Last year I flew out to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), one of the most remote communities on the planet.
The island is about 3500km from the coast of South America, but is part of Chile. It is known as Easter Island, because Dutch sailors encountered the island on Easter Sunday.
The island’s airport has an extra long runway – NASA paid to have it upgraded so that it could be used as an emergency landing strip for the space shuttle. The hotel owner arranged to meet me at the airport. He didn’t have to ask what flight I was on, as there was only one flight arriving that day.
Rapa Nui’s parliament.
About 5000 people live on the island. Most of them earn their living from tourism. The island is famous for its moai – giant statues.
The most widely accepted theory is that the statues are funeral effigies for the island’s nobles. They were carved from volcanic rock at a crater in the center of the island and then transported to their resting places across the island.
Completed moai had eyes and a hat added, but most of the statues were damaged in the island’s civil wars.
An example of a restored maoi.
Some moai also hang out at the beach.