Jan 30th to Feb 3rd Easter Island
30 Jan 2008
Enjoyed a quiet day and went to the beach in the morning. The sun is very strong so in the afternoon we returned to the hotel for a siesta.
Caught up with washing and domestic chores and spent 30 minutes in the internet cafe getting up to date.
Went on a tour round south, east and north of the island visiting many archaeological sites where the large Moai statues are found many having fallen to the ground during fighting in the 17th century. Some have been restored and these are truly remarkable. We went to the quarry where the statues were originally carved from the rock face and also visited one of the volcanoes, fortunately extinct for several thousand years.
We went to the beach where another Moai site was located and cooled off in the sea.
In the evening we went out to take photos of the sunset behind a row of statues. It started raining and we almost called it off but compared to what was to come this was
just a shower.
Today we went on a tour covering the West of the island and main volcanic crater Rano Kau in the South West of the Island.
We could see the clouds building up and a small tornado out to sea. This was to hit us later in the evening.
This was the first day of the Tapati which is the two week long annual festival on the island.
The tour took in a number of archaeological sites and the crater where the rock for the topknot decorations on the Moai were carved from. In addition we saw a number of petroglyphs (rock carvings).
We also explored some caves almost on hands and knees as they were very low but took us to "windows on the ocean" in the cliff faces.
The roads were unsealed mostly and very very dusty. Everything needed a wash after returning to the hotel.
In the evening we went to the main opening show of the festival held outdoors with dancing, carvings etc due to start at 9pm but by 9:30 there was still no action and at 9:35pm the heavens opened and stayed open so we swam back to the hotel. There was no dust on us that night just soaking wet and mud from overflowing storm drains.
We hired a car for 24 hours so that we could see the sunset and sunrise tomorrow. Unfortunately it hardly stopped raining today although we did drive back to the top of the island and found the beach at Anakena where during a break in the showers we spent a couple of hours on the beach reading and unexpectedly getting a sun tan or burn depending on whose writing this.
The afternoon was spent looking round the few shops that were open but not really buying anything as you always wonder when you get home why you bought that souvenir?
The evening Tapati show was again a wash out so we ate and had an early evening to get ready for tomorrow when the day starts early and has an extra 5 hours.