Position: 27° 09' S - 109° 26' W
South Pacific Ocean
Even for a serious engineer or scientist, Easter Island produced some magic feeling in the mind. It was more then once that I was thinking about aliens who moved the Moai from the Moai-Factory to the final destination. But really, I do not believe that. Let us review three excited weeks on a very remote island in the South Pacific Ocean.
(1) Katherine Routledge, The Mystery of Easter Island, 1919, this edition February 1998, ISBN 0-932813-48-8
(2) Georgia Lee, Ph.D, An Uncommon Guide To Easter Island, 1990, ISBN 0-937480-17-7
(3) Martina Ehrlich, Juergen Straub, Rapa Nui - grosser weiter Flecken Osterinsel, Condor Verlag GbR, 1. Auflage 2001, ISBN 3-9807727-0-5
(4) Easter Island Scale 1:30000, An International Travel Map 308, ITMB Publishing LTD. 1998, ISBN 0 921463 30 8
(5) Thor Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki, Ullstein 8. Auflage Juli 1990, ISBN 3-548-32019-8
(6) Thor Heyerdahl, Aku-Aku Das Geheimnis der Osterinsel, Ullstein A.G. Berlin 1957
Vacation? Difficult to find some nice places, even I just moved half a year ago to the USA. Had to think about other things then about vacation. So I open my world map and start searching. Europe, no, Pacific Ocean, oh, there are many of nice islands. Finally I spotted Easter Island and immediately I remembered the mystery about this tiny little Island about the stone statues. These stone statues are called Moai (see picture to the left). Nobody really knows why they are there. And how these statues where moved from the Moai-Factory to the final destination, the Ahu. The Moai where transported over distances up to 20km. I decide to go this year to Easter Island. Also known as Rapa Nui (the local people calls it so), Isla de Pascua (seems to be the Spanish name), and Osterinsel (the German name). The decision was made but how to go to Easter Island? The first approach was an air fare of about US$ 10000! Much to much. After a while, the air fare was down to US$ 2000. This seems to be OK. I ordered the tickets and an other idea arrived in my mind. It would be great to do Amateur Radio on Easter Island. Easter Island depends to Chile. I searched the internet whether I need a license for Chile. May be my German license will be valid? Finally I find out, I need a license to do Amateur Radio in Chile. So I wrote an e-mail to the Radio Club de Chile and Dino was so kind to organized the license. I had no small transceiver and antennas. So I bought an IC706MIIG, a power supply for 110V and 230V, an AH4 automatic match box and some equipment to build a long wire antenna.
My time table looks like: Leaving USA at October 20th for Santiago de Chile, leaving Santiago at October 23rd for Easter Island, leaving Easter Island at November 15th for Santiago, leaving Santiago at November 19th for USA. Back in Annapolis somewhere at noon on November 20th, 2004.
Wednesday, October 20th 2004
As usual I was much to early at the airport. It was a good idea to take a flight earlier than necessary. Even this early flight was delayed. I arrived in time to get the connection at Atlanta. It is late in the afternoon. I am leaving the USA and will fly through the night. After arriving Santiago de Chile I crossed the Tropic of Cancer, the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. In Santiago at noon the sun will be in the north and the moon will go a bit different. Something else was different, the first time I start into vacation from a foreign country.
Thursday, October 21st 2004
It was a night without a real sleep. But it seems, I was sleeping a bit, I did not recognizing 9 hours of flight. By the way, the aircraft was really comfortable. I arrived at Santiago de Chile airport. To go to my hotel at downtown Santiago I choose the bus. That was not a good idea, the bus stop in Santiago was far away from the hotel and additional I had to take a taxi. It wold be much better to take a shuttle to the city. A shuttle costs a bit more but it drives every one to the individual location. In very urgent cases a taxi is not too expensive. I arrived at my Hotel Santa Lucia in downtown Santiago. The Hotel has a very friendly stuff, is nice and clean. Even the busy street in front of the hotel has no effect, the windows are closing well.
My first business in the morning was to call Dino from Chile Amateur Radio Club to get my amateur radio license. It was not easy to get through to him because I do not speak Spanish. Also I did not recognize that I was talking to his secretary and she speaks Spanish and German. After a few minutes we find the common language. I meet Dino and we talked long about Amateur Radio, Chile and Easter Island. Also I become a member of the Radio Club de Chile. Finally Dino handed me some QSL cards for amateur radio operator on Easter Island (it is some special for amateur radio people) .
I walked along the streets and pedestrian areas in downtown Santiago. On one hand it is a very clean city. The people cleaning the street lamps, the floor etc. On the other hand by looking over the city, there are a lot of grey not maintained houses. Sometimes a dog sleeps in the middle of the pedestrian way, it is not possible to disturb the dogs. This was really funny to see it. Some very poor people begging for a little money. Other more experienced South America travelers told me, the number of begging people in Chile is low in conjunction with other countries in South America.
In the evening I found a very nice and cheap restaurant in Nueva York No 11, called Union. By the way, the name remembers me to a German beer. Only Chilean people where in this bar and restaurant. Was funny to have my dinner at such a place. It was not easy to order because I do not speak Spanish.
Friday, October 22nd 2004
Really, my hotel has style! After having breakfast, I walked through downtown Santiago and arrived at the market close to the old railway station. This is more or less a fish market with a lot of restaurants in. Interesting what they have for different delicious fish. The restaurants in the market are very awful. When I walked through the market every few seconds I was requested to come into a restaurant to have lunch. This sometimes very pertinacious. I do not like this! However I found a friendly restaurant without this aggressive "customer catching" and hat a good fish for lunch.
The Chilenian men usually wearing suits and tie. Every few meters I found a shoe cleaner. Children have school uniforms (I do not like this). Very often I was ask for the time. Seems that the people do not wear watches. It seems that the German language is more common in Chile than the English language.
Saturday, October 23rd 2004
Today I will go to the airport and fly to Easter Island. I had to go very early and so I could not have breakfast at the hotel. With a taxi I drove to the airport. Airlines are different in service and different in the distances between the seats in the aircraft. The only airline which is going to Easter Island has a very friendly service and a lot of space between the seats.
My travel book (2) mentioned a lot of "tam-tam" to enter Easter Island. Nothing like this. However the arriving of an aircraft is a very important event on Easter Island. It means business. I reserved a room at Chez Cecilia (be patient with the link, sometimes the access to the page is difficult). Cecilia promise to be at the airport to pick me up. I claimed my baggage and meet Cecilia at a small booth. The most hotels on Easter Island have such booth at the airport to search for customers. With two others from Mexico we drove trough the capital (Hanga Roa) of Easter Island to the hotel. The island is tiny and the capital is more tiny. Cecilia's hotel, or better to speak about a Residencia is surrounded with grass and a lot of different plants. The location is a bit outside north of Hanga Roa. The Residencia is a very fine place, the rooms are clean and nice, the breakfast is very good. But they have tea bag tea only! I prefer loose tea. Never mind, I could manage the tea bags. For the first time in my life, I recognized that pineapple are such kind of cactus. This fruit grows up close to the earth. Cecilia has such fruits in her garden (see picture to the left).
Later on I went down to Hanga Roa to explore this little city. Even I was searching for some dinner. In my travel book (2) was mentioned, the restaurants need an advanced reservation. But nothing of this, everything was as it is in other places of the world. I went into a restaurant and had a fish and wine for dinner. It is a bit more expensive as it was in Santiago but we are on a very remote island. The prices are well OK. And the fish is absolutely fresh!!
Sunday, October 24th 2004
In the night I was a bit frosty. Do not know why. It was 20 degree centigrade over the night. At the breakfast I meet a few other people. Sally and Ian from England, they are traveling around the world. Two students from Germany, they presently studying in Chile and doing some practical work to improve their skills.
I am at the coast and I listen to the noise of the sea. There are Moai behind me. What is a Moai? There is no translation into English. A Moai is a very large statue made from stone. They are only on Easter Island. The Moai factory is somewhere 20km east of Hanga Roa called Rano Raraku. But this story will come up later on. It seems that the Moai where made starting at 800 AD, (2) page 50. For more details please refer to (1) and (2). Moai usually placed on an Ahu. An Ahu is a prepared higher place. All Moai do not look onto the sea. So it seems that this fantastic statues should not protect the people from the dangerous sea. In (3) on page 21 there is a very nice description how the Moai look like: "Gerade als waeren sie (die Moai) dem Meer entstiegen und verharrt, zu Stein erstarrt und gefesselt an ihrem Ort". --> It seems that the Moai just came out of the sea, standing still and becoming stone. Oh Moai, if you would talk. I ask all the Moai from where they are coming, I ask them who was your creator? The Moai do not answer questions. They looking at me only. So even I am not able to find the solution for the "Secret of Easter Island". In (2) on page 11 is a picture similar to the picture at the right. In (2) Ko Te Riku, the Moai with the topknot has no eyes in the head. My picture shows the Moai with eyes. Also (3) on page 100 shows this Moai with eyes. Please refer also to November 02nd. In the supplement to (2) published in 2003 on page 14 it is explained that the Moai Ko Te Riku has replica eyes to make the tourists happy. This modification was made a few years ago.
The day was going. The sun was at the sky but mostly behind clouds. At the evening I recognized that I was burned by the sun, I did not use my sun protection in the morning. I went down to Hanga Roa to have dinner and later on I did a bit amateur radio with not much success. The conditions on the short wave are down.
Monday, October 25th 2004
It is calm, the chicken doing much noise, the Pacific is flat like a mirror.
To day I will visit Aku A Kivi. I bought a bottle of water an heading into direction Aku A Kivi. That was not easy, because my map (4) was incorrect. It seems to be old. This map is wrong in several details but it is better than nothing. Walking a bit into the wrong direction and with the compass I found the right way to Aku A Kivi. On this Aku are seven Moai erected. It seems that they are looking onto the sea. But the distance to the sea is a few thousand meter. So even these Moai do not check the sea. I am sitting in front of these seven Moai, looking at them, they look at me. I ask again: "Moai, what is your task? Why are you there? Who was your creator?" The Moai looking at me but they do not answer my questions. After a certain time I stood up and walked away. The Moai do not like to talk with me. May be I will find an other Moai which likes to talk to me. Remember, there have been between 700 and 1000 Moai on Easter Island (1), (2). I went back to the Residencia. I choose an other way along the coast line. I find out, that the grass on the fields sometimes is very high. I stepped down from a stone and stepped into "nothing". I am happy that I did not brake my foot. I had a little pain but it flew away after a certain time.
Horses are very important on the Island. Horses are used for transportation like a car. Even children riding on horses and mostly without a real saddle.
After dinner I was tired and went for sleep very early.
Tuesday, October 26th 2004
Noise is coming over from the chicken, it waked me up. A ship is on the ocean in front of the Residencia. It bring goods for the Island. The unloading procedure is similar to the unloading procedure which I have seen on Ascension Island a year ago. The ship anchored somewhere outside and little special-boats coming and carry container for container from and to the ship. My foot seems to be fine again. I have to be careful by stepping down from a stone into grass.
Today I went into Hanga Roa and explored the small city. There are so much restaurants but with undefined business hours. I found small and large shops selling food, wine, hardware (tools, not electronics), internet cafes, normal cafes, car rentals and many souvenir shops. Also there is such kind of fish and fruit market. There is a very nice cafe in the main road. This cafe opens at about 10:00AM and closed at about 2:00PM. Then it opens again at late afternoon. It is closed during usual cafe or tea times. The cars on the Island are funny. The picture to the left shows a well maintained pickup van. Please hold in mind, I really mean that van is well maintained. I spotted cars and vans in much worst conditions. Some cars are without real seats. And they still have old VW transporter from the sixties!
At the evening I went into a French restaurant. It depends to a French and his voice sounds very French. And he told me, he is very French. Some days later I recognized a large picture over his entrance door. This picture shows Obelix carrying a Moai instead of a "Hinkelstone".
I spotted some kind of large gully beside the road in the town. These gully at some places are open and at some places are covered with plates made from concrete. Why? I find it out a few days later. The rain on the Island mostly is very fine but it comes a lot of water down to the ground. So these gully suddenly changed into very fast running water streams. A bit outside of Hanga Roa I was aware of a small wooden table. These tables are found all over the Island. The people put their waste on it. So no animals can reach it.
Wednesday, October 27th 2004
After breakfast I decide to go to Rano Kau, a crater down to the south. Additional there is also Orongo, a very interesting place. But to day I did not reach Rano Kau and Orongo. First of all I had forgotten my cap. It is not good to walk in the sun without a hat or a cap. So I had to go back to the Residencia to keep my hat. I walked along in a right angle to the runway of the airport, passing the second harbour of the Island and arrived at the place of Ana Kai Tangata. It is a bit difficult to find the cave mentioned in (2) page 64, but I did it. It is famous to be down in the cave and the Pacific is rolling into the direction of the cave. Inside the cave is a picture at the ceiling which shows a few birds. This is a very typical painting for Easter Island. I left the cave and the area and walked on.
Suddenly I spotted an dipole antenna. Looks like some kind of short wave antenna. To whom does it belong? Very interesting, the antenna is powered by a two wire line. I easily could follow this line. It ends at the police station. So the antenna belongs to the police. Now it is too late to go on to Orongo.
I remembered the QSL cards which Dino in Santiago handed to me. May be I can deliver this cards to an amateur radio operator on Easter Island today. One of the cards was a return and on there was a phone number printed. Rumors told me that this radio operator owns a hotel on Easter Island. So I checked the phone numbers from the hotels and I found out, this number belongs to hotel Manutara. I ask at the tourist information for the hotel's location and went on. It should be somewhere close to the airport. I passed the hotel without knowing it, because the hotel was apart from the road and not identified by a sign. I walked for several miles and turned around. On the way back I saw an amateur radio antenna apart from the road. I walked in and really there was a sign "Hotel MANUTARA". A very famous hotel. The first step was made. But it was difficult to find a human being in the hotel. Finally I found someone, but he did not speak English. He showed me to wait a bit. A lady arrived and she speaks English. She explained, she now is operating the hotel and the radio amateur is her father. She ask me to come along the next day, then her father will be in.
For explanation: A QSL card is a written confirmation of an amateur radio contact. This is a tradition since the earliest times of wireless communication. In general QSL cards will be delivered mainly via amateur radio organizations to their members.
Thursday, October 28th 2004
After breakfast I went out to visit the radio amateur operator at Manutara Hotel. I really meet OM Henry, XQ0YAF. He speaks Spanish an a bit English. He is doing amateur radio since 1950 and is the only active resident operator on Easter Island. He has the four element beam antenna and such ICOM transceiver available in his hotel. Radio amateur operators staying at his hotel may operate his station. We talked about the other QSL cards but he could not really identify the operators. He remembered one but has no idea about his present address. I have to keep the QSL cards and return them to Dino in Santiago. I will call Dino after my return to Santiago and make an appointment with him.
The rest of the day I wrote postcards and letters.
I decide to have my dinner and went down to the town. But at the corner a bit outside of Cecilia's Residencia I saw many cars. More cars than they have on the Island. The people had signs and pictures at the cars. Saturday is mayor election in Hanga Roa. The demonstration ends at the football (soccer) ground down at Hanga Roa. At the football field was a show with Rapa Nui dancers. After the show some people did a short speech. The candidates where all with the people. Talking, explaining, eating some food and had fun together.
Friday, October 29th 2004
It is raining! The clouds seems to be very thin. Hope it will stop raining soon or I have to rearrange my walk to Orongo and Rano Kau.
The rain stops and I start my walk to the crater, passing Hanga Roa, the airport and heading to the south. I passed the crater and had a fantastic view into it. Small lakes are at the bottom of the crater. I walked on and arrived at Orongo. The only place where I had to pay entrance. I did it after returning because the ranger where not in his hut. What was this for a culture. This houses with the tiny entrance? The view to the sea is very beautiful. Motu Nui and Motu Itu are in sight. These small Islands are in front of Orongo. It is one of the last adventures to visit these Islands. In (2) page 75 is a description how to go. First of all, it is necessary to speak Spanish because an arrangement with a fisherman has to done. Then there is no guarantee that the fisherman can pick up the people in the evening due to a rough sea. It is not recommended to swim to the fisher boat, there are sharks. I left Orongo after a certain time and walked around the crater onto the other side. There is not much to see but a lot of hidden things available, (2) page 74. And it is a good place for relaxing. It is not much to see, so no people coming to disturb the silence. It starts to rain again and I become wet. The temperature drops down a bit. Suddenly I recognized some engine sound. The Quantas Jumbo left Easter Island. By the way, I have no idea what this aircraft has to do on the Island. Usually LAN only flies to Easter Island. The rain stops and sun came out again. My wet t-shirt becomes dry again.
Back after dinner at the Residencia at 0:00UTC I switched on my amateur radio station. There is running such crazy contest which I personally do not like. I mean I do not like to do contest operating because it is to odd for me. W3LPL request me to give them a call to have some extra points. I get them on 20m but not on 40m. Contest on amateur radio frequencies are as they are, the whole world was crying.
Saturday, October 30th 2004
Breakfast was a bit later, it was rainy and colder as at the last days. The Pacific was rough. I was not so well. After breakfast I bought a few postcards and wrote it. I went into a cafe to drink a cappuccino. Even cappuccino is made by nesscafe. Usually I can not drink tea outside my home, but in this country even I can not drink the cafe. Still I was not well. Tonight I only eat some salad and drunk water. The amateur radio contest is still running on short wave. I was listen a bit but did not power the transmitter. Went to bed early.
Sunday, October 31st 2004
The sea looks a bit more calm today. May be it is only because presently I do not wear my glasses. I am feeling better, do not know what was happen yesterday. Will try to do a walk east of the airport.
I walked along the coastline and found a destroyed Ahu. A destroyed Moai laid down on the Ahu. It is very awful to see such friendly creature down on the grass. More to eastern direction at the south coast I found a house with a garden. Somebody seems to live outside Hanga Roa. On the way back to Hanga Roa I spotted four Moai in one's garden. These Moai are from a new production in our days.
It seems to be very unusual to walk along Easter Island. Several times people ask to give me a lift.
Today is mayor election. The most restaurants are closed. No food?! I was scared. One restaurant was open, but it took a long time to find it. Many children where playing Halloween, remember, October 31st.
Monday, November 01st 2004
Today is one of the catholic holidays. I hope, I am able to rent a car for tomorrow. And hopefully there is food tonight, may be the restaurants are closed again. But it seems, this day is not a real Easter Island holiday. The post office only was closed.
I decide to go on top of one of the hills around Hanga Roa. The map shows a way to go but the reality was different, there was no way. It starts to rain again. This was a help for my decision. Presently I was not sure, will I rent a four wheel motor bike or a car? By having this rain, the decision was made, I will rent a car later on.
I walked into the direction to Ahu Vinapu. This is at the east end of the airport's runway. An unknown bad force removed all the Moai from the Ahu. Incredible how it looks. And there are topknots, the hats which some Moai wear on the head. They are huge. Unbelievable that the people moved the Moai from the factory 20 km away over the Island, erected the moai on the Ahu and additional they put a topknot (hat) on their head. Thor Heyerdahl in (5) page 144 wrote: "Sie (die Erschaffer der Moai) meisterten Probleme, die gross genug waeren fuer die besten Ingenieure von heute". --> The Moai creators had solutions for problems which are big enough for the best engineers at our time. This topknot to the right has a weight of several thousand kg. If the specific weight of the red stone is only twice of the specific weight of water, than the weight of this topknot is more then 3000 kg. The Moai self have a weight up to 82000 kg and more, mind El Gigante is about 20m long, (2) page 86. In (2) page 92 is mentioned, that the largest statue ever moved is 9.8 m in hight. It has an estimated weight of 82000kg. The topknot for this Moai has an estimated weight of 11500 kg.
Tuesday, November 02nd 2004
Breakfast in the morning and it is raining. I am very happy, that I decide for a car and not for a motorbike. I went down to Hanga Roa to pickup my rental car. Now I see the gully in action. It is raining and the water runs through the gully-system, a lot of water.
After getting the car, my first destination was Ahu Nau Nau at Anakena. Anakena is the only real beach on Easter Island. A very beautiful area. At Anakena are a few Moai restored on the Ahu. The Moai in the foreground and behind the beautiful beach. Moai have unusual hands. Their hands are not for work. They are like aristocrats, gods. Such fantastic creatures have not to work. So the hands can be very sensitive and tender. The fingers are thin and long. Why are the heads of the Moai so flat? Human heads are more like a ball? Again I sit in the front of the Moai, looked at the Moai. The Moai looked at me. I ask again, Moai where are you? Who was your creator? What is your task? No answer. Moai never answer to human. In (2) on page 97 these Moai have eyes. On page 54 in (2) these Moai have no eyes. Also my picture to the right shows the Moai without eyes. Please refer to October 24th. Also Thor Heyerdahl (6) had his base in Anakena at the beach. On the picture to the right, in the lower left corner, there is a Moai in the background. This was the first Moai re-erected in 1955/1956 by Heyerdahl (6). In accordance to (6) the Mayor and a few of his relatives re-erected the Moai in the old fashion way. See this Moai also to the left.
It is still cloudy but dry. I drove to Rano Raraku, the Moai factory. But today it was a brief visit only. There are more then 300 Moai around. Some of the Moai are still in their "cave", waiting for somebody who can finish the work.
Back at the Residencia, the Pacific becomes more calm.
Wednesday, November 03rd 2004
The sea is still calm. Only a few clouds at the sky. The sun slowly raised up. I will drive to Rano Raraku.
I am on the top of the crater rim, looking down to the Pacific, listening to the noise of the water. Here was the Moai factory. Unfinished Moai lay in their caves. The field around is overwhelmed with different kind of Moai. Moai also placed at the inner part of the crater. A few "crooked-beaks" flying around. They are angry with me, I intruded into their home. Down to the ground outside of the crater, there is construction work. Sidewalks are under construction. The sun is at the sky, no more clouds. Few mice running around. I am happy, presently no busses arrived at Rano Raraku. Down inside the crater some people cutting reeds.
Moai, what was happen to you? At many places in the crater rim are Moai factories. Nearly finished Moai laying on their back, just supported by a small rim. After finishing, the Moai was slide down the hill. But the artist hurt the structure of the stone. It is possible to slide the Moai down the hill or transport it over several miles, without breaking it? The presents of Moai all over the island prof the possibility. But did the creator break sometimes Moai during the transport? This is unknown.
I observed ants, these small animals are able to transport very large parts. Can human transport a Moai like ants? One human is able to transport about 20kg. For 1000kg we need 50 human. But a Moai has a weight of about 50000kg. In this case we need 2500 human to carry one Moai. Impossible!
How put the Moai creator the topknots onto the head? The topknots have a weight of several thousand kg. May be the Moai creator had such kind of crane construction. How did it look like? To these questions there are some answers in the Easter Island Museum and also in (2), but I have a bit problems to believe these solutions. I am sorry, even I have no better suggestions.
Questions, questions, questions, but the Moai still do not talk.
Thursday, November 04th 2004
It is cold this morning, calm and clear of clouds. The Pacific makes it's steady noise. I still have the car. Today I will go again to Rano Raraku.
I am inside the crater and sitting at the water. Only wind and birds making noise. I could sit there for hours. But the freedom was interrupted by people walking to the Moai inside the crater. I left this nice place and walked around the crater Rano Raraku. The "crooked-beaks" are still angry with me. The crater is like a circle and so I am back at the starting point. It is early in the day and additional Ahu Nau Nau is a famous place. I will go again.
Again I am in the front of seven Moai at Ahu Nau Nau close to Anakena Beach. Four of these Moai wearing topknots. I guess all seven would have hats. Two Moai are only fragments. What was that for an intelligence who invented the Moai? The artists where famous. Their tools where from stone only. Iron was unknown at that time on Easter Island. .
Friday, November 05th 2004
Today is the festival of the language and I have to return my car. The festival is organized and made more or less from the children and the teacher of Easter Island. On a grassland close to the Pacific in Hanga Roa they erected several huts made from wood and palm leaves. The construction work started just after my arrival on Ester Island. The children are very well in handle the tools and the construction. Some natives explained, this festival shall remember that Rapa Nui has it's own language, the Rapa Nui language. In the past it was forbidden to teach this language at school. Since a couple of years now it is allowed to do so. The festival is in accordance to remember this event. It is a funny festival. The children exhibit what they have learned at school. I walked around from one hut to the next. Some likes to explain something to me but the problems in language still exist, even on this festival. Some are able to speak a bit English. By the way, all the exhibits where made really very professional. It stands a lot of work behind it! At the afternoon there was some entertainment by dancing groups at the festival. Starting with dancing groups of very little children up to groups with adults. Many people wearing traditional closes.
At the local school to night was a competition between singing people and a competition between dancing groups. The first group performed their music together with a high power flash light which flashes directly into the audience. It was very awful and I was disappointed. But after the first group finished, the flash light was no more in use. Then different dancing groups performed their dancing skills. Other groups or people showing their knowledge in singing. I liked more the dancing groups, sorry, I do not understand the language.
Saturday, November 06th 2004
Hanga Roa's museum is small but it has very good information about Easter Island. All the descriptions are in Spanish but a translation in English is available at the counter. Thank you! Now I know how Moai-eyes are made. The white part is white coral and the pupil is made from obsidian. Obsidian is a very hard and dark stone, similar to flint-stone. Some pupils also where made from glass. The museum explained, that the destruction of the Moai where the result of conflicts between the island's people.
The amateur radio conditions on short wave are still bad. My Residencia is famous. In the morning Gabi the maid waxed the stone floor around the Residencia. It is always a very clean Residencia!
Tonight is the second part of the singer competition and dancing competition. Again I was disappointed by a high energy light beam which they scanned over the audience. It was very awful to get the beam in my face. OK, they stopped it after the first group. The dancing is fantastic. There are no words to describe it. It is erotic but the movement and the coordination of the body is what it makes famous. Sometimes it looks like a very fast tango. The competition is over at 2AM in the morning. During the competition I was sitting beside Sandra and Cecilia, two women from Chile. We try to talk a bit and decide to meet again on Monday.
Sunday, November 07th 2004
It was early in the morning, when I wend for sleep. So I am really tired today. I went down to the sea and sometime reading and sometime sleeping. The four sailing boats suddenly gone. May be they are now on the other side of the Island. The weather becomes bad.
I was thinking a lot regarding the dancing from last night. The natives told me, the dancing should be traditional Rapa Nui dancing. In accordance to (1), they did not talked about dancing customs. Also there was an interruption (1), the original people who lived on Easter Island nearly died out. My opinion is, the dancing now is a kind of Polynesian based dancing which might be different to the dancing from the old Easter Island inhabitants. They well mentioned in (1) the good needle work from the islanders. However, the dancing is fantastic and I was happy to watch it.
Monday, November 08th 2004
Really, the weather now is bad, during night was very heavy rain. As announced, I will meet Sandra and Cecilia today. It is a pity, we have no real common language. But English works a bit. So we rent a car. It was a very old on. Maximum speed was 40km/h. On higher speed the car was vibrating to much. First we drove to Anakena for swimming. The Pacific is nice, not to cold. Never before I dancing swam in the Pacific. The water is very clear. Later on the weather becomes bad, it starts to rain. So we go on and arrived at Ahu Tongariki. I was overwhelmed with incredible 15 big Moai in the row. It was raining but sitting in the front of 15 statues from this giant size let you forget everything around you. Refer to the left picture, do you see the people in front of the Moai? This Ahu was destroyed in 1960 by a tsunami which was triggered by an earthquake in south Chile. In (2) on page 88: ( ... scattering the Moai such so much driftwood). In accordance to a supplement of (2) published in 2003, the Ahu was reconstructed during the 1990's.
We left Tongariki to go to Orongo. The Pacific was in fog. But suddenly the small islands Motu Nui and Motu Itu looking through the fog. This was a real fantastic view. Everything in fog but the small islands are out.
Tuesday, November 09th 2004
It is snow in Munich and on Easter Island is rain. It is also windy. This wind pressed the rain into all corners. The rain on Easter Island always is so thin. It is not like a tropical "cats and dogs" rain. The Pacific is rough. I walked a bit, but even in the warm air it is not so nice because of the rain. So I went back to teh Residencia and placed my self in a chair in the veranda. Starting to read in a book. Also I did a bit amateur radio. A new aircraft arrive at the airport and with this aircraft also Petra arrived. She explained, she is now on HER island. Why? This is our secret. The rain still was there and there was nothing else to do as to sit at the veranda. I told Petra something about the island and to night we went out for dinner. We also meet Sandra and Cecilia. The two women explain that there is a dancing show in one of the hotels. We decide to go together after dinner.
This show was more for tourists. I feel a difference to the competition at Saturday and Sunday.
Wednesday, November 10th 2004
The rain stopped. A few blue spots are at the sky, but no sun. In the far the Pacific is light. The birds are singing and the chicken make noise. What does it mean? I went down into town and meet Petra. It was dry and we walked together along the waterline. Later on we went to the cave with the painting at the ceiling. There was no sun during the day. Petra did not use sun protection. She becomes burned by the sun through the clouds! I experienced this during my first day but I had have a bit of sun that day.
We still had rain and closed the day with a very good dinner, some kind of nice fish.
Thursday, November 11th 2004
It was raining the whole night, thin rain but the accumulation of the water is very high. Rain all over the day. I was frosty some times, sitting on the veranda. No possibility to walk around. Sometimes Petra gave me accompany. At night, we went together for dinner. At this evening we get the prof, that the fish on Easter Island is fresh. We ask for fish but the waiter shows with his finger into the direction of the sea and explained, nobody likes to go out in this weather to catch fish. We had meet for this dinner.
Friday, November 12th 2004
It was still raining during night. Presently it is dry, also a few blue spots are at the sky. I went down to Hanga Roa and visit the LAN Chile office. They confirmed my flight on Monday. Later I meet Petra and she ask me to accompany her to Aku Akivi. I agreed. It is overwhelming to see the statues again but still the Moai did not answer to questions. In (3) on page 73: (Nur eure Mutter, die Erde weiss, was von Bedeutung ist).
Satureday, November 13th 2004
There was again some rain in the night. Grey clouds are at the sky. It is cold. The maid wraps a flower garland around my wrist.Petra has to go to Santiago today. We made an arrangement to meet each other on Tuesday. There was no rain during day time.
Sunday, November 14th 2004
Today is my last full day on Easter Island. Only a few clouds at the sky, the sun just raised up. The Pacific makes a lot of noise. It is warm. After breakfast I went down to the sea and spend the day sometimes reading, sometimes sleeping close to the sea and some Moai. A small dog came along. Waiting after a rock and slowly moved over to me. Then an other one, a bigger dog sits beside me. The small was angry with the big. But after a deep hum, both dogs accepted each other. These two dogs accompanied me a certain time.
To night I visit again Hermann in his restaurant. He is German and lives on Easter Island since many years. He explained some very interesting things to me. For dinner he only has Salmon. I was not so agreed with this fish. The reason, I had salmon twice and after each salmon I was not well the next day. But OK, I tried it a third time. And I was well at the next day.
On the way back to the Residencia I meet Gabi the maid. She shows me the house which she is building. Presently she lives in a smal hut which is on the same property. I hope very much that she is able to finish the house. I am not able to build a house.
Monday, November 15th 2004
I have to go, the suit case is ready. Hope my small Moai will not break. Birds are singing, the Pacific makes a lot of noise and I wait for the flight to Santiago. The airport on Easter Island is small but has it's own style. All over flowers and green.
I am back in Santiago now, after a five hours flight. The airline is has very comfortable sits. I took a shuttle to the hotel. during the three weeks I forgot that the hotel promise to send me a driver.
Tuesday, November 16th 2004
Breakfast, OK, I am not able to speak Spanish.
Santiago wakes up. People with transport-bikes riding through the streets. That is funny. I know such transport-bikes from the sixties or seventies but I have never seen such big transport-bikes. Slowly the shops are opening. I phoned Dino to make an arrangement regarding the QSL which I could not delivered. The weather is fantastic. The people are very well dressed. There is less self service. In all shops are people for servicing. Even on Ester Island, the filling station was with service. At 11AM I meet Petra and we drove with a taxi to Dino's office. I returned him the QSL. Dino really is a very kind and helpful person, thank you!
Petra and me, we walked into the direction to a cable car which brings us to the virgin in Parque Metropolitano. We passed the telephone building which looks like a mobile phone. You need a lot of fantasies for this. On the top we watched the virgin standing on the platform. The way back was a walk of a few hours. Petra explained that Santiago has a "Cafe Colonia" (Cafe Koeln, Cafe Cologne). So we will go to this cafe to have coffee and cake. Really, the old town of Cologne is places on a rack around the cafe. The owner is from Cologne. The cafe was established in 1952. Later we went out for dinner. We went into the same restaurant which I find out the first day in Santiago. Petra explained the menu and so I was able to decide much better. After dinner each of us went the own way. Petra will go to the south with a bus tomorrow and I will return to the USA on Friday.
Around Santiago there are mountains. At the top of the mountains is snow.
Wednesday, November 17th 2004
Today I will go to Parque Quinta Normal. This park is a few miles west of my hotel and there a a few very interesting museums. I walked along Huerfanos into western direction. After crossing a busy road, I arrived in an other Santiago. I do not feel the business of the center. The roads are calm. the noise is low. Parque Quinta Normal is like an oasis. Trees, shade, birds, some people doing maintaining work at the park. I arrived at the technical museum, my first destination. This museum is small but nice. All descriptions are in Spanish. When I left, many school children entered the museum. The Museo National is also interesting. All descriptions are in Spanish. I spotted a bit information about Easter Island and a small Moai. The museum was crowd with children. Guess all children of the city where today in this museum. There was some unusual thing in the museum. Museums usually have exhibitions. Sometimes in special cases it is necessary to pay an extra charge for a specific exhibition. But in the Museo National was a room with an exhibition about Copper. The entrance to this room was closed by a string. Many children with their teacher where locking into this room but they might not going in. After they leaved, I ask for entrance and I get the permission to enter the room. The staff member ask me to be quiet and I must not proceed to the next room. The exhibition was nothing really exciting. Then suddenly I may go into the next room with a few other people. There was a small movie theater. They show a movie about copper, not very exciting. Then we altogether may go into the third room. There is a show with a small robot. Nice play but this was everything, nothing really exciting. I do not understand, why the museum only allowed hand sorted people to go into this rooms?
In the front of the Museo National is a memorial for Alexander von Humboldt.
Later in the day I tested the metro system. It works fine and is cheap. I went to the railway station because there are many shops. But who will buy all this stuff. The most merchandise sitting on a chair and watching TV. It is like on Easter Island.
Thursday, November 18th 2004
The city's picture changed with the direction I go. I am going along the San Francisco. It is noisy due to a lot of traffic. Many car repair shops are along the street. Seems there is one shop for each car. But always, the city is clean and green. The travel book mentioned a flea market at the end of San Francisco, but it seems more a commercial market with unusual things. The market is not very interesting for me and I decide to go to the city airport. I checked the way with the city map and later I found out, the map lies. But after several hours walking I managed the way to the airport. During this walk I saw different parts of the city. There is the Museo Nacional Aeronautico y del Espacio and this museum was my destination. OK, I did not find much about space, but a lot of aircrafts and the history in Chile. Some of the exhibited aircrafts are still flying. Also there are some aircrafts outside. In the back yard of the museums some nice DC3. But the way out was closed. This was like in the Museo Nacional a day before. Suddenly a friendly staff member arrived and ask me whether I like to go out to take pictures from the aircrafts outside. I was happy about this offer and I promise to walk on the paved way only. Back in the exhibition hall the staff member ask me whether I like to see an other exhibition hall? I agreed and we went into an other building with modern jet aircrafts for military use. One of them is able to fly.
Like in the Mueso Nacional, there are exhibitions for all people and there are exhibitions for hand selected people only. Do not know why. By the way, this museum is free of charge. The museum is happy for a donation. I went back by a long walk to the center of Santiago. Again there are many car repair shops and spare part shops for car repair parts. Also I found a shop for high precision mechanical tools and mechanical measurement equipment, all displayed in a window.
Friday, November 19th 2004
It is my last day in Santiago. To night I have to go back to USA. I left the hotel at 9AM. The streets are empty. What is happen? There is an APEC meeting in Santiago presently. Regarding this meeting and security the check in time at the airport is extended to three hours. I walked through the center but the most shops are closed. I decide to go to the top of Santa Lucia, a small park close to my hotel. From the top there is a good view over the city. I just arrived and I hear a lot of noise coming from people. Down at the main road was a demonstration regarding APEC. This demonstration runs for about two hours down along the street. The demonstration was the reason for the closed city. I went down from the peak and searched for some food. Everything was closed. Cafe Colonia was open. So I had a cake and some coffee. At 4PM I went back to my hotel for a bit refreshment. At 5PM I drove with a driver to the airport. I was too early. On the way to the airport nothing remembers to the demonstration.
I checked in and later went to the aircraft. During taxi, the captain remarks, there is Air Force 1 to the left, also Air Force 2 is behind. So Mr. Bush seems to be in Santiago....
Saturday, November 20th 2004
I arrived early in the morning in Atlanta and get the connection to Baltimore. There I took a taxi to my company, took my van and drove home. I arrived in Annapolis around noon. I become tired at 5PM because it was dark. In Santiago and on Easter Island it becomes dark at 9PM. It takes several days to overcome this problem.
Last modification: January 23 - 2007 DF2IR