All posts filed under: Easter Island

Rapa Nui: Come for the Heads, Stay for the Everything Else

We’ve gushed a bit about Rapa Nui (better known as Easter Island, but we’re not down with slave names) in previous posts, but allow us to continue unabated. We loved Rapa Nui. Of all the places we’ve been thus far, it’s the place we’re both happiest we included on our itinerary. A quick detour: Some of you might be wondering about the logistics of our trip, a topic about which MacKenzie is happy to digress at length but, like, email her if you’re interested so it’s not that thing where two people at a dinner party talk about the TV show that only they watch. Suffice to say that we’re traveling on a ‘round-the-world ticket offered by the OneWorld alliance. The fare is based on the country where you start and the number of continents visited (in our case, four), and from there the only “extras” are taxes and fees imposed by various countries and airlines. So it’s essentially the same price to fly from Santiago to Buenos Aires as it is to fly from …

3/ka toru from Easter Island/Rapa Nui

Scene-setter: We’re going with the movies we watched on the plane to Easter Island, which sounds lazy, but stay with us. All the moai (the statutes with the big heads) on the island have their backs to the ocean save for the seven that stand at Ahu Akivi, a site on the northwest of the island. According to origin myth, these figures represent the first explorers from the islands of Hiva who were sent by their chief to find other lands fit to inhabit. They face the sea, waiting for their people to join them—which is basically the plot of Interstellar, so there you have it. The other film we watched was Birdman, which was the name of an annual religious rite of the Rapa Nui peoples around the 18th century. Every spring, at the start of sooty tern mating season (sooty tern is a bird), each tribe on the island would send a representative to the ceremonial village of Orongo. There, the competitors would climb down a cliff and swim through shark-infested waters to …