It takes two days to sail from Robinson Crusoe Island to Easter Island. Seems this is the place almost everybody aboard the ship wanted to go.
Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as the natives call it is a remote, volcanic island that is Chilean territory.
It’s famed for its archaeological sites, including some 900 monumental statues, called moai, created by its early Rapa Nui inhabitants during the 10th-16th centuries. The moai are carved human figures with oversized heads, often resting on massive rock altars. Of course lots of cool history about when the Polynesians and the Europeans first meet too. Find out more about Easter Island’s history and flavour HERE.
Unfortunately, the water was rough and we waited almost 3 hours to disembark the ship; which means we missed part of our tour. We had booked our tours on the internet before we left Canada because the excursions offered by Oceania were full. Here on Easter Island, we traveled with Easter Island Travel. Marcus Edensky is the owner and is of Swedish decent; which is interesting because he is apparently the only European to have mastered the Rapa Nui language fluently and is a great guy. Our tour guide was Mario who spoke English really well too, the buses were clean and nice.
Because we were late, our tour was somewhat abbreviated and we only saw the small statues. We did stop at a sacred site (the Rano Rokkaku Volcano where the rock for the statues was mined). That afternoon we had lunch at property owned by Marcus and Family and were treated to some dancing by the locals.
It would have been nice though to have an interpretation of what the dances and songs were about. Because we were going to be on Easter Island one more day no one tipped the interpreter or bought any souvenirs, we thought we would see the large statues the next day. However, the ship's Captain decided that the ocean was too rough and so we could not get off the boat. As a consolation (but not much of one), the captain sailed the ship around the island and we were able to catch a glimpse of some of the larger statues as we sailed by. Needless to say, there were a lot of unhappy campers aboard ship.
From Easter Island to Pitcairn is another 3 days at sea and we were not going ashore but the locals were going to come onboard the ship. In fact, 40 of the 47 people who live on Pitcairn came aboard. They sold their stuff and gave us a guided tour around the island while on our boat. The boat that delivered the islanders was made by a boat builder in Great Yarmouth England and as you can see fits everyone on the island.
After the tour, the locals gave us a talk that outlined the islands history and a look to the future. They are very proud of their heritage and all are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and the Tahitians (or Polynesians) who accompanied them, an event retold in numerous books and films. If anyone’s interested, because there are only 47 inhabitants on Pitcairn, they are looking for immigration especially the ages between 30 and 45. You can find out more about immigrating to Pitcairn HERE
So the good looking guy on the right in the photo above is Ray, my husband, and the other gentleman is Steve Christian, a resident of Pitcairn Island. He happens to be the 6th generation Christian on the island and related to Fletcher Christian the leader of the Mutiny aboard the Bounty, way back in 1789.OK, it’s back to sea, again. From Pitcairn to Fakarava is another 3 days. If you are counting, we have spent 7 days at sea so far.
Fakarava is one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia and has about 850 people living on this classically beautiful South Pacific island. However, by the time we got here, we were tired of the sea days and felt ready to mutiny and jump ship with or without the Captain. Ray and I did not plan any excursions here so we just walked around, did a little snorkelling and sweated to death before we got back on the boat. We did have a little excitement, though, the cook on board the ship had a heart attack that night and had to be air lifted off. He survived and we toasted him well.
Fakarava is pretty much a coral atoll in the ocean and some say that because of global warming, the waters are rising. In the meantime, Fakarava is a divers paradise. John found the attached YouTube video made on Fakarava.