Tag Archive: Easter Island


Sat 16.05.15

 

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

Landed at Mataveri International airport on Tuesday 12.05.15.

Wednesday was spent resting, (changing time zones play havoc with ones sleeping patterns). Thursday and Friday were days for two short tours in and around the area of Hanga Roa, the main town.

Got up early, and was reward

Got up early, and was rewarded

Completed an ‘all day’ tour today around the SE to NE side of the island. Starting at the Hanga Pokura archeological site half way down the SE seaboard. Here, as at many other sites statues had been toppled by the Rapa Nui people them selves. It seems, due to factional fighting and intertribal raiding parties. Further up the eastern seaboard, we visited the quarry area, where these statues were hued from the strata and were in various stages of completion. It must have been very difficult and tiresome work as they appear to have had no access to sophisticated tools. Basically carving out the rock with denser rock like obsidian.

Stoic & steadfast witnesses to the past

Stoic & steadfast witnesses to the past

The scale of both work and the finished sculptures is truly monumental and one can only wonder at the difficulty and determination that the people exhibited in order to complete the task. One needs to bear in mind that the embryonic population was believed to have arrived in the 13th Century from the Marquesas’ and only survived until the 1850’s. Surprisingly little is known about the people or how they sustained themselves. A lot of the information deduced is nothing more than conjecture arrived at by the scientific community. The documented permanent population is 4200(2011) and there are thereabouts 40000 visitors to the island a year. Self evidently, tourism is the major economic driver, which is burgeoning.

Sunday 17.05.15 Though not particularly religious one went to the local Catholic church to hear the service and enjoy the singing. Though good, the singing was not in the same class as one had experienced on other islands along our Pacific transit. An abiding memory was the singing/hospitality at the Weslyan Chapel in the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) with base, alto and tenor harmonies. The congregation in the main church of the Vava’u island group, Tonga was also exemplary. Will be flying out to Santiago in mainland Chile on Wednesday 20.05.15.

Sculpted in the quarry ready for transportation.

Sculpted in the quarry ready for transportation.

Tropic storm (Typhoon Pam) hit Vanuatu, a group of islands just to the west of Fiji yesterday. News reports say forty people were feared lost and wind speeds were recorded at 155mph. damage to property is extensive with almost ninety percent of homes impacted with structural damage. Bizarrely, the prime minister (Baldwin Lonsdale)of Vanuatu was away on a conference in Japan about disasters and their impacts.Here in Fiji the effects were less damaging, however the rain and windspeed increased dramatically and swiftly over a twelve hour period as the storm passed.certainly felt the power of a phenomenon that one had never experienced before. Quite remarkable and very disconcerting. 15.03.15 The storm now appears to have passed and is headed further south, to the north east of north island New Zealand.

View from NaNaNu-i-ru back to the mainland.

View from NaNaNu-i-ru back to the mainland.

27.03.15 Flew five and a half hours Jetstar back to Sydney. Left Fiji with mixed feelings. The people are wonderful and the outer islands are bliss. However, one is left with the sense of a tourist economy being “managed”, which isn’t really conducive for the purposes of independent long term travellers.

On a different note, we are flying back on an A320, five days after the German Wings flight piloted by Andreas Lubitz was deliberately flown into oblivion in the Southern Alps…..just a thought for the families of those people and what terrible agonies they must be going through.

Landed Kingsford Smith where number two daughter (Georgina) was kind enough to come out to meet us on arrival and drive us back to Bondi Beach. Had a good old natter and catch up, before “hitting the hay” for a relatively early night after a tiring day of travel.

31.03.15  Now begins a period of planning. The plan is to “Bunny Hop” across the Pacific Ocean,visiting islands along the way. A little daunting as there does not appear to be any integrated flight protocols for travellers wishing to make their own arrangements.One hopes to visit the Cook Islands, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Easter Island, finally getting to South America and making landfall in Santiago, Chile in May.

I do not think that it gets any better than this.

I do not think that it gets any better than this.

Monday 06.04.15 Sees the hustings gaining momentum for the UK general election. Interesting times. Endeavouring to make arrangement to vote remotely or through a third party proxy is proving somewhat time consuming but hopefully will get there in the end.

Friday 10.04.15 Having largely accomplished the task of figuring out flight connections and accommodation, all that remains of our stay in Australia is 10 days. Following which is a flight  to Aukland and then transfer to a flight to Rarotonga in the Cook islands.

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