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Published: June 19th 2014
Islets off Rano Rau
Tiny islands right off Easter Island. The big one is good for diving.
There are a few things that I really like about Easter Island. One of these things is the fact that, since you're in such a small place, even tourists become locals. I mean when there's only like 4 places to eat, you're bound to get to know some people. That happened today during breakfast when I went into the same place as yesterday and the same lady brought me the same food. I wished her the first hasta manana of the day, or see you tomorrow. It also happened tonight, when I went back to my favorite little coffee shop, the one with the retriever, who's name I learned is blanco. Had the same thing: an Americano, or straight black coffee, and told the guy I'll see him tomorrow night. Hasta Manana.
The other thing about Easter Island is that everything here is so extremely relaxed. I mean at first I wasn't sure about local driving rules, or where to park in town exactly. But, honestly, it's like anything goes. People just park wherever they want, for however long they want to. You can park sideways, crooked, straight in, backwards... whatever. People just stand around and chat, and smile at
This is a caldera lake of a volcano that sits right above Hanga Roa.
you when you drive by. I guess in such a remote place the outside world really doesn't matter. Who cares about all of those rules in the world so far away? Just do what you want, and most of the time you don't bother anyone anyway.
So, today, after seeing the same people in town, pretty much doing the same thing, I saw a few of the more remote moai on the island, or at least the ones that aren't as famous as Ahu Tongariki. These lesser known moai are honestly the best kept secret on the island. They're usually fun to find, since it requires some off-roading, and then when you find them, you're usually in an extremely scenic spot that you have all to yourself. And these moai are unique because they've either been purposely pushed over back in the past, or were just seemingly abandoned on the road. Almost as if the ancient islanders, for some reason, just stopped moving them wherever they were going. These moai rest on the ground, tipped over... haven't budged an inch since the day they were abandoned.
I also saw another volcano at Rano Rau, and the Orongo Ceremonial
Village that sits up against it. This little village was unique because it was part of a bird cult. And being on the island you can see how birds could potentially become divine-like figures. In such a remote place, where do they come from? And they like to float in the breeze, like the windhover (I caught this morning's morning minion?). Also on Easter Island, which I find interesting, is the fact that cows and horses pretty much have free rein over the island. You see them just wandering around everywhere. I think today I had to beep my way through at least a couple of herds of cows, and one big group of what looked like half-wild horses. And, as if drawn back (or maybe because it's the only way the road goes), I found myself at Rano Raraku and Ahu Tongariki, the places I visited yesterday. There's just a certain magnetism about them, and I enjoyed taking another look.
Tomorrow is my last full day on the island. I see a few more moai. In fact, after tomorrow, I'll have literally covered all of the island... or at least the parts that can be reached by car.
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