On This Day . . .
We traveled west for 5 days to reach Easter Island, where the famous Moai statues are located. This remote Polynesian island lies 2,182 miles off the coast of Chile. We were up to see a magnificent sunrise, which would be the start to a truly glorious day. To get on Easter Island we boarded one of the ship’s tenders which took us to the town of Hanga Roa. We first went to Anakena Beach passing the volcanic island scenery on the way. At the beach we got our first look at Moai, Ahu Nau Nau (group of 7) and Ahu Ature Huki, the first one that had been restored. Our next stop was at Ahu Tongariki with 15 Moai on a 656 foot platform. At the entrance to Ahu Tongariki was the “traveling Moai”, which spent some time in Japan on exhibition. We then ventured over to Rano Raraku, the quarry where all the Moai were carved. There are still 397 Moai in various stages of carving here. One of the most impressive was a 69 foot unfinished Moai that would have weighed in excess of 250 tons. Leaving the quarry we crossed the island to Tahai, outside Hanga Roa, where we saw the only Moai with inlaid eyes (Ahu Ko Te Riku) and a view of Ahu Vai Uri, Ahu Tahai and the Amsterdam at anchor.