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  • Day45

    Easter Island, Chile

    February 16 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    After four restful days we had a chance to go ashore.
    Easter Island is a tender port. We booked a private tour. Since the private tour operator has a monopoly on this island, but still not as expensive as ship tours, there are 80 people on private tour with 20 people on each bus.
    I asked people on how early get in line for tender tickets and was told EARLY.
    I set an alarm clock for 5:00 AM, but got up at 4:30 AM and decided to go check if there are any people in line. To my surprise there was around 15 ahead of me. The first in line came at 3:30 AM to get tender tickets.
    Well, by 8:30 AM they started to give out the tickets. We got #2 tender. As soon as we got tickets, we went down to deck 1 to get in line for the tender boat. We knew it will be slow since even when the ocean is calm, the tender boarding is very rough at this location. More times then not cruise ships are not be able to stop here.
    By 10:00 AM we were on tender boat. The crew did a marvelous job to load people.
    Few minutes later we were on land in Hanga Roa (capitol city) and after payment of $80 pp for basically entrance to the island, we joined the tour.

    This island was annexed to Chile in 1888 and it is a World Heritage Site. It is the most isolated island in the world. The name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the such explorer, who landed on the island on Easter Sunday in 1722.
    Easter Island has 887 statues called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. Much of the island is dedicated to the protected national park.
    There are close to 8000 people live on this island of which 4000 from Chile, 3500 native and 500 from other countries.
    Our guide, Peter, was from Czech republic.
    There are 7000 horses roaming in the island.

    There were 20 people on the bus.

    Our first stop was Anakena. It is the only sand beach on the island. It is known as "The bay of the king". It named after the first Rapa Nui King disembarked here. The beach is pretty nice and there were few people in the water. The place has two moai statues. They were restored in 1950th.

    Our next stop was Ahu Tongariki, the largest ahu on Eastern Island. It's moais were topped during island's civil war and by tsunami after strongest earthquake in Chile. This place has 15 moais. All of them are face sunset during the summer solstice.

    Our next stop was Rano a Raraku. It is moai statue quarry. It is a volcanic cone, now extinct. Moais were carced from the rock in horizontal position and then separated from the mother rock, lifted vertically and then somehow moved to the desired location. There are many statues on this site with in the difference stages of carving. There is also a walking path around on the mountain to see carvings. We were there around 2:00 PM and by that time it was pretty hot and we were trying not to drink too much since there are not too many toilets on the island. I went for a walk around and Boris walked a little and he was hungry since we had breakfast very early in the morning, so he found a little place to buy a hotdog for $7.

    Our last stop was a volcano crater. Rano Kau, is the largest volcano and one of the most beautiful and impressive natural settings. The view was so increadably beautiful, it is hard to describe. In addition to that the sky was blue with puffy clouds and a nice breeze. It was a wonderful ending to our tour.
    We still had time to explore the town, but Boris was very tired and we took the tender boat and went back on the ship. It felt good to take a shower and have sothing to eat.

    To see pictures, please use link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/SDmhrjXFybEY7NRM8
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