Trip Start Feb 18, 2004
80Trip End Dec 05, 2005
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Narrator: "The island was discovered by Jacob Roggeveen in 1722 and named "Easter Island" because the explorers arrived on Easter Sunday. It's also known as Rapa Nui to the locals and as Isla de Pascua in Spanish."
ooooh, well i guess that explains that, but i was ready to issue some payback to that damn rabbit for not delivering me an easter basket in who knows how long. you can't hide from me, rabbit. YOU HEAR ME!?! YOU CAN'T HIDE FROM ME! I'LL FIND YOU!!!
instead of finding a bunny with a little basket and colored eggs, i found big heads carved out of stone. and, no, they did not have bunny ears. ??? again, i'm quite upset. but i was soon to recognize the striking similarity between the heads and that of Spanky. after much research and consultation with the locals on their mythology, i have come to my own scientific conclusion - these heads were carved by a long forgotten civilization of super monkeys (with slave giraffes) in honor of a deity meant to return one day in the future. now that day has come. i offer you this irrefutable evidence:
Spanky is a god...only a fool would argue otherwise. the current population of the island was slow (very slow) to recognize what i saw so clearly. several whacks upside the head with Spanky roused them to anger and there were threats of burning what was their original inhabitants' god, but we escaped with a few minor wounds. i hope the local polynesians will come to their senses someday...for their sakes.
i flew on wings of steel across the majestic pacific to the remote island of rapa nui. it's kind of unique among the polynesian islands as it's a lone island (not a string of islands like hawaii). i arrived in the afternoon and just went out to Ahu Tahai, which is quite close to town. i should mention something about why the original inhabitants of the island are no longer here. apparently they used up all the resources (e.g., trees, animals) and moved on. could be a little lesson for the modern world (where do we move on to?). it's nice to be back by the ocean again. i forgot while inland around peru and bolivia that i missed it. went back out to Ahu Tahai again at sunset for pics. being a remote island, everything is ridiculously expensive. i did find somewhere with dinner specials for some tuna (no, it wasn't from a can). the stars shine real purty like here.
"I had a dream, I had an awesome dream. People in the park playing games in the dark." wait, wait, no, that's a lionel ritchie song. my dream was i went to a fast food restaurant and found robin williams and another celebrity (can't remember who) working there. i asked robin what he was doing working in a fast food joint, and he said he was earning money for school 'cuz he was going back to get a degree in psychology. made perfect sense to me in the dream.
there didn't seem to be much in the way of tours catered to backpackers going around the island so i just rented a suzuki samurai to get myself around. it was nice to be driving again and i got to sing to myself as there was no radio ("i got me a dog his name is bo, and he's got the hi-pro glow!"). first went out to Anakena beach and Ahu Nau Nau. the beach is pretty and the moai are well-preserved. there was a very large polynesian lady there with her family who was kind of hula dancing to some music playing. it was a scary sight. stopped by a spot on the coast with a tipped over moai but it was more pretty for the scenery than the sculpture. off to Ahu Tongariki with its 15 moai - very cool and quite nice for photos with the ocean behind it.
the volcano of Rano Raraku is right nearby to Tongariki and is known as "the nursery" since most of the moai were carved here. there are stone statues all over the place here. the crater with the lake is nice too. drove along the scenic coast then inland to Ahu Akivi. the moai here are the only ones facing the ocean. next stop was the volcanic crater of Rano Kau. coolio iglesias. made a brief stop in town for nap time then out again to Rano Raraku and Ahu Tongariki to get pics with the afternoon light. out to Ahu Tahai again for sunset pics. i was too cheap to pay for a real dinner so just went to one of the stands for some empanadas. FULL MOON! woooo ooooo ooooo. the ghosts of the ancient monkeys riding their giraffes danced around in the heavens paying homage to the return of Spanky (i.e., the stars purty still).
being in the middle of the Pacific, Rapa Nui has a weird time zone. it would be two hours ahead of U.S. Pacific Time...so sunrise and sunset are both late. i woke up with sunrise (8am) and went out to the Ahu Tahai area for morning pics. had a little bit of time to wander and chillout before my flight back to Santiago. there was a tour group of Chileans that didn't seem to have a clue between the whole lot of them (they had the check-in counter a disorganized mess). this flight was nice as i had no one next to me and my own video screen to choose whatever i wanted to watch. that of course was the monkey polka channel. if you've never seen a monkey playing the accordion while wearing lederhosen, you need to get yourself the cable X-treme package.
back to Santiago where i need to figure out what it is i'm doing (should i go to patagonia???).
before anyone replies that Easter Island isn't in French Polynesia, i know. travelpod doesn't have a map pin location for Easter Island so i just put it as French Polynesia since that's in the middle of the Pacific too.