I’m surprised I haven’t posted this image of Easter Island before, considering my wife and I spent nearly an entire day walking around Rano Raraku (a.k.a. “The Quarry”) and have many pictures.
The Quarry is where all of the moai on Easter Island were carved from. Many of them were carved from the rock of the hillside, then “walked” down the hill where they would slowly make their way to their final destination. No one really knows how long it took to completely carve a moai, but if they broke during transit, the moai were left in that location and work was began on another carving another back in The Quarry. Obviously it was a very labor intensive project.
For the sake of experiencing The Quarry as the sun rose, my wife and I were the first ones to the location. The lighting was brutal for photographs, but the stillness and silence of it all made the early-morning trip worth it. As we were leaving, we began chatting with the ticket attendant and she told us her shift ends at three o’clock. If we come back before then she’d let us back in without having to pay — a total sweetheart move.
What was nice about going back the second time was the majesty of it all was still pretty cool, but it was easier to focus on taking some pictures. And, by the time its all said and done, “tourism” on Easter Island is far different than “tourism” anywhere else on earth. It is such a remote and difficult location that even their “busy” season is nothing like many other places on earth. Going early to get there before the crowd isn’t really necessary. It was still fantastic to experience the stillness of The Quarry without tour groups and such, but The Quarry was large enough we could easily avoid them once they were there.