4/8/10: Easter Island
While Kevin may have learned about Easter Island from his seventh grade report, I first discovered it because Carmen Sandiego was once there. It was only one episode, and I think it was about 15 years ago, but it was just one of those things that has really stuck with me from my childhood. Sort of like that time my parents drove off and “accidentally” left me in a parking lot in California when I was five. Or that time when I was about eight and my parents went to go looking at houses and left me in our apartment and I called 911 because they were an hour late coming home.
It’s funny what kind of stuff you remember from when you were little, isn’t it?
Anyway, so here we are, 15 years later, and we’re on the same island as Carmen Sandiego – how cool is that? Oh right, and there are these moai things here too.
Ok, all joking aside – prepare yourself for lots and lots of pictures over the next few days, because Easter Island and moai are really really cool.
We started the day off by renting a scooter – in my book, pretty much the best way to start any day.
We somehow managed to get lost right away, but we eventually ended up at this random moai.
Since we weren’t taking a tour and don’t have any guidebooks, I had the brilliant idea that we would pull up the wikipedia page on moai on my iPod and that I would play tour guide. How this would work was that at each of our stops I would pull out the iPod and read something relevant about the site or something about moai in general. I was really really excited about this (it involves learning! culture! reading aloud!), and so when we stopped at our first moai (pictured above), I pulled out my iPod and clicked on the Safari app and waited for the moai wikipedia page to come up. And oh, the horror! Guess what showed up instead? Some nonsense about sports! Someone, who knew about the plan, had gone off the page to read some article about golf or some such useless thing and had forgotten to go back to my wikipedia page! We’re on Easter Island and somebody is reading about golf! The absurdity! I won’t accuse anyone directly, but I strongly suspect it may have been that guy sleeping in the dorm bed next to me. I was quite miffed. (After we got back to our hostel I made Kevin listen while I read the entire moai page out loud.)
We did eventually leave our first moai to drive along the south coast of the island. Well, it’s not exactly the south coast, because the island is shaped like a right triangle (or sort of like a shrink-wrapped boomerang), and we drove along the hypotenuse which faces something more like south southeast. Anyway. We drove along the coast in our scooter, stopping at every site we came across.
Here’s a little tidbit I’d like to share with you. All the moai (outside of the ones in the quarry, which are the ones you see in pictures stuck in a grassy hill) that are standing up have actually all been restored. Sometime in the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a lot of tribal warfare, and when one tribe took over another tribe, the first thing they would do would be to knock over the other tribe’s moai. (We learned this from a girl in our dorm who did do a tour.) Interesting, isn’t it?
After a quick lunch (tuna and crackers, no salami sadly), we went up to the quarry (Rano Raraku), which is where they cut the moai out of stone. I think it’s impossible to take an original picture on this island, but I’m going to post a bunch anyway! It’s just what we do here at nohurrycurry.
After the quarry we scootered over to Ahu Tongariki.
Then we went to the beach. I drove. It was awesome. And a teensy bit scary at times. For Kevin, anyway. I won’t mention the getting-stuck-in-the-mud incident in which Kevin ended up with one foot caked entirely in mud and my skirt was ruined. Nope, I won’t mention how that happened at all – it’s really not important.
And there you have it – 27 pictures later (a nohurrycurry record) – and you’ve basically spent the day on Easter Island with us! Hope you had fun, and come back tomorrow!
P.S. Mom and Dad, don’t worry, I’ve fully recovered from the parking lot incident.
Picture of the Day: A moai hat/topknot/thing in color accent rust.