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Day 5 - Easter Island

Hanga Roa, Chile

We got in around 1pm after a 5 hour flight from Santiago. Our first Mission? Check out the Moai close to our hotel. It's hard to describe the magic of being next to these statues in the flesh (Stone). Our first Moai was in Ahu Tahai which is a fully restored Moai with the eyes still in tact - yes they have eyes! The eyes in Ahu Tahai are made of Coral and Obsidian. This Moai sits alone on his own platform.

There were 5 more Moai's in the same village of Tahai. These were also restored but were not in as good of a shape as the main Moai on his own platform. All Moai's except 7 face inland towards the villiage that they represent. The Moai's themselves were chiseled out of Stone from a quarry in the eastern part of the island and then dragged to their platforms. The statues represent the nobility / leaders of the village and they range in size from 1.5m to a whopping 21m (yes 21 freakin meters high).

We learned that there is definitive proof now that the people who made these statues were from Polynesia (not Inca descent) and they made the 6000km journey on boats (mainly outriggers!).

We hung out around Tahai for sunset and snapped some more photos. Food in Rapa Nui is, as expected, inflated. I'd say food is about 3x the cost we experienced on the coast of Chile. We tried to keep to budget by locating cheaper, more local style places. This worked pretty well. We walked along the coast of the island from Tahai into Hanga Roa and enjoyed a simple snack/meal for the evening.

permalink written by  yungwesl on January 11, 2009 from Hanga Roa, Chile
from the travel blog: Sandy and Wes in South America
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Previous: Day 4 - Concon and Renaca (Day at the Beach) Next: Day 6 - Easter Island Tour

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