Easter Island. Just to be here, means pure magic. I decide to keep a travel diary for each day I spend on this fascinating island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A public diary, of course, sharing my thoughts & feelings with you here on my travel blog. As usual really, including lots of travel tips & inspiring photography, but also very personal. I am going to share with you what makes up this singular and somewhat peculiar spot on Earth. The culture, the history, the land, it is so unique and worthwhile. Coming to think of it, it still blows my mind.
“So how did you feel when you arrived on Easter Island?”, sweet local lady Tía Berta asks me only a few hours after landing on Rapa Nui. “Acogida”, I tell her and smile. Welcomed.
My first point of contact with this “terra incognita” is the warm subtropical wind that constantly blows here on latitude 27° South, blessing “Te Pito O Te Henua” to its mild, well-tempered Oceanic climate. “Te Pito O Te Henua“, Easter Island’s original name, literally translates into: “The Navel of the World”! And this is exactly how the first people, Polynesian seafarers who arrived on Easter Island some 1000 years ago, look at it today: A powerful place full of energy that allowed them to raise their impressive Moai statues together with a highly organized cultural society. Wow! These Moai keep fascinating me – and the rest of the world. “Think of the entire island as one gigantic open-air museum”, Maria of my accommodation, the charming Hotel y Cabañas Tea Nui, tells me. She has come to greet me & another couple from Santiago de Chile at Easter Island’s tiny little airport, located at the edge of an even smaller “capital city”, a village with about 5.000 citizens, a three kilometre runway – and dozens of Moai. “The Moai are everywhere, dotted all over the island”, Hernán now laughs with me. I have met this charming musician of the national Chilean Symphony Orchestra during my first walk on Easter Island; Hernán who together with 150 of his colleagues is about to perform in a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime free open air concert on Easter Island.. tonight!! I cannot believe how lucky I am. Hernán points towards the other end of the bay and continues to smile at me: “Over there, by the Moai. That is where we are going to play tonight. Just come on over and join us!” And joining you I will …
This thing about Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is something I have never fully understood. Just too bright & hot here for Christmas, if you ask me! “No cabe”, is what I keep repeating, laughing with the local people: “It just does not fit!” My first such encounter with the locals of Rapa Nui is with dear “Tía Berta”, who I have already mentioned before. Once more, I am conscious – and happy – that my fluent Spanish opens up doors, in this case to some of the first stories about Easter Island from a local point of view. Little by little, I keep “disarming” dear Tía Berta, who upon hearing my travel tales launches into a sermon of how much she enjoyed travelling in Europe – Austria, Switzerland & Mont Saint Michel in France, that is! She then goes on to reveal some of the lesser known stories about Easter Island, careful to mention the ruthless attitude of some of the nosy journalists that have visited her 😉 and does her best at reminding me that the “fascinating mystery of Easter Island” is not an easy story to tell. Quite the opposite really, from what I have gained from this first little introduction. But let me tell you more about that in the next “dream destination diaries”. For now, let us enjoy Easter Island’s food scene!
The Chilean Symphony Orchestra performs together with local Rapa Nui musicians against the mighty backdrop of a tremendous sunset on Easter Island. Sound waves sweetly weave around the stoic stone sculptures of the ancient Moai, amplified only by the relentless waves pounding the coastline. A masterpiece unparalleled, both unique and ever so enthralling.
I am mesmerised. Completely. As if the magic of being on Easter Island was not enough, I am witnessing a concert that has never before taken place on planet Earth. The combination of musicians from the Chilean Symphony Orchester, performing together with those of the Fuerzas Armadas and supported by a local Rapa Nui pianist/singer duo, is tremendous, to say the least. Even for the very musicians themselves, who have come to perform in such an environment for the first time ever. Right by the mighty Moai. And in front of one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever watched in my whole life. I feel like having to burst with happiness !!!
For even more magic from Easter Island, head on over to my Flickr Photo Gallery here:
I have also written & published the following stories about Easter Island:
- Dream Destination Diaries: “Sweet Sandy Beaches & Mystical Moai Meditations on Easter Island“
- Dream Destination Diaries: “Sensing ‘Te Pito O Te Henua‘, The Navel of the World“
- Dream Destination Diaries: “Exploring Past & Present on Rapa Nui, Easter Island“
Hope you enjoy! 🙂