Feeling Very Small, at Ahu Tongariki

Thanks to our handy ATV-rental, we were able to visit a lot of sites independently on Easter Island. We were zipping along from one point on our map to the next, it was so easy! After visiting the beach at Anakena, we continued along the road. The next interesting thing we encountered was Te Pito Kura, otherwise known as “The World’s Naval”. Here it is:

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That large stone in the middle is said to have an exceptionally high amount of iron in it, so it heats up quickly… and possesses special powers, some of which relate to fertility. Legend has it that the first king of the island arrived carrying this stone.

Our next stop was Papa Vaka, which features a huge collection of petroglyphs. This one is of octopi and fishhooks… though I suppose it’s possible you see something entirely different when you look at it:

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And then we were off again, eager to visit all the other points on our map. We zipped along the countryside. It seemed flat and rural… along with this unassuming mountain:

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Initially it didn’t arrest our attention much… but as we rounded the bend, it became evident that this mountain was very special:

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I was staring at that rounded sort of amphitheater-shape, thinking how it looked like half a crater or something… and then I realized I wasn’t the only one staring at that mountain.

The Moai were staring at it too:

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We had arrived at Ahu Tongariki! This is the largest platform with the largest amount of Moai on the island.

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And here they are up close, staring (in awe?) at the half-crater mountain:

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Looking at them dead-on. It’s hard to get them all in one photo.

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Portrait-style:

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Contemplative.

Um. We weren’t entirely sure if you’re allowed to venture behind the statues… sometimes it’s taboo… but there were no signs telling us we couldn’t in this case, as long as we kept a healthy respectful distance from the platform. And, there was a path. I followed it… and stood looking up… waaaaaay up.

It often seems that travel makes some people feel very big and important. I am not like those people. For me? Travel makes me feel quite small. But in the best way possible.

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Among giants.

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