EASTER ISLAND (Chile). February 26

Trip Start Feb 18, 2008
Trip End Apr 01, 2008

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Flag of Chile  ,
Tuesday, February 26, 2008

After reading and seeing so many stories, I visit Easter Island was a long-cherished dream. Finally came the moment when, under our feet was over the Pacific Ocean water of infinite and appeared green a territory full of cones (70 say) and surrounded by turquoise waters. Then came the surprising reception of Cecilia, owner of Chez Cecilia hostel, with a necklace of flowers.
After the warm welcome, we left the luggage in our Cabaņa, small cottage with one bedroom, bathroom and porch, we took a private car and began the ascent of the volcano Rano Kau. In its extinct crater is a lake. Its altitude provides wonderful views of the island's only town Honga Roa and islets of the Birdman ceremony, competition that took place every year where different tribes met together and compete stronger warriors to swim to the islands and bring intact egg is first put. At the top of the volcano is also the ceremonial city of Orongo, stone houses, similar to the Incas, with the shape of a boat, where they hoped the start of the competition, as well attested in stone engravings.
Late in the afternoon, from here we head towards the platform (ahu) of the Moai of Tahari, to watch the sunset, an image that I still have in the retina.
We had dinner at a good price, but here everything is expensive because being here all come from outside and went to sleep at Residence Chez Cecilia. On the island, just there are a couple of simple hotels and the natives have been converted or adapted their houses to welcome guests, which this  now mainly live just over 3,800 inhabitants of the island, a figure that matches the Km which is separate from the American continent. It is the world's most isolated island and was NASA to build an emergency runway for its space shuttles, which made possible the arrival of flights LAN and opened to tourism.
Its history is full of mysteries and traditions have hardly survived, since the inhabitants of Polynesian origin, were brought as slaves to the copper mines of Peru and returned almost finished with the rest, to infect new diseases. There is a general feeling of rejection of the Chilean government has left them , because they have abandoned without hardly any infrastructure in this vast open-air archaeological park.

The next day after breakfast, accompanied this time by the owner Cecilia, a pleasant and cultured native visited Ahu Vaihu platform at the edge of a small bay, here is seen the signs of the destruction of “ahus” (altars moai) that began by the possession of the lands among the inhabitants of the sea (fishermen) and interior (farmers), it is believed that overpopulation depleted the resources of the island and there was even cannibalism. This is hard to believe, if you look at the great love you have for animals, the horses when they are old but not sacrifice  but they are released on the prairies until they die.
We continue around the island on the only paved road is still unfinished, until the slopes of volcano Rano Raraki, quarry where 887 moai were carved, some still unfinished. From there we went to the impressive platform Ahu Tongariki of 15 statues (moai) funded by the Japanese. And from here the "Ombrigo of the World, ball-shaped stones that with their strong magnetism are capable of disorient the compass.
Finally we end the day at the beach of Anakena, with its palm trees resembles a Caribbean beach without not forgetting their moai platform.
We returned to the residence to collect your luggage and continue on our journey, tired but amazed and annoyed by the blindness to the Chilean government fails to appreciate the gem they have on Easter Island: "God gives teeth who can not eat".

You'll find more pictures and Easter Island Guide at this link. Use the Google translator top of the page: http://mundoporlibre.com/2008/06/isla-de-pascua-chile-da-26-de-febrero.html

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