It’s hard to believe I’m really here on Easter Island (real name ‘Rapa Nui’)! It’s one of my long time wishes come true. It’s even better than I imagined – magical, mysterious, fascinating, different. I didn’t expect that it would also be so easy – friendly, comfortable, safe, happy and fun.
The island itself is really a big volcano made up of three main volcanoes and a lot of little ones. It’s small, diverse and so beautiful. You can look right down into the craters.
There are peaceful bays, rocky cliffs and even a perfect tropical white sand beach.
The history of Rapa Nui is a strange one, with a number of stories and theories, and a lot of unknowns. The story goes that the advisor to a Polynesian king (sometime in the distant past) had a dream that the isolated and uninhabited island of Rapa Nui existed and so advised the king to send warriors out into the Pacific to search for it. It’s these warriors that discovered it and settled there. They developed a highly spiritual culture and carved huge rock statues (Moai) that are everywhere all over the island. The reason for, and meaning of, the Moai is lost in time. It’s believed that a big war broke out between the two clans and the construction of the Moai stopped at that time – so there are partially carved figures all over in various stages. I can’t find words to describe the experience of being in the presence of the Moai. It’s just something really special.
Another story says that these early Rapa Nui people cut down every single tree to transport the Moai. On top of this, Peruvian slavers raided the island and killed almost all of the adults and everyone who knew the history. In this way a lot of cultural knowledge was lost and the population almost completely destroyed. Chile offered protection at this time to the small and vulnerable population and so Rapa Nui became part of Chile.
The population has recovered to a large extent and there is a resurgence of Rapa Nui culture. It’s a great time to be here! It is expensive but there’s upbeat music, perfect weather, good food, virtually no crime or pollution and a wonderful community of people.