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Easter Island

The rain was intense at times...

Click for a collage of images of Rano Raraku's crater

The black tern played an essential role in the island's belief of a man-bird beast. Every year, when this migratory bird used to arrive, men would go offshore Motu Nui Island in the aim of bringing back one of its eggs. The first to accomplish the task would allow the chief of his tribe to be crowned the man-bird (depicted in the petroglyphs).

Click for a collage of images of Orongo crater

The church on the island:

Bird?? statue inside the church:

One of the most beautiful cemeteries I've ever seen:

There are many wild and tame horses on the island.

The people there were unbelievably nice -- here's one of the friends we made there, an empanada stand owner named Tio.

Easter Island flora & fauna

This was the best photo I could get of the Chimango caracara, an (introduced) species of falcon specializing in eating carrion.

I picked up a shed wing-feather from one of them as well.

They look like this irl:

There were many other species of birds there, though on the mainland most of them were introduced species, like the common Diuca-finch, Chilean tinamou (so cute!). We did see some native species (a tern of some sort) flying around over the beach though, as well as a few Christmas shearwaters. Most of the native seabirds seem to live off of the minor islands.

There were a few lizards and house-geckos too, likely introduced by people.

I mentioned that I saw a horse carcass -- I couldn't help myself, I ended up picking up the skull and somehow my dad and I managed to bring it through customs. I picked up an older horse vertebrae as well.

:D Score!

Easter Island dogs & cats

I fed this kitty some of my shrimp empanadas! She was very pretty.

This badly fly-bitten dog came to our cabin on our last day to say hi, and we hung out for a bit. I wished I could take him home, but he wandered off by himself as we were about to leave the island.

Though many of the dogs of Easter Island are strays, they seemed to enjoy the generally mild climate of the island; a lot of them looked less dejected than the ones in the cities.


A nice Chilean-Japanese man, Masao, showed us around.

A massive church in the centro area.

The indigenous peoples monument. Note the guy at the bottom doing the David Caruso.

La Moneda, the palace of the late president Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected Marxist socialist to become president of a state in the Americas.
He was overthrown by a US-backed coup, in which the palace was bombed and Allende riddled with bullets and killed.


Santiago dogs


Valpo is a gorgeous port city surrounded by vineyards, its hills full of colorful houses and old, crumbling buildings and churches.
Nearly every wall is covered in graffiti and bright murals as well; it was hard for me to not take pictures of every single wall, since they were all so creative.
The hills are ridiculously steep though, moreso than San Francisco. Residents use the ascensors (elevators from the early 1900s) to get places that are far uphill.


Inside of a neighborhood church.

The view from poet Pablo Neruda's house.

The empanadas here were great, by the way; almost as good as the seafood ones on Easter Island.

Viña del Mar

Viña del Mar is somewhat of a resort town, not overly interesting but with a very pretty seaside area. Our family friend/guide Rodrigo took us to feast on seafood (I had grilled conger eel, avocado and tomato salad, and roasted potatoes -- delish) by the docks.

Sea lions.

Brown pelicans.

Some type of cormorant.

Valparaiso dogs & cats

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