Day 21 Easter Island – the Birdman and the moai of the first people

Guest blogger Peter

Our first full day on Easter Island started (after a substantial breakfast) with a visit to tbe volcanic crater of Orongo, one  of the largest of 70 extinct volcanoes on the island. The crater itself is beautiful, filled with a patchwork of islands and pools – our guide told us how her aunts would hike down into the crater to do tbe laundry while the kids swam and ate wild fruit – but the cliffs nearby are also the site of the Birdman cult.

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Until well into the 19th century, the young men of the island competed in an extraordinary contest, descending the huge cliffs with floats, swimming across to the offshore islets and awaiting the first eggs of the sooty terns that migrate here in September.

We continued in the afternoon, visiting one of the many caves on the island, where the inhabitants hid from Peruvian slavers, and the moai commemorating the seven Polynesian explorers who first came to the island from the distant Marquesas.

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One thought on “Day 21 Easter Island – the Birdman and the moai of the first people

  1. What an amazing trip. Looked at the past week today – wow! Really the trip of a lifetime and a superb holiday. Excellent time to travel – escape from winter! I knew there were Francophone islands in the Pacific and looks like a gourmet feast was enjoyed there! What stunning scenery! Keep enjoying and having fun! Next stop has to be Santiago de Chile? Try http://www.barrica94.cl – Barrica 94 is a superb Chilean wine bar – very casual and excellent range of good Chilean food / wine! Look forward to next update! P xxx

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