Blue water cruising

Multihulls World Destinations: Easter Island, where the Gods contemplate the stars...

Published on 01 december 2015 at 0h00

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This isolated Pacific outpost, at the southern tip of the Polynesian triangle, only welcomes a handful of intrepid sailors to its shores. Those who make it are find that their long journey was well worth it. But be careful, as with Polynesia to the west, and Hawaii to the north, it has exceptional powers of seduction! Its magnetism, well known to airline pilots, doesn't just cast a spell on compasses and Sat Nav systems. It all starts with the spectre of almost nine hundred colossal stone heads (known as "Moais") on the seafront, perched on three hundred stone terraces (the "Ahu"). These giants have their backs turned to the ocean, and since the dawn of time they have surveyed the long horizons and starry skies. We know that the stones were hewn out of the basalt from the Rano Raraku volcano, situated in the east of the island, and this is another treat for anyone who sets foot on the island. The summit has gone, leaving a crater which houses a lake. Ochre landscapes, with dense, green vegetation, lakes which change color and the blue of the sea and the sky all come together to offer a magnificent spectacle. In another style, but just as spectacular, Rano Kau at the south-western tip of the island houses a crater with a flat base which is covered by several small lakes and is home to the Pascuan village of Orongo at the summit of the cliffs. Head a little higher to the sacred site of Orongo, a ceremonial village built on the ridge of the volcano. Every year, the ...

This article appeared in issue 145. To read the article in full, buy this issue individually

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