moaï look in direction of the ocean; and it is the only Ahu inside the land and not near the coast. Stories says that these 7 Moaï are like the 7 first explorers of the island; they came from the Marquise islands, so now, Moaï look in direction of their Polynesia!
Even if the sky was grey for this first day, we were amazed! Statues are similar but all different, big, straight, secret… We could stay there for hours and wait for them to move!
To finish the day, we watched the sunset in front of 5 Moaï! What an impressive and breath-taking spectacle!!!
During our other visits, we saw many Moaï lying on the ground, broken; probably destroyed at the same time as the population of Rapa Nui disappeared! During riots, or robberies… or during transport, because they were not completely finished! Actually the statues were sculpted on the volcano but small details like the eyes were sculpted at the end, when the Moaï was at his final destination!
We finished in apotheosis with a sunrise in front of 15 standing Moaï, a visit of the carrier of the Rano Raruku volcano, where the Moaï were sculpted and where 300 of them are still waiting to be moved!
On the Anakena beach we saw the biggest number of Moaï still wearing their Pukao (traditional hat) made with a red volcanic rock!
As you can see, we really liked Easter Island and its incredible statues! Each step is full of mysteries and magic, and even if we would like to know more, we like even more inventing our own stories…
Now (without any diving on the island, as the underwater Moaï is a fake one), we are heading to Chile. First stop: Santiago: the capital city!