The photographs I took there prove that I did. It was a dream come true. There was nowhere on this planet that I wanted to visit more than Easter Island. You can hold a globe in a certain position and it looks as though half of Earth is The Pacific Ocean.
Everyone has seen pictures of the famous "moai" heads. The image is iconic. There are over nine hundred moai statues on the island and they all faced inland - not out to the endless ocean. They were inward looking, not outward.
It was a world within a world, like a different planet. A society that thrived for perhaps three hundred years in isolation and then declined till when the first white sailors appeared its heyday was long gone. The people who made the moai were already beyond living memory.
I would go back in a heartbeat to walk about the moai once again, to hear the echoes of a lost civilisation, to look out across the wide Pacific, to close my eyes and imagine the first dugout canoes that landed there long ago. Easter Island - the stuff of dreams and legends. Yes - I was there.
Who isn't intrigued and fascinated by Easter Island? It is surely one of the earth's greatest mysteries and amazements. How very awesome that you got to go there. Have you read any of the recent research showing that many Pacific Islander's DNA connects them with South America? I have no idea if that's true for Easter Island or not but I love knowing that.ReplyDelete
Thor Heyerdahl aboard The Kon Tiki tried to prove that connection in the late 1940's. His theory was widely denounced by serious ethnologists.Delete
The island and its moai look mystical. Was it difficult to reach Easter Island? It seems like it would be.ReplyDelete
Not too difficult Margaret. A flight from London to Santiago (Chile) via Madrid and then a five hour flight across the ocean to Rapa Nui. The Americans built a full length runway there for possible military use so surprisingly the island is well connected to what we call "civilisation".Delete
I remember. Still as fascinating as ever. Thank you. Your blogposts at the time brought the words “Rapa Nui” and “moai” into my vocabulary.ReplyDelete
We have known each other a long while Bob. Thanks for sticking around like a moai statue - mysterious and yet present.Delete
What wonderful memories to have! And of course you should go back one day, if you would like to and can afford it. Why not?ReplyDelete
Only...that there are other places to go.Delete
I don't really know much about Easter Island so I looked it up. Quite an interesting, isolated place. I didn't realize that each head represented the deceases head of a lineage. I also didn't realize that the society on Easter Island collapsed.ReplyDelete
To have seen those statues in person would have been amazing.
It was more amazing than I had expected.Delete
Easter Island is not terribly well known here and it should be. One of our Prime Ministers, Malcolm Fraser, was referred to at times as an Easter Island statue.ReplyDelete
That is an insult to the moai!Delete
I think that the first time I ever actively researched anything about Easter Island was after your blog posts in 2009. I know that it is minute compared to the island on which I live which, given the former's isolation, is quite something. It has quite a recent history all things considered. I think you were very fortunate indeed to have had that experience.ReplyDelete
As I say - the stuff of dreams. As an islander yourself you naturally know something of Rapa Nui life.Delete
It is truly a fascinating place, as remote as you can get without leaving the planet. The little I have read about the island (apart from on your blog) makes me sad about how a highly developed civilisation declined and destroyed itself and what it had. Sounds familiar.ReplyDelete
Indeed. Perhaps a microcosm - forewarning us of Earth's destiny.Delete
To be rich as Croesus in memory is, I think, all we can ask... Well done you for going once - in that sense you will always be there.ReplyDelete
Of course I still feel connected to Rapa Nui.Delete
You have certainly seen some interesting parts of the worldReplyDelete
I have but the very best part is Yorkshire.Delete
I am always intrigued by remote places, and this is about as remote as a person can get! I'd love to go to Easter Island. Dave and I talk about it. One of these days, hopefully.ReplyDelete
I hope you get there one day Steve. For three days, I hired a 4x4 vehicle from a friend of the manager of my little guest house. That was really helpful.Delete
I wandered off to have a google about Easter Island. I'd heard of it, but never really read much about it. This planet holds so many secret places doesn't it? And those places hold stories that we will never know.ReplyDelete
So how did little Phoebe's swimming go? Iris had pool time but the pool was closed when covid first started. She just got enrolled in her first gymnastic class and is happily somersaulting forwards and backwards all over the house.
The first pool session went well. There were seven other mothers and one father there with their babies. Phoebe was the only one who did not cry. That is because she is the best baby!Delete
Thanks for showing us pictures of places we will never get to visit. I wonder how they made the figurines? Would they be sculpted out of the rocks on site?ReplyDelete
They were nearly all sculpted at the Ranu Ruraku quarry to the north east of the island and then moved to the platforms where they would be sited. No one knows for sure how the moai were moved.Delete
I would love to have visited Easter Island when we were still in the mood for travelling. It is sad to think that overpopulation and deforestation led to the island's demise, with just those iconic statues left behind.ReplyDelete
I know that that is the number one theory about how the island declined but there are other theories too. Certainly there were still hundreds of Easter Islanders when first contact with Europeans was made in 1722.Delete
I remember reading Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki and being fascinated with the island and others. But I have seen numerous DNA studies that show the migration occurred in the exact opposite direction.ReplyDelete
It is one of those places I would go in an instant if opportunity presented itself but I'm not sure I would simply head there as a destination. It isn't that I'm not interested in seeing it but that I have other places that I would rather spend the effort and time seeing first.
On that trip I also did some travelling in Chile and Argentina so it wasn't totally about Easter Island Ed.Delete
You are a dark horse.ReplyDelete
Easter Island !
The Morning of the Gods.
I am as green with jealousy as a bronze statue of Agamemnon.
Haggerty in search of Iphigenia
Are you alluding to the song "The Girl from Iphigenia" by Stan Getz?ReplyDelete
Good joke, different girl, Neil.ReplyDelete
I am thinking about Agamemnon in search of his daughter Iphigenia.
Easter Island took my breath away and got me thinking of an idea of Elias Canetti's. He said the West's obsession with beauty was really a return to polytheism.
Who were the gods of Easter Island?
That got me thinking about a bogus book of my youth, The Morning of the Magicians. There are some amusing posts on the book's two authors.
A French physicist exposed them with his own book, The Twilight of the Magicians.
He was a secularist and an acute thinker, the Richard Dawkins of his day.
The horses look so noble, grazing in the presence of the enigmatic Moai.
Your travels in Argentine and Chile are for another post, I hope.
Now I must get back to Stan Getz and The Girl from ... Inishfree?