I just got back from an amazing ten day trip to Rapa Nui, that’s Easter Island to most of us. However Rapa Nui is the Islanders name for this paradise. A tropical island 3700 kms off the coast of Chile or around 4000 kms from Tahiti. It has the badge for being the remotest inhabited place on earth. It’s a volcanic island comprising of three volcanos Poike in the north, around 3 million years old, Rano Kau around 2 million years old and the baby of the bunch Terevaka a sprightly 200,000 years old. Thankfully they are all extinct in the hot lava, big eruptions and hellish hot ash department.
My trip there was to get images for an upcoming book and exhibition. However due to the Conaf people, this may now not happen as certain permits were not purchased by the publishers. However my trip still kicked ass.
I stayed at the dreadful Manavai hotel (NEVER stay here) right near the port, town and local stores. Rapa Nui has one town Hanga Roa and it is pretty quiet. If you want NY, Miami, Paris, London or Amsterdam, then go to those places. This Isle is not an 18-30, Club Med or Costa Brava style trip. It’s history and culture and some amazing Moais
Scattered all around the island are aforesaid Moais. These are huge carved statues in the form of the people who lived here hundreds of years ago. They stand on platforms, known as Ahus. These are the burial places of the peoples who once roamed this place. They are pretty damn impressive. The biggest stands at several meters and weighs a lardy 70 tones! How the people of old got them up is one of those Pyramid type mysteries. Locals feel they were either flown by aliens or walked by themselves. I was not gonna voice an opinion here and quietly listened to their view points.
The best tuna in the world comes from Rapa Nui, in my ten day stay I had a total of 16 ceviches! various styles, but all without exception were fantastic. I had a couple of chicken curries which were pretty good as well.
My first four days there I hooked up with a pretty cool Canadian who was an avid traveller (and ceviche fan) He helped me carry cameras, lenses and tripods around the volcanos,caves, lava flows, palm trees,beaches Moais and Ahus. Once he left I hired a guide for several days. Hugo by name. He was born and raised on Rapa Nui and knew all the sites, all the people and also the best restaurant on the island a Japanese place where a superb sushi could be had.The owner a Chilean called Francisco basically ran it by himself. There are only four tables and he serves, cooks, manages and probably washes up as well. An incredibly chilled out geezer, something a restaurant chef rarely is.
The thing that got me as a photographer was the light! WOW COW it’s good. Maybe April/May as autumn months helps a bit, but I got some great skies, sunsets, clouds, storms and windy conditions. All helping me to get the images here and on the travel section of my site.
Enjoy these images and if you get the chance go to Rapa Nui. Cheapest flights are direct from Santiago in Chile, and only the superb LanChile fly there. It’s a five hour flight and costs around $600 US return, depending on the season. Wettest month is May and hottest are January February. Languages are Rapa Nui and Spanish, though French and English are widely understood. Chilean pesos or Yankee dollar work well. Fish is the main food and I cannot stop raving about the ceviche.
It was actually my second time on Rapa Nui and for sure won’t be my last.
These images are subject to copyright, and I have actually received a fair amount of money recently through chasing people who have used images without payment or consent. Better to pay a fee upfront than a fine down the line