There are three main tours you can take on the island, which leads me to wonder ... Are there three seperate tours worth of sights on the island, or have they strategically divided the three main interesting sights into three different tours that are then pumped up with filler activities so that you have to do all three tours if you want to see the three interesting things? I believe it is the latter.
|the bolshevik in front of una vetana|
The first cave was called "dos ventanas" which means two windows. We had no idea what this meant as far as caving goes, but nevertheless we entered a big whole in the ground without any equipment or knowledge about what was inside. Sometimes I'm amazed we don't get injured more. Anyway, I used the flash of my camera to guide us through the dark, which gave a sort of jolting strobe light effect. Seizure sufferers would not have been happy. And after banging around in the dark for a while, we reach a fork in the cave and randomly choose one direction. Then we see light up ahead and we realize that the cave ends in the center of a cliff with a huge drop into the rocky ocean. Cool! And totally dangerous! This must be one of the "dos ventanas.". We explore the other fork and it is a second, equally cool, drop off into the ocean. We took a gazillion pictures, but it's not easy to capture it.
The second cave we explored was quite long, maybe a 15 minute walk through the dark. It was here that my camera battery died. Apparently, using your camera as a flashlight really uses up the battery very quickly. Luckily, we we able to find our way to a hole where you could climb out. Not sure how well we would have retraced our steps. And then of course once we were back outside we had to figure out where we were and where we had left the car.
But I think one of the most impressive things we saw was the giant crater. We were going to skip the crater entirely after we had been shown a rather inferior crater on our tour that really just looked like a lake. But we saw a picture of this superior crater in the tourist office, and thought it looked worthwhile.
Obviously Easter Island has the head thing going for it, but they really need to start marketing this crater! It was phenomenal! I have never seen anything like it, and I have seen a fair amount of stuff. The sides of the crater were crazy steep, and there were all these cows hanging around as though grazing by an enormous crater is totally normal for them, which I guess it is. Also, the crater is right by the ocean, which is odd because the meteor or whatever that caused it was only a few feet from breaking right through to the ocean, and then there would be no crater. Actually, you could see two coasts of the island from the crater, so it really was a very precise hit on the meteor's part.
After taking about a hundred pictures of the crater, we were satisfied that we had seen all the sights of the island, and did not need to employ the help of any guides.
So what do we learn from this?
1. Easter Island = more than just heads.
2. Tour guides = often unnecessary.
3. Flashlights = good to have with you.