A mysterious black coastline greeted us. We were looking at the most isolated, inhabited island in the world.
We had arrived. The sign said so. But it was almost too much to believe.We stayed at the Hanga Roa, one of the old-school hotels on the island...
The next morning, we hiked to four separate moai sites. Edmundo Edwards, the world's foremost expert on Easter Island, was our guide. A gifted raconteur, he combined the wit of David Niven with the passion of Javier Bardem.
where a surprise greeted us around every corner.
Seeing the moai standing sentinel in the distance was overpowering...
...but seeing them up close was even more so. From my travel journal: "I felt an explosion of awareness as we approached."
The islanders would carve a statue in the memory of an ancestor and worship it as a god. In return for their devotion and offerings, they believed the moai would protect them.
We hiked up to the quarry where the statues were hewn and saw the giant holes in the rocks where the islanders had carved them out.
Many were lying on their sides, broken. After a year or more of labor, they had not survived being hoisted downhill and centuries later, were still lying where they had fallen.
After lunch, we went swimming in the bay. The water was turquoise and as warm as bath water. For once, I wasn't afraid of any creatures of the deep. I thought to myself, if this is my time, so be it.
I took photos of all the statues I saw, but one face in particular seemed naggingly familiar.
It wasn't until I returned home that I realized why.
I wonder if she was ever aware of her ancient doppelganger. I hope so. I think she would have been tickled pink, don't you?
Even now, I can't shake the connection between them.