Up at 5:30 am and dark...easy trip via Metro to bus stop where we caught bus to airport...then a long, long line to check baggage. Plane left half hour late and we landed on Easter Is. about 1:30 their time. There were quite a few reps from different hostels, hotels so Bon and Jake spent considerable time chkg out several. By the time we decided on one, Chez Cecilia, we were the only ones left in the airport, ha! Cecilia drove us to her place, very near the ocean and close to everything. She had several options...an apt. w/ our own kitchen/bath for $25 US each, or seperate dbls, shared bath w/ brkfs for the same, or finally, when she realized we were really cheapskates, she showed us a room for 4, shared bath, no brkfst for $20 US each! We took this option tho Jake said he thought we could find something cheaper if we looked around...but this also included kitchen priviledges which was very important for us since food is very expensive and we needed a place to cook.
This arrangement has worked well!! We have done group dinners every day and saved alot, the only hassle has been the bathroom situation which was at first understood to be 2 baths shared between two rooms. This was not the understanding of the Italians in the second room, they were told that the second bath was just for them! Most of the time this was okay but the bath we used was also the one Cecilia and her relatives, friends used as well which tied it up a bit at times. What's new?
The days have been very event filled...we have walked, hiked, driven, and generally seen 90% of the sites to be seen here after 5 days. Yesterday (14th) was the big day when we rented a car and circumnavigated the island seeing the majority of sites...9 am to 9 pm! This place is indeed very special in many ways not the least being, of course, the huge megalithic heads. Jerod Diamond of Collapse (book) fame was totally right on as would anyone studying this place can't help but see...major environmental impact by human exploitation of the resources (very few to begin with).
The hike up to Ranu Kau crater and Orongo restored village, Birdman cult and Sooty tern egg deal on Bird Is. was very interesting Check It Out
. We met a fellow at the edge of the crater w 2 nephews who were going down into the crater to plant totomiro, an indigenous tree that had been wiped out on the island. Luckily, Thor Heyerdahl back in 1960 had taken seeds to Norway where they were planted and thus now available to replant here. On the way back we stopped at the harbor and saw 5 sea turtles (leatherback and hawksbill), really cool.
Another day we hiked along the coast N. to various caves and Moai + Ahu Te Peu, the largest pre-historic village on island, 4 heads, boathouses, ovens, greenhouses, etc.A Description of Hikes
The most impressive site for me was Ranu Raraku, the volcanic quarry where all the heads (more than 1000 on island) came from and 397 of them still there in situ. You can see the various stages of carving as well as go inside the crater (more heads) where there is a 'fresh' water lagoon/lake and a huge herd of horses. More About Volcanos
. I think there are more horses on this island than people (close to 4000 people) thanks to missionaries who brought them here!
Our last day was one of R & R, just ckg out things around Hanga Roa, the main town where we're staying. We have been very lucky all week long in that Cecilia's place is right next to the practice place where islnaders are coming every day from 6 til 9+ to practice there dances and songs for the annual Feb. Tapati Festival Learn More Tapati Festival
. The huge stage of plywood and all the activities re: island heritage, competitions, and displays of ethnic costuming/body painting take weeks to put together and we've been lucky to see it all coming together incl the live music right at our back door!