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art channel by Nikolay Milovidov
Lost in Time. Easter Island

More than 3,700 kilometers from the nearest land, Easter Island remains one of the most inaccessible and mysterious places on the planet. Many centuries ago, it was inhabited by people of a different civilization. Who were they, what were they like? We can only guess.

Moai of Rano-Raraku volcano

This is probably the most famous place on Easter Island. On the slope of a once active volcano facing the ocean, ancient statues (moai) stand. Here is their largest accumulation (about three hundred of the total number of 887 statues discovered on the island to date). It is believed that this is their quarry. The weight and size of the moai are not important, as numerous researchers give equally numerous and divergent data (up to 270 tons for the most massive statue).

To date, not much is known for certain: someone somehow managed to design, realize and erect it all in some unknown way. Local residents said that in the eighties, in order to restore Ahu Tongariki, located opposite the Rano-Raraku slope, a crane capable of carrying such a load was brought from Japan. But it's not even about the load or the crane, it's about the fact that at that time only one of the two lifting mechanisms that had been built on the ground by that time could do such a job, and it was brought here.

Moai of Ahu Tongariki

Moai, we learned, are the majestic statues of the island, and ahu are the pedestals on which they stand (very simple, learn Polynesian). It was for these moai that the restoration process required the unique Japanese crane mentioned earlier, capable of hoisting them onto their ahu. The fact is that most of the moai, when they were discovered by Europeans, were toppled from their pedestals. Simply – fallen to the ground. The cause is unknown. It is believed that the island's natives vented their anger on the once-powerful gods who failed to fulfill their obligations. How it really was, no one knows – the matter is old and dark. But the fact that now the bulk of them are scattered all over the island, lying flat on their stomachs is a fact.

Moai ahu Tongariki, like almost all of their brethren, stand proudly with their backs to the ocean, gazing anciently and majestically into the distance. Far away across spaces and centuries. They are beautiful and unfathomable in their majesty. Perhaps the images of the deputies of the Russian State Duma will be as beautiful and incomprehensible someday. Time will show. The height of the largest of them (moai, not deputy) is 8.7 meters, which is quite a lot.

Anakena Bay Beach and Ahu Nau Nau

There is fine sand, a quiet wave, and almost no sharks. You can make your own coffee in a wooden tent for just a dollar. Nescafe can, plastic spoon and a glass – how much does a tourist need?

Silence, the sound of the waves. Just the sea and Homer. No strangers, only our own.

 The sea and Homer — everything is moved by love.
 Whom shall I listen to? There is no sound from Homer,
 And full of eloquence the black sea roars and roars,
 And draws with thunderous crashing nearer to my pillow.

Puna Pau. Hills

What are those beds at the bottom of the hill, you ask? I don't care if you don't. I'm telling you, pineapples.

Puna Pau. Hills

Wild horses and Ahu Tepeu

One of the island's problems is wild horses. They trample and destroy plantations and crops, spread diseases, and attack tourists who are unaware of their freedom and savagery. In 2008, with a population of 1.5 thousand people, there were 2.5 thousand. Now, they say, the situation has been resolved. I don’t know what the island looks like now without them.

Caldera of Rano Kau volcano

There are a little more than seventy known formations such as a caldera (something like a large cauldron or bathtub of volcanic origin). A couple of them are on Venus and Mars. There are also closer ones – Antarctica, New Zealand, the Philippines and, of course, Easter Island. It looks like this.

Well what can I say? A caldera is also a caldera on Mars. In general, nothing special.

Sunset in Ahu Vai Uri

Every evening, not far from the capital of the island and its only city, Hanga Roa, an unprecedented performance takes place. It was worth doing for this such a long way: sunset.

It’s strange, but there are almost no tourists here. Five or six Japanese, a romantic German couple – and that’s it. Why? Hard to say. Flight Chilean LAN airlines are not tiresome. The only cinema in the city has been showing the same film filmed on the island for the last twenty years and, from time to time, one of the relatively new American blockbusters, which you can watch all on the same plane – 5 hours of flight off the coast of Chile. There is also a disco. But for some reason it’s hard to believe that about three hundred people arriving on the island every day spend time there.

Seven p.m. Another half hour and the sun will quickly fall into the water, revealing a defenseless sky with large pebbles of cleanly washed stars. Silence. Only the sound of the surf and the hoarse grumbling of the cicadas.