I recently returned from a two-week working vacation, giving lectures on the cruise ship, Crystal Symphony. Sailing out of Valparaiso, Chile, the Symphony reached Easter Island on the fifth day, 3700 km (2300 miles) from Valparaiso, and an equal distance from Tahiti. Often touted as one of the most isolated islands in the world, communication satellites are not beamed into this part of the Pacific, and internet was unavailable for almost the entire 12-day voyage.
Easter Island is a virtual speck 117 square km (45 square miles) in area in the Pacific Ocean covering 165 million square km (64 million square miles). According to modern archaeologists, the island was first inhabited around the year 400 by Polynesians who navigated in a pair of open canoes from Tahiti. Under Hotu Matu’a, their chief, leading them through the uncharted waters, they brought with them their fowl, their religious idols and other memories of their culture on Tahiti. They named the island “Rapa Nui,” as it is still known by the islanders. Then on Easter Sunday in 1722 the Dutch explorer Admiral Jacob Roggeveen came upon the island, abused the inhabitants, and gave the island its present name. Fifty-two years later still Captain Cook came upon the island, and wrote with disdain about the poverty and the frustration of not being able to stock up on provisions for his ships. The worst abuse, however, came in the 19th century by Spanish slavers who transported thousands of natives to South America. Although some were returned to Easter Island at the behest of a Jesuit priest, their numbers were reduced to a fraction, especially from the diseases brought over from Europe. Neither Roggeveen, nor Cook, nor the Spaniards ventured any theories about the moai. Archaeologists in the 20th century determined that these monolithic rocks, close to a thousand in all, were carved by native artists from hardened volcanic magma during the period from 1250 to 1500, a practice virtually denuding the island of trees (logs presumably had to be used as rollers to transport statues weighing up to 86 tons, with an even more massive one weighing 270 tons that had never left the quarry). According to native lore, "...they walked into place." This has served as a clue for a group of modern archaeologist to propose a new theory that they were moved standing upright. They were never lifted off the ground, but rocked back and forth by large groups of people using ropes.
The moai most likely represented ancestors, there to protect them. They all face inward, as seen in this photo. With steady gazes into the horizon, they make haunting figures, silent witnesses to history. No definitive explanation has been given for whence the practice of creating came, or why it was abruptly abandoned. Visitors now are kept 5-10 yards from the statues, lest they damage them. In 2008 a Finnish tourist was fined $17,000 for breaking off an ear as a souvenir.
The itinerary from start to finish appears in the workshop. Between the distance flown and the distance sailed, it covered 27,400 km (17,00 miles). For reference, at the equator the circumference of the earth is 40,000 km (25,000 miles).
Craig McIntosh (macjake) recently posted a series of excellent shots from this isolated island, including this beauty. Having spent more time there than I did, he also clarified a question I had. How is it that this stage like setting, with the palm trees offering shade for the Moai and a beach, exists only in this corner of the island? According to Craig, it was the Spanish who imported the sand and planted the palm trees.
Regards to all,
Critiques | Translate
macjake (52982) 2014-01-30 18:42
you made it!!!!!!!!!!!!
and you're back!!!!!!!!!!
I want to hear all about it :)
I see you made it to this beach...did you know that this beach is man-made? It was made by the Spainards who came here.
nice to see the people for size and scale too, that always helps alot.
and it looks like you had some good weather, did you encounter any heavy rain? we did for 1 day, not too bad though overall.
did you have to pay that 'entrance' fee to Chile I mentioned? or maybe not because you're on a cruise ship?
let me know how it all went :)
good first photo!
PaulVDV (20719) 2014-01-30 22:58
These Moai have looked for the coolness of the palm trees. It's the first time that I see a picture of the statues with palm trees.
Here we get much more the impression of being on a tropical island.
Easter Island is definitely an extraordinary travel destination.
Best regards, Paul
snunney (79973) 2014-01-31 3:18
A most unusual view this for me, usually we see the statues of the moai sat on a bare hillside overlooking the landscape. The surrounding greenery here creates a totally different atmosphere. I like the inclusion of the people who give the whole scene a sense of scale.
jhm (135826) 2014-01-31 4:03
Sorry, my hard disk was crashed, I have three days without PC, I nothing could use.
As great traveller comes you everywhere in the world.
This is almost a dream island with different old history statues.
You create depth and perspective with a wonderful architecture in background.
Excellent captured, also perfect taken.
Nice presentation, pleasant colours.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
Kamilutka (8095) 2014-01-31 8:10
Chile has always been fascinating me with its versatile landscapes. Your picture shows the tropical side of this country and the ancient sculptures create very good point of interest. Placing them together with some people gives us the sense of scale and the palm trees add some extra charm and atmosphere to the picture. Good colors and light.
Thanks for sharing
worldcitizen (6521) 2014-02-02 12:07
Your recent cruise sounds great! This is a wonderful tropical view of the Moai. I like the palm trees behind them, and the people included in the scene for scale. This view is slightly different than others I've seen in the past. The statues look a bit less isolated from this POV.
willperrett (6246) 2014-02-03 1:11
It's not often we see photographs of Moai surrounded by trees. Perhaps the local inhabitants are trying belatedly to put back what their ancestors almost completely removed, and which apparently led directly to the decline and death of this civilisation.
mirosu (12684) 2014-02-04 5:19
Another superb photo. I like the composition with bright sandy area in foreground, the group of palm trees with the statues and the nice blue sky in BG, what an excellent contrast. The people add nice life to the scene. Well composed photo, superb introductory note.
serp2000 (38355) 2014-02-04 9:45
Hello, dear Bulent,
I don't know when I will reach this corner, so I have read it with big interest. Outstanding illustration of the note, attractive composition, perfect details!
Greetings from Russia!
Gigidusud (13669) 2014-02-05 4:36
Hello dear Bulent,
Wow! What cruise! Splendid composition with excellent POV and great details. I like a lot!
Best wishes to you and family!
photoray (10533) 2014-02-07 13:58
Appealing panoramic scene of the magical Easter Island gigantic statues. A different statue group from the ones I normally see, placed upon a hill side.
A National Geographic documentary has a new theory on how the statues were moved a long distance from their quarry - based upon physics (I know you will like this one). They were rocked back and forth and motion aided in their guidance to their spots.
nikkitta (13556) 2014-02-08 13:15
Hola dear Bulent
Through this photo I discover that there are palms trees at this very far away island
Very good capture and frame, good to add the people to have an idea of how very huge are the .... which is their name?
This must have been a quite interesting trip
Thanks for the always informative note
How on earth do you know about president Rodriguez of Paraguay?
Craig said that if in Canada he ask about Paraguay almost everybody will be at a loss
Silvio1953 (116981) 2014-02-08 14:04
Ciao Bulent, great view of fantastic statue, beautiful ambientation, excellent clarity, splendid light and wonderful colors, very well done my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio
delpeoples (52737) 2014-02-11 3:14
Merhaba dear Bulent
A fascinating note about a fascinating place. According to my mamma, aliens transported the materials and gave the locals the technology. hehehehe.
Anyway, an interesting image, different from the povs we have seen in images by other TEérs, but just as compelling. Good colour, contrast and excellent management of the harsh light conditions.
ChrisJ (94842) 2014-02-13 5:21
Good to see the coconut trees have returned. I have read that every last tree was cut down to provide rollers for these gigantic statues and there was no food, shelter etc left, leading to wars over the remaining scant resources. Eventually the island was abandoned. I worry this is a microcosm of what is happening to the planet as a whole today. And there is nowhere else to go if mankind irreparably damages planet Earth. Good sharpness & well framed. Tfs!
COSTANTINO (51974) 2014-02-14 9:29
is this the Paradise with all those high
palm trees?may be
this surronding greenery creates
this fantastic environment
I liked the inclusion of people
in the photo adding life
its better I think
have a nice weekend
emka (73847) 2014-02-16 14:11
So this time you went to Easter Island! But this time I am not so envious, to be so many thousands kilometers on the sea would be for me like in prison .
I find this photo rather strange. Of course, I know this place, it is Anakena beach and a few moai still with the red pukaos. But as I remember there were no palms in front of the statues. it was quite empty space (see photo in Workshop). I can't understand how you made it. Anyway, very nice photo of this fascinating place.
27 000 km was quite a lot, but my trip to Easter Island and Patagonia was even longer (Warsaw-London-Miami-Santiago-Easter Island-Santiago-Punta Arenas-El Calafate-Tierra del Fuego-Santiago-Miami-London-Warsaw, at least 42000 km!
Warm regrads MAlgo
mcmtanyel (10935) 2014-02-18 21:05
Selamlar Bülent Bey,
I don't think I have seen moai and palm trees together. The sand does indeed look out of place on a grassy knoll.
eldancer1 (25644) 2014-02-20 5:41
Very nice capture of this beautiful scene, the coconuts and the beach reminds me of my old country the Philippines. Good lighting and nice details. Well done, tfs.
Looks like the Augusta Bell 204B are still being used mostly in Europe. If you search this serial number (MM80300) online this helicopter is still being used by the Italian Army.
boa (5799) 2014-03-02 14:00
this is a "faraway from home" place i would like to visit. I read the book: Aku-Aku the secret of Eastern Island when i was a boy. I can still remember how fascinated i was when i read it:)Interesting shot by the way. Most of the pictures we see from here are from totally different spots, very refreshing! Nice and sharp picture with good colors and a good note, tfs!
Have a nice evening/
mkamionka (29465) 2014-03-03 8:52
lovely postcard like view from this famous island. The sculptures look very interesting here showed with palm trees in the background.
Very well done,
Fis2 (82448) 2014-03-06 1:04
Interesting place, beautiful trees and statues.
I like frame and colors.
Persons add savor of photo.
ikeharel (53101) 2014-03-07 9:02
Always an amazing subject, Bulent, to see and appreciate the ancient art of the Easter-Island people from the past.
The couple of tourists who staring over the site, added a fine life element. Yet, the viewer on this photo is drawn towards the remarable statues.
A fine shot, decorated with palm trees.
Have a nice weekend,
jmdias (52918) 2014-03-29 1:58
this is a place I want to know some day. nice view of the group of sculptures. good note,
fritzi007 (3107) 2014-04-21 1:04
Guten Tag Herr Bulent,
really an interesting photo with very good comment.
If countries are not available or difficult to reach, arouses the curiosity to these countries
jurek1951 (40949) 2014-05-27 23:05
a beautiful photo of this place with splendid composition and attractive details, great mediterranean lights and the POV is excellent,
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (34801)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-01-13
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor 70-210 f4.5-5.6
- Exposure: f/9.0, 1/320 seconds
- Details: Tripod: Yes
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2014-01-30 16:04