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Posted on 22 August 2017
in Stories

Easter in Summer


Before “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, there was a push to create a more family friendly image of Las Vegas. As part of this “amelioration”, oversized replicas of two moai, typical Easter Island statues, were installed in front of the Tropicana Casino. Ever since I saw them, I’ve wanted to see the real thing. 

My trip began in Puymule, France. 15220km and 8 time zones later I landed in Rapa Nui a.k.a. Easter Island. 

Ahu Tahai, the first real moai I saw, was right in the town of Hanga Roa. After unpacking my Brompton (I bring it with me whenever I can), I went to explore the nearby sites of Puna Pau and Ahu Akivi. 

The next morning, I set off on a bike loop around the island. For the first half of the way, I was following the seaside. There were many moai along the shore but most of them were toppled face down. So, I only briefly stopped at some sites and skipped others all together. I swung by Rano Raraku, a quarry where moai were carved out and where the originals of those I saw at the Tropicana still stand. I went on to see Ahu Tongariki, the most stunning of all the moai of the island. Then I headed towards Anakena, the only sandy beach on the island, next to an archeological site. Once there, I dipped in the Pacific Ocean, took a look at the moai statues, and turned back to Hanga Roa. Soon, I was back in the town ready for good Polynesian food. 

The day after, I rode up Rano Kau, one of the three volcanos that formed the island. The view from the rim was impressive. 

That was it. Three days passed by quickly. I wish I would’ve had a bit more time there. 

Easter Island in numbers:

82km – distance cycled
887 – documented moai on Easter Island
37 – of them are restored and re-erected on platforms
4m – moai’s average height
86 tones – the heaviest moai 
324m – the height of Rano Kau, the extinct volcano I rode up