By the way, the indigenous people of the island were Polynesian and of course they never called it Easter Island or Isla Pascua. Nobody knows for sure what they called it though modern descendants of those original inhabitants now refer to it as Rapa Nui.
Ever since I became enamoured with The Pacific Ocean in 1972, I had dreamed of visiting Easter Island one day. I finally made it at the end of October 2009, after a five hour flight from Santiago, Chile.
I stayed at The Hotel Tiare Pacific near the airport in Hanga Roa - the only settlement of note on the island. On my first morning there, after a hearty breakfast, I set off to see the Rano Kau Crater and the cliffs of Orongo. There were no other visitors there - just me. I was seeing things I had read about and dreamt about. It was up on those cliffs that the annual birdman competitions began. Brave young men swam out to three small offshore islands to retrieve the first sooty tern eggs of the year.
If you remember nothing else from this blogpost, please remember that the moai statues that stood on their stone platforms did not look longingly out to sea, they all looked inland to where their people were with their internal issues.
I could write reams more about that mysterious faraway island. There's so much more to say about it but I will leave it at that for I know that not everybody is as obsessed with Easter Island as I am. I would go back in a heartbeat.