152 - 19th June 2006 - A Driving Tour of Easter Island

Ahu Vinapu - Our first stop of the day

They believe that the Rapa Nui may have had a link with the Inca people - this wall is very precise

and is angled as well

Toppled Moai

This type of stone used to sit on top of the Moai statues

The rising sun brought out a face on this rock that I didn't see before

Raro Raraku

This is the birthplace of the Moai statues

They were all carved in the cliffs above and then moved up to 15 miles across the island to their Ahu platforms

The ones here are believed to be unfinished or abandoned

There are 396 moai surrounding the volcano

Steve should recognise these chaps - The one on the right is called Hinariru.
It is these two moai I really, really wanted to see. This shot is pretty much why I came to Easter Island - hence the huge grin.
and all because of...

...this photo by Cliff Wassman which I found whilst researching Moai heads because...

...when I was about six years old I used to play this game.
Funny how cause and effect works sometimes.
Several thousand miles just to see a few statues because of a game I used to play over twenty years ago.

Another shot of Hinariru

Some broke and were left where they fell

This one is fairly unique in that it is in a kneeling pose

Moai Tukuturi - The kneeling moai, with Ahu Tongariki in the background

If this moai had been finished it would have been the largest moai in existence (the top one)

Here you can see how they were carved from the rock face - lying down

At all sorts of angles

Pip at Raro Raraku

how the statues were taken out of the rock

Some were even carved upside down!

Carving them this way maximised the use of the rock

Walking up towards the crater

The crater of Raro Raraku - You can swim in here if you want - but it was too cold for us - and INCREDIBLY windy

Moai on the inner crater

I liked this one

So I took lots of pictures of him

and another

This moai had a ship carved on the front and is believed to signify contact with the spaniards

Note to park rangers: I was very careful not to touch this statue - it is just clever use of angles.

Ahu Tongariki

This Ahu was restored - in the 60s a tsunami wave knocked them all a hundred meters inland

You can see the hand carvings quite clearly here

The whole Ahu

one of the ones which didn't make it back to the platform with rano raraku in the background

Chris and Pip at Ahu Tongariki (it's still very windy)

top knots with rano raraku in the background

Chris at Ahu Te Pito Te Kura

Ahu Te Pito Te Kura - This moai was the largest to have been stood on it's Ahu - away from the quarry

Our Suzuki Samurai

Our companion Vinicius / Vinnie - He liked to take photos of signs to remind him where he'd been

Our wheels

The beach at Anakena

The Ahu there

it's still very windy! so we got covered in sand.

Ahu Anakena - Restored with top knots in place

Looking inland

Looking towards the lands they protect

Another Ahu at the beach

The beach itself - it was incredibly cold and rainy but people were swimming!

Ahu Akivi

Ahu Akivi from the back

Ahu Akivi is the only exception to the rule - These moai look out to sea

Yay we're on Easter Island

Ana Te Pahu - Entrance to the caves

Chris goes caving

Inside the cave - oooooo spooky

Banana tree at the entrance

The far end of the cave

This is what you had to climb through to get there

more inside the cave

Ahu Akapu

A typical Easter Island road - Although in all honesty this one was pretty smooth