Posted by: Larzizou | September 7, 2008

Easter Island Reloaded, Chile

Most of the information I gathered on the island was dispatched throughout the last post, so you will have to stick with the pictures and videos I shot in this post. Or get yourself informed through the internet…

Some help : Wikipedia as always.

” The history of Easter Island is rich and controversial. Its inhabitants have endured famines, epidemics, civil war, slave raids and colonialism, and the crash of their ecosystem; their population has declined precipitously more than once. They have left a cultural legacy that has brought them fame out of all proportion to their numbers. “

Enticing, no ?

From my side, more pictures of moais…

Sadly alone…

… suffering from alikes snobbing him.

Today, Jacob, Johan, Scott and I rented a jeep. Initially, it was only Scott and I; we wanted to rent a car even though none of us can drive. We are lucky we met the Swedish. Right, the very friendly guard whom Scott kissed goodbye on the lips as the locals do.

Scary intense eyes, I think.

See the colors ? Not even photoshop’ed or picasa’ed.

He probably has a sight problem. The only moai we saw (out of the approximately 900 that the island counts) with colored eyes.

Quite a lonesome cowboy…

Johan making joke. Look where the cookies pack is positioned. Now, guess what “kuk” means in Swedish…

This is the island map. Our plan for the day is to visit the moai infested sites included in the right hand-drawn square – and end the day at the beach…

… but we discover what we believe to be an unaccounted for tunnel or cave.

Getting ready to challenge the scientific world, braving all risks…

Scott is visibly shocked. What has he discovered ? Meanwhile, frightened Jacob is trying to call his mum but he gets no reception.

!!!

What better location than an unknown cave in the most remote place in the world to hide evidence of extraterrestrial life ?

We run to the enigmatic shadow, but “it” liquefies as we reach the edge – and other end – of the cave. We will never know…

Leaving the cave, this golden gecko hypnotizes us, like Mowgli in The Jungle Book – and the world around us fades. We slowly regain consciousness and the car…

… only to find Scott under the wheel. What has happened ? Each of us swear seeing him well and alive until we saw the gecko. A coincidence ? We think not.

And still this unexplainable shadow.

Nobody was in the car when I took this evidentiary picture. Something is out there. We may learn more from this website.

Back to business. Observing rock formations.

And the sea. Ah, the sea…

I challenge anyone with this picture.

A beheaded – and behated – moai.

You want some more ?

Ok.

Nature would not be complete.

Another cave, but accounted for.

As we go down under…

Taking the pose. The 8th moai.

This is Puna Pau. The hill where the hats were conceived, carved and rolled to the heads they belonged too.

In flying agfa colors.

Don’t be misled : each hat weighs more than a few tons. So it would take you, your friends (assuming you have some), your brothers, your uncles, your grandfather, and a bunch of other members of your girlie family to lift one. And it’d still be the smallest one. That tells you how much real men Rapa Nuis are…

“One hat, one man” is the motto on the island.

You really believe it is the same hill as above ? Look again. Exactly : this one boasts magnificent hats.

Jacob trying some Swedish experience. Personally, I find it dumb.

You may have noticed that it is not Anakena beach. It is another secluded beach nobody knows of.

With the black Havaianas, it’s me. I should get a pedicure.

Surfing (on a rock) is Scott.

Clouds showing up.

Back to Anakena…

Ok, the story of the stupid Scandinavian tourist (whose nationality I cannot remember). The guy was drunk, end of the afternoon/early evening (maybe that helps guessing his nationality). He stepped up to the third moai (to the left) and, armed with a sort of metallic pick, gave a strong hit to the bottom of the left ear (you can see the left ear is slightly shorter than the right one), then stepped down, then stepped up, did it again, then stepped down, etc. Until a guard noticed he was going up and down. Stopped him, bewildered. Arrested him. He was sentenced by a local council for five years of imprisonment. He could go away – and never come back – thanks to his consulate which had to pay a hefty fee. This is probably why the customs thoroughly check your luggage at the airport upon leaving the island.

Rare are the stories of vandalism in Rapa Nui, but they are generally stupid ones. Like the one about the member of the Chilean government who, trying to show his wife how the moais were carved, attacked one of them with a hammer.

Last evening in the city, we finally have an excellent dinner. The waitress had a crush on me. Cannot blame her…

At the end of our hard long day. Oh yeah, you probably wonder what Scott is doing on the picture after having been under the jeep’s wheels. He miraculously resuscitated and recovered. Such are Martians.

The main street of Isla de Pascua. A local kid, a scooter, all is said.

These two stayed like that for half an hour. This island is definitely a mystery.

Other Rapa Nui icons at the airport.

And back to Santiago, before leaving to Sydney…

There ends my journey throughout continental and coastal South America. I am infinitely sad, have no desire whatsoever to leave. But the show must go one.

I went through (or at least, witnessed) the sulfurous rhythms of Salvador’s carnaval, Rio’s baile funk favela parties and Buenos Aires elegant street tangos. I ate the best meat I ever ate, discovered provoleta, cordero patagonico and devoted my life to oven-baked (but not fried as the Colombian or Venezuelan do) empanadas. I met, even briefly, a few unforgettable persons, and at great length other persons I have already forgotten. I traveled for two months with two long lost high school acquaintances/friends as different from me as possible, who opened up my horizons and whom I swear by to this day. I ate at Astrid y Gaston in four different countries with mixed opinions. I will try the Spanish branch one day.

I met several girls; was slapped, literally or figuratively speaking. I witnessed countless gorgeous sunsets. Not as many sunrises but when so, always with a musical background. I had my share – a good one – of beach parties. I lit up explosives. Went in a mine 40 meters underground. Went to the Southernmost continental point in the world. To the most isolated inhabited place. I saw penguins and seals sharing an island with cormorants. I saw glaciers, froze my hands trying to move ice blocks. My best friend joined me twice in my adventure. I went to a wedding I was not technically invited to and disrupted the operations – Hollywood style. I don’t think I cried or threw up. But I laughed.

I bought cheap souvenirs. Lost some of them. Never got stolen (except ipod cables and a headtorch), but got scammed. Paid one time 45 USD for a taxi from Santiago’s airport to the city. Then 2 USD for the same road in a bus, repeatedly. Paid 10 USD for a juice and 0.5 USD for a similar one next door. Paid 150 USD for a mediocre dinner and 25 USD for an excellent and refined one. Paid 25 USD for a bunk bed in a dirty room the size of a closet, and 20 USD for a palatial room with air conditioner, cable TV, private bathroom and two king beds. I did not try any drug however cheap they were (oh, they were cheap), even in Colombia. I saw more Botero than I ever have in NY or in the TV. I talked for hours, sometimes repeating myself, sometimes listening to the same things in bore. Sometimes listening to the same things but with a different understanding. I have been subject to unbelievable coincidences, uncannily and unexpectedly meeting people I knew from childhood, school or family thousands of miles away, or even people with whom I was in contact only through email. I had a shamanic experience. I tried a natural hallucinogenic drink that did not work. I saw bloody (literally) movies to which I did not understand a word. I had many good days, and few bad ones.

I wore the same five t-shirts for months. Had many sleepless nights, but not in Seattle. Spent new year eves with people wearing only hangers on a purple pant. Got drunk on champagne a 16 year old for the first time and watched him dosing off while standing. Thought several times “why wasn’t I born here”. Made bad jokes. A few good ones. Spent more than 30h in a row in a bus. Ate top seafood. Slept all day long instead of enjoying an incredible location. Met Luis Mariano. Spent days at the airport in vain. Went to the jungle, and saw all sort of animals, including a gigantic tarantula 10cm from my feet. I wrote my name with rocks in the middle of nowhere. I visited buildings, often official ones. I wondered at odd architectural details or urban planning. I spent hours in bookstores. I found Houellebecq, Hugo and Proust Spanish translations in almost all of the bigger ones. I handglided, paraglided. Spent hours uploading pictures for this blog, or burning pictures on DVDs. Sent dozens of postcards, some of which never arrived.

I had bad weather on the Macchu Picchu trail and excellent weather in Uyuni salt desert. I spent more time laying on the beach in a few months than in my whole life. I read in Spanish without any notion of the language, picking up gradually (and still learning). I lost and found again my passport. I did not untan for months. And when I untanned, my skin got so immunized to the sun that it did not tan again. I kissed a girl who still had braces. I saw a 5 year old smoking with attitude. I learnt to like reggaeton. And electronic music. I still cannot dance salsa nor samba. I hiked mountains. Locked my suitcase everytime I was leaving my dormitory room. Now I smile when I see “zona rosa” written anywhere. Or meet South Americans. Or even hear about them. Nostalgia.

And much more.

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Responses

  1. I went to a wedding I was not technically invited to and disrupted the operations – Hollywood style ====>>>> I love your style Mr Cohen

  2. I kissed a girl who still had braces ==> ca je sais pas si tu peux dire par contre larzizou

  3. Je maintiens qu’elle etait majeure, jusqu’a preuve du contraire. D’autant plus qu’en Argentine, il n’est pas rare de voir des adultes portant un appareil dentaire, celui-ci temoignant de l’appartenance a une classe sociale favorisee.


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