Chile and Patagonia 2016 – Quarry and Orongo Village

Dates Explored: February 1 – 2, 2016

Last I left off, we were hopping in our rental vehicle and driving to Rano Raraku Quarry. We had eaten breakfast in town before leaving to enjoy the views, and we’d purchased fresh pineapple and watermelon and grapes and cheese and water and sliced meat and doughy crusty things. So we kind of had a picnic lunch that we nibbled on as we drove and explored. We called it the Two Squares a Day Plus Pisco Sours for All and Wine for the Winos/Water for Cindy Meal Plan. Because, apparently, I “had” to eat several times a day or I would “crash.” But, let me say, I drink a lot of milk back home and, honestly, I just had to make up those missing calories. Not being a wino myself, I had to ingest, you know, actual food.

At any rate, it was amazing to catch sight of the quarry out the car window:

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As you approach the parking lot, you realize that those dots on the hillside are Moai! If you are on a tour bus, I don’t know, no matter how nice the guide is, how knowledgeable he or she is, they are likely to be explaining where you are heading as you are going there. There is something to be said for simply discovering where you are going as you arrive. Especially if, like our foursome, you don’t educate yourself a whole lot in advance. It’s like you’re just driving along and suddenly see this spectacular sight. It’s an adventure!

Some of these statues have bodies that extend way, way into the ground. There is some argument whether all the Moai were intended to be moved from the quarry. There is a spot you can see a monster head lying horizontal half-carved from rock. Pictures don't do the quarry justice.

Some of these statues have bodies that extend way, way into the ground. There is some argument whether all the Moai were intended to be moved from the quarry. Were some intended to remain where they were carved? There is a spot you can see a monster head lying horizontal half-carved from rock. Pictures don’t do the quarry justice. I like this one because I was able to “nip” off folks walking along the path so one might think I was there all alone, like a NatGeo photographer or something. One might fantasize about such things if one is delusional or starving from lack of nutrition/Canadian milk.

It's too bad this head isn't facing the other way around. Then the people GETTING IN MY PICTURE could seem to be marching into the Moai's mouth. Seriously, I like the little troupe walking into the back of his neck.

It’s too bad this head isn’t facing the other way around. Then the people GETTING IN MY PICTURE could seem to be marching into the Moai’s mouth. Seriously, I like the little troupe walking into the back of his neck.

There is so much to see at the Quarry! We hiked up to a crater lake, and across the lake we could see more Moai. They are just everywhere.

After enjoying a light lunch (our snacks) near the quarry parking lot, we headed to see more Moai, the iconic rows of statues I remembered from my parents’ pictures. We could spy them way, way far away. So we drove to them.

We are worshiping the sun, or being the Moai, or something that no longer makes sense.

We are worshiping the sun, or being the Moai, or something that no longer makes sense.

Closeup  of the two Moai on the very right,  to show an example of one wearing the hat.  There is also a batch of inland Moai.  We bought some lovely fresh pineapple from a lady nearby.

Closeup of the two Moai on the very right, to show an example of one wearing the hat. There is also a batch of inland Moai. We bought some lovely fresh pineapple from a lady nearby.

We also explored some cave paintings and petroglyphs. There is so much to see on Easter Island!

The next day wasn’t sunny. We visited Orongo, the ancient village. It was pretty cool but we didn’t stay there long. I do believe it had started raining. We walked around and had a look, though.

The people would climb in through those little openings to sleep.

The people would climb in through those little openings to sleep.

Close-up of an entrance.

Close-up of an entrance.

One of several fallen/pushed over Moai we encountered during our explorations. I am pretty much sitting as close to the statue as I can without touching it (a no-no). Just to give an idea of the size of these things.

One of several fallen/pushed over Moai we encountered during our explorations. I am pretty much sitting as close to the statue as I can without touching it (a no-no). Just to give an idea of the size of these things.

Another thing we did our second day with the vehicle was visit one of the Festival events, a horse race. I’ll cover that next post, plus we had quite an adventure exploring the Windows to the Sea, which were another surprise…

2 Responses to “Chile and Patagonia 2016 – Quarry and Orongo Village”

  1. Dawn Robirtis Says:

    Thanks for making me want to go there, another place for the bucket list! Beautiful thanks for sharing.

  2. Cindy Says:

    Thanks, it is lovely but take a light, long sleeved blouse to protect from sunburn, if you ever go. The sun is stronger, it seems, down there and my sunscreen didn’t do as good a job as I expected. 🙂