Today we woke up at 7:30 and were all eating breakfast by
8:30. After breakfast, we all got on the busses to go see the moais all over
We went first to the site where the moais were made. As we walked
through the trails looking at the finished and partially finished stone heads
all around us and taking a million and one pictures, the guide gave us some
history on the place.
Rapa Nui had different tribes on it, and each tribe made
the stone heads as a way to honor their ancestors. 80 people worked 24 hours a
day (40 for 12 hours and the other 40 the other 12 hours) for 9 months to carve
a single moai.
Then, they placed them in lines on the coast of the island,
always looking inward because there were no enemies that came from outside
because the island is so remote. The only enemies were the other tribes, as way
proved when a bloody war crippled the island and left all of the moais knocked
down (to make their ancestors “kiss the ground” was the most insulting thing
one tribe could do to another). Now the moais have been restored and the
majority is back standing up, although they have been damaged. We then drove a
little more down the island to a row of 15 moais, which is the longest and most
famous row on the island.
We took pictures there before the busses took us to
another spot on the island. It just looked like a round rock in the middle of a
circle of other rocks, but apparently it is a fallen meteor that is said to
have special properties. It is called “the bellybutton of the world”, so naturally
all us girls had to take a picture showing our belly buttons with the rock.
Then we went to the beach. It is the only sandy beach on the whole island, but
it was absolutely gorgeous.
They prepared an asado for us at the beach, and we
ate purple sweet potatoes and grilled chicken out of banana leaves instead of
plates. Then we looked at the moais overlooking the beach, and finally put on
our bathing suits and went for a swim.
The water felt amazing, and we all
stayed in for a really long time laughing and talking and enjoying the paradise
we were currently in. The girls even had another failed attempt at a topless back-facing-the-camera picture that once again was embarrassing and hilarious and not at all cute like we wanted it to be. Then, as we were getting out, it started to rain really
hard, and so we ran to the busses and they took us back to the hotel. We all
showered and relaxed some more before dinner. After dinner, we stayed around
talking for a little while, but it had been a huge day and I was tired, so I
went to bed pretty early.