Trip Report #2 Easter Island

If you missed the first report, here’s a LINK to the beginning.

Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. It’s where the white dot is.


It is famous for its monolithic stone statues called Moai (“Mo-eye”)Specific details about their history are sketchy because there was no written language of the Rapa Nui, only verbal legends passed from generation to generation.

I first saw these statues in my grandmother’s National Geographic, when I was maybe 10 or 12 years old. If my memory is correct, at that time they believed the statues were erected to scare people away from the island.

But the statues are facing inland, not out to sea, and they were carved to embody the deified spirit of a deceased ancestor. Their presence was to remind you that your ancestors who had passed on to the next world were near.1-IMG_1913

A tsunami destroyed many of the Moai in 1960. They have been resurrected to their original positions.

Our guide Leo (below, right), who has lived his entire life on Easter Island, is writing a book and making a documentary about Rapa Nui.



Of course we had the obligatory show.

There are few trees on the island [in part] because they cut them all down to roll the Moai into position, ultimately deforesting the island and destroying many of its natural resources. Loss of large trees meant that residents were no longer able to build boats, significantly diminishing their fishing abilities.

This is Rano Kau crater. Almost a mile across, too big to fit in my camera’s lens.


Next up: Peru.


  1. I read Kon Tiki when I was in grade school and still find the book, the journey, and Easter Island fascinating!


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