Easter Island Quick Tour in Pictures
As I’ve mentioned previously, while on Rapa Nui all I have is my iPhone and my trusty Sony Nex-6 camera, so blogging is a little tricky. Longer more informative posts will have to wait until I’m back with a computer, but for now some pictures and bites of information from yesterday’s tour.
Our first stop was a site with moai platforms, foundations of houses, cooking areas and a cave. When Europeans discovered the island, all the moai had been knocked over, so any now standing on platforms have been restored.
Out next stop was the quarry. There are 1000 moai on the island and 400 of them are in the quarry. There are four stages in the creation of a moai: 1, the front is carved while still attached to the rock; 2, the moai is detached from the rock and slid down into a pre-made hole; 3, the back is carved; 4, the moai is removed from the hole and moved to its final location. All 4 stages are seen at the quarry. Also note that all moai include the body; if you only see the head I an upright moai it means the body is still buried.
After lunch we headed to the largest platform on the island, 300 meters long, 100 meters holding 15 moai. There are about 30 platforms on the island; it was originally divided approximately in half NE to SW with each half divided into 5 sections each included shore and inland areas. Each of the 10 groups or tribes had one section ad built their own platforms. Each moai represents an individual person of importance, a chief or priest or se such.
Our final stop of the day was at one of two beaches on Rapa Nui which also has two platforms including the first restored moai and moai that have been cleaned and treated to protect them from water and lichen damage. The moai are carved from volcanic tuft (the whole island is volcanic, all basalt, tuft, scoria, obsidian and such) which is relatively soft and light. This made them easier to carve with the basalt tools which are all the natives had, but also susceptible to water damage through erosion and absorption and evaporation. You can easily see the difference in these moai that have been chemically treated to protect from this damage.
At this point my camera and phone were both out of juice after a full day, so it’s a good thing we were done and heading back to the hotel. Later we found a delicious Japanese restaurant down the street from us. If you come we highly recommend it, highest rated restaurant on the island by Tripadvisor.com ratings.