I was talking with a good buddy of mine this week and he asked me what it was I liked so much about Easter Island. It’s a question I’ve been asked before, and quite honestly, one I have trouble answering. I of course am fascinated with the Moai, they are what brought me to the island to begin with, and why most people visit. To me though, the island is more than that. It’s the mystery around the culture, it’s the culture that still thrives there today, it’s the beauty of the night sky there, it’s the island state of mind, and certainly the landscape itself. Of the things I just listed, the landscape is the one thing I can show you, and so this week… Easter Island, without a single Moai! 🙂
The original settlers referred to Easter Island as the Navel of the World, and the above picture is of the Navel of Easter Island. Said to be a meeting place for tribe elders, Te Pito Kura is an interesting place. The geometry of it all catches my eyes, but then as you stand there, huge waves crash into the rocks just a few yards away. It’s an impressive place. Most of the island is surrounded by black rocks, but here and a few places, you can see a sandy bottom to the ocean floor a little ways out, which turns the water here bright blue.
See more below and stayed tuned for next week, when I wrap up the pictures from Easter Island!
On the Way Up Mount Terevaka
Mount Terevaka is the tallest mountain on Easter Island. From the top you can see ocean from horizon to horizon, all the way around. On the way up, though, you get to see all sorts of interesting features, like these layers of former volcano cones (and of course a fallen in barn, which I especially liked)
One of the two beaches on Easter Island, Ovahe requires a bit of scrambling (or swimming… though I recommend scrambling) to get to. The beach sits inside a collapsed volcano cone, most of which has long sense washed away. As the tide laps up on the crescent shaped beach, the sand turns a bright pink!
Probably the grandest spot on the island that you can drive to, as you top the hill and begin the descent into the Poike Valley, headed towards Anakena, you’re met with a huge panorama of ocean and volcano humps and cones. It’s really spectacular. The cone on the let is Rano Raraku, which is where all the Moai were made (and pictured in the first series on Easter Island)
Pictures do not do this crater justice… it’s simply HUGE. So big, in fact, that it contains it’s own micro-climate. There are plants that grow here that grow no where else on the island. As such, the crater is now protected and you can’t hike down into it, but you can still enjoy it from the rim.