Vistas from Torres del Paine

Hiking the W Circuit in Torres del Paine, part of the Chilean Patagonia, was breathtaking.  Here are a few of my favorite vistas.   los cuernos   los torres     flowers in front of cerros paine grande   cerro paine grande   a river in front of cerro paine grande     cerro paine grande lago nordenskjöld (see larger)     shadows on lago nordenskjöld     lago nordenskjöld     glaciar grey (see larger)     glaciar grey.  yes, this is bluer than it looked.  but it’s exactly as blue as it felt.

Back Home

Well, I’m back in Seattle! I have to say, it was quite a shock to go from bikini & sunglasses to wintercoat & boots. The 28 hours of travel was kinda exhausting too. The trip was fabulous, and just what I needed. I took about a zillion photos (okay, around 1200), so expect them to come trinkling in. In the meantime, here’s a video I took in Ranu Raraku, the volcanic quarry where most of the moai were carved.

What are the Moai?

Moai are the giant “head” statues found throughout Easter Island.  They rest upon ceremonial platforms (called “ahus”), and represent different high-ranking ancestors.  Archeologists estimate that 1000-some statues were carved  between 1000-1600AD.  All the maoi were made from the volcanic rock on the east side of the island.  They were (likely) then rolled on logs to the far corners of the 60 sq mi island. Most of the moai were toppled by the 1700s, the result of inter-tribal fighting.  (Deforestation, which caused an ecological & agricultural collapse, was a major contribution.)  It wasn’t until this century that some of the moai …


I wasn’t expecting to see so many wild horses on Easter Island.            

Rano Raraku

On the east side of the island is Rano Raraku, a volcanic crater that served as the moai quarry.  Walking around Ranu Raraku there was something eerily magical in the air .  Some of the statues were half carved, still firmly in the rockbed.  Others were sticking out of the ground, waiting to be finished and dragged to their final locations. I went several times, at sunrise and at sunset.  The colors changed so drastically, from morning to night.  And even as the sun went moved in & out of clouds.                   …

Ahu Tongariki

I returned back to Ahu Tongariki several times, including once at sunset…   all in a row     close up    solitary moai      sitting on a rock, waiting for sunset.  (that’s my shadow)      can you see me?  look closer.       me

Biking to the Moai for Sunrise – New Year 2009

Planning this trip in August, I was captured by the idea of seeing my first Easter Island moai at sunrise on January 1st. On the island on December 31st, I tried to figure out how to make it happen. I had heard that biking around the island was fairly easy – this place, afterall, isn´t that large. However, after renting a bicycle, I discovered the best place for sunrise is Ahu Tongariki, which is on the far east side of the island. The (only) town of Hanga Roa is, of course, on the far west side of the island. Yep, …

Today was a Good Day

Today was a good day. 🙂 This morning, I successfully hauled my ass out of bed, and went to a yoga class. I saw the Almazen Del Mar yoga studio sign the day before while wandering around Valparaiso. The Ashtanga yoga instructor, Macarena, spoke excellent English and gave great adjustments. If you happen to be in town, I highly recommend. I then walked up to La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda‘s three homes. It was an enchanting little place – very tranquil, with a beautiful view of the city. Valparaiso is a very colorful city – lookswise, it reminds me …