Linda Kohl

Joined January 2016
  • Jun16

    East Lansing, MI

    June 16 in Chile

    Day 9, Sat June 16 USA Arrived early (6 am) in Houston after dinner and breakfast, no sleep, and 3 movies. There had been a flight at 7:45 am for Detroit but when I made the reservation, I thought that 6:30 to 7:45 wouldn’t be enough time for customs and immigration but since I got in early it would have worked. Finally got to East Lansing at 6 pm. All in all it was an awesome trip.

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  • Jun15

    Santiago, Chile

    June 15 in Chile

    Day 8, Fri. June 15 Santiago.
    My agenda for the day included changing $30 to CLP so I could pay for the taxi ride to airport (28.000 clp), the Cultural Center, climbing Santa Lucia Hill (Cerro), shopping for some Chile magnets, the Pre-Colombian museum (the only one that cost anything), and possibly the art museum (didn’t make it). The Centre Gabriela Mistral/GAM Cultural center had “poster” and art displays for each of the 15 regions of Chile. They were very well done and I loved the art. The Center (1972) has had a very interesting political background when Pinochet had issues with it and Allende’s propaganda initiative. It became a cultural center in 2010. Unfortunately, my battery on the camera was dying so my photos didn’t get recorded.
    Then I headed back towards the hotel to climb Cerro Santa Lucia, the 1872 landmark public park next to hotel. The hill had many great lookout points of the city and the Andes and was only a block from the hotel. After getting the CLP for my taxi, I decided to go to the Pre-Colombian Museum (1981), the only museum that has an entry fee. If the artifacts are real, they are very well-preserved and old (some almost 2000 years). (Note: Chile claims they were doing mummies long before Egypt – they fill the body with twigs and leaves – Is that really what a mummy is? Just a skin covering; I guess so).
    While waiting for my taxi to the airport, a G adventure traveler who had just finished her 2 country tour, asked for a cab to the airport and we offered her to ride with me. Now, I had 14.000 clp to get rid of. Got to the airport by 6:30 for 9:30 flight. It was good that I had boarding pass and no checked luggage b/c the line for United was at least 2 blocks long. No wonder they say 3 hrs ahead of time. Got through security and started walking around the Duty free shop to spend money. I was able to spend it all at the duty free shop, including $9 candy bars (regular size) with help from the cashier who made up the difference when I was about $1 short.
    Pictures: 1-5: at top of Santa Lucia and Andes 6: example of poster at GAM (battery died)
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  • Jun14

    Isla de Pascua

    June 14 in Chile

    Day 7, THur. June 14 Easter Island/ Santiago As I had the morning free, I walked over to the museum. While they don’t have a lot of artifacts (those darn British taking petroglyphs and more), it had a lot of explanations. It had a white coral eye with a red scoria pupil. It is believed that all Moai were given this type of eye when finally erected; it is known that the eyes were the last thing carved. Got back to my Santiago hotel around 11 pm. I had decided to take an evening flight back to the states on Friday so that I could spend another day in Santiago.
    Pictures: 1-sunset previous night from pier 2-museum info 3-6: competing theories on how statues moved
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  • Jun13

    Isla de Pascua

    June 13 in Chile

    Day 6, Part 3 Wed. June 13 Easter Island Full day tour. . ….
    We visited the quarry at Rano Raraku volcano, where 95% of the Moai statues were made, still with hundreds of statues left here. There are many remnants and partially completed Moai here. Some are gigantic: 20m (65ft) long and just under 200 tons. Slaves did NOT carve, transport, or erect the statues. The clan chiefs went to the quarries and negotiated the cost for the statue. The tribes paid for the carving, the transport and the erection. We had a catered picnic lunch here: bbq chicken, bbq ribs, salad, small banana, roll. It was very good.
    On our way to the “most tropical beach” on the island, we saw Te Pito Kura. Following this we had an hour at Anakena to play in the surf or walk around. It is considered the cradle of history and culture for the island. Here the first king landed and established his settlement. We did NOT see the Moai of Ahu Nau Nau (7 Moai) which was promised on our handout. I think it was actually at Anakena, but the guide did not point it out. ?older single statue of Ahu Ature Huke
    We got back before 4 pm and then I went souvenir shopping and finished my statues, magnets, and t-shirt purchases. After a cold cut sandwich for dinner, I went to the pier to watch surfers and the sunset.
    Pictures: 1-Ahu Tongariki 2-4-quarry and the only Moai kneeling and with legs 5-6-Anakena moai and beach
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  • Jun13

    Isla de Pascua

    June 13 in Chile

    Day 6, Part 2 Wed. June 13 Easter Island Full day tour. . ….
    Next we visited Ahu Tongariki, the largest ahu (platform) of the 15 Moais on the island; they weigh an average of 50 tons and were destroyed by a tidal wave in 1960. Note: Japan felt bad for Rapa Nui because it was “their” tidal wave that they helped restore the Moai here. You can see that one of them has the red topknot. The monument has a sense of harmony and balance. (BTW: did not see many pets on the island. This was the only cat)
    Pictures: 1-Akahanga kitten pix just for Rachel 3-6: Ahu Tongariki
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  • Jun13

    Isla de Pascua

    June 13 in Chile

    Day 6, Part 1 Wed. June 13 Easter Island Full day tour. . ….
    Today was the full-day tour in Portuguese and English on the Moai Route. First stop: the ruins of Akahanga. This is an old village near the ocean. We got to see the remains of the actual houses people slept in. Close by are the stone ovens, in which they prepared meals. The ovens consisted of 5 stones in a circle formation. We also got to go into the cave at Akahanga which was believed to be refuge for the fishermen during storms. Still in their original condition, the Ahu Akahanga has 13 Moai and is also the location where the first king of the island (Hotu Matu’a) was buried. Legend has it that his sons moved him to the top of Rano Kau volcano but also there is myth that the eldest son stole his head (which is carved into upon death to signify the owner) and took it to his tribe to benefit from its spiritual power.
    Pictures: 1-“dock”, surfers: 1 block from hotel 2-6 Akahanga: explanation, ocean view, toppled Moai, petroglyph, fallen Moai
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  • Jun12

    Isla de Pascua

    June 12 in Chile

    Day 5, Part 3 Tues. June 12 Easter Island
    Our afternoon tour: We first visited the Ahu Akivi, a platform made up of seven almost uniform Moais (representing harmony and balance) – these are the only Moais on the island that face the sea. Statues typically face the villages to watch over the village and provide stability and economic abundance. They have a mystical power to protect the village. Statues were placed at least 150 years before Europeans arrived. It is also famous for its astronomical orientation (they look at the point where sun sets during spring equinox and backs face sun at dawn of autumn equinox). In the back is a crematorium. The current myth is that the 7 represent the explorers sent by 1st king Hotu Matu’a from their home island of Hiva and face the ocean, awaiting the king’s arrival. A legend says that Hau Maka, the priest of Hotu Matu’a had a dream in which his soul flew across the ocean when he sighted the island and foretold of their homeland being destroyed by a tsunami.
    Next we visited Huri a Urenga, the Moai with 2 pairs of hands. There are more astronomical findings here, looking at where the sun rises during winter solstice. Finally, we visited Puna Pau, a quarry (and extinct volcano) where the Pukao where carved (Pukao is also known as the typical hairstyle or the hats of the Moais). The stone is red scoria, volcanic ash of extreme porosity and not very hard.
    That night I asked receptionist Hector for a dinner: another ocean/sunset facing restaurant. This also was a top notch restaurant. Hector had recommended “cerviche rapa nui” which looked raw and was. I chose shrimp with tubers. IT was delicious. I then went to end of the pier to watch the surfer and the very cloudy sunset.
    Pictures: 1-2-explanations 3-5-ahu Akivi and size perspective
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  • Jun12

    Isla de Pascua

    June 12 in Chile

    Day 5, Part 2 Tues. June 12 Easter Island
    After that we headed to the extinct volcano Rano Kao, the largest volcano. The crater has fresh water and is lush greenery with fruits and vegetables. Our guide told us that as a kid her family would hike up and go swimming and picnicking there. It last erupted 180,000 years ago. We returned to our hotel for lunch break.
    Pictures: 1-cliff at Orongo 2-3 houses at Orongo and the door (see the hand to get perspective) 4-volcano
    5-view of town from volcano 6-single Moai at Huri a Urenga
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  • Jun12

    Isla de Pascua

    June 12 in Chile

    Day 5, Part 1 Tues. June 12 Easter Island.
    Had a great free breakfast: eggs, rolls, sweet treats, fruit, veggies, juice (cantaloupe juice and strawberry juice), cold cuts. The tour bus (about 10 people) picked 4 of us up from my hotel. Our first stop: Vinapu. Vinapu is the site of the most perfectly fit ahu, a way of working the stone that does not exist in any other part of Polynesia and that has given rise to many theories about the origins of the population of the island, which relate it to the Inca culture of South America. Also, the guide stated that the island did not have the iron tools needed to make perfectly rectangular blocks, weighing several tons and adjusted with great precision. Vinapu I or Tahira has six fallen statues face down with three of the pukao that topped them. Its orientation, as in many other platforms; here directed east of the winter solstice. This construction has a great resemblance to the structures observed at Machu Picchu in Peru. This similarity has led to the scientific community thinking of possible contacts between the ancient inhabitants of Polynesia and South America.
    Then we went to Orongo, high on a part of the Rano Kau volcano, for the fascinating birdman (Tangata Manu) story. This is most known as a ceremonial village but also as an astronomical observatory. One month a year (Sept – beginning of spring) the various island tribes would send their chiefs and top athlete to the temporary village to participate in the competition. They stayed in low houses (sorta like a basement floor) with doors at ground level, like a window well and that size. It required people to enter head first (so if an enemy you could take care of him). [Note: throughout the island people only slept in their homes and they housed maybe 12-20 people – no rooms.] The competition: The athletes had to scale down the cliff and then swim out to the islet. They then stayed in caves on the islet waiting for the first sacred egg of the manutara bird (often called “sooty tern”) to be laid. The athletes then stole whatever egg they could grab, stored it on their head (wrapped up), swam back, scaled the cliff and presented their chief with the intact egg. Note that other competitors would try to break the egg so they could win the competition. The winning chief got to live for a year in a special house with no one but his man-servant who took care of his meals and needs. If anyone touched the winning king, one could be punished with death. WOW! The winning athlete got to pick one of 7 virgins for his bride. They were kept in a cave during the competition and if the “doctor” determined they weren’t a virgin, they were thrown off the cliff at Orongo. Such an interesting story..
    Pictures: 1-vinapu, back of ahu (perfect blocks) and an unrestored Moai; 2-pukao/topknot
    3-5 explanation of Orongo 6-the islet swum to
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  • Jun11

    Isla de Pascua

    June 11 in Chile

    Day 4 Part 2, Monday, Jun 11: Easter Island (Rapa Nui) After my 6 hour flight from Santiago to Rapa Nui, I met Jose at front desk of my great hotel with perfect English (he had lived for several years in Florida but was really Chilean). The hotel is ideally located: about 1 block from the “shopping district” and 1 block from ocean. “Shopping district” meant some actual stores on one side of street and little stalls on the other side. Jose recommended that I try Moana for dinner and then how to get to Ahu Tahai (Ahu=platform) for the sunset behind some Moai. I trekked over to Moana and got seated in the patio with an ocean view. I ordered grilled fish with papaya chutney and purple yams. The waiter asked me how I’d like my fish done (I didn’t know you could do that). He picked medium well and it was delicious except for one raw bite in the middle. While sorta expensive by our standards, this is an island located 2000+ miles from anything. The dish was beautiful, like a Gordon Ramsey plated dinner and food was awesome and plentiful. I do wish I had taken a picture of it – oh, well, next time.
    Then I meandered over to the Tahai statues for sunset taking Jose’s shortcut through the cemetery. This was the night to see the sunset b/c the next night was totally overcast and the following night a bit cloudy. The site combines archaeological remains of great historical importance with a landscape of great beauty located in front of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the oldest settlements on the island whose earliest remains date back to 700 AD. According to tradition, Tahai was the last place of residence of Ngaara, the last ariki mau or high-ranking ruler, who died and was buried here. The 4th pictures shows a restored Moai with eyes as should be.
    Pictures: 1-6: Tahai, Moai, sunset at Tahai.
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