Entry #15

Archeologists are such Buzz-kills!

In the academic filed of Archeology there are several thoughts and theories on the civilization that lived on Easter Island 600 years ago.My personal favorite was that the aliens had come down and made these statues...that is why I included it on my list of things to see on this trip. But as it turns out, Archeologists poo-poo that notion and have real scientific evidence to back their own claims up.

According to "the experts", there was a whole civilization that built around the 395 statues, which all face inland, except for 7. Not only that but, they were all tipped over during a civil war when the poor people on the island were fighting with the rich over the limited resources on the island when the population on the island reached 10,000 people. Don't forget that is a lot of people for an island only 9 miles by 3 miles, and add on top of that they cut down all the trees on the islands to help them transport the statues. The tipped statues lay face down until 1958, when a few engineers figured out a way to upright the 20-ton statues. Only about 10% of all the statues were restored to their original positions. I was secretly hoping that they had been toppled by some punk-ass Easter Island kids, similar to US teens doing late night cow tipping in the midwest. And now with this new knowledge, I can't really believe in the stories of the alien abduction. Bummer.

I also spent the time I was on Easter Island with a Dutch girl who I met at the Jeep rental place. I suggested that we go "Dutch" on the Jeep instead of both of us renting one individually since we were going to see the same things. She asked me to explain "going Dutch" to her. Apprently they don't use that phrase in Holland.

Anyway, we sped around the island tying to see all 395 statues, but after you see one Moai statue, really, you've seen them all. We stopped at the beach to work on our Whitey McWhite tans, AKA a Sunburn. We ended the evening at a local bar where there was a fund raiser for the Mayor's up coming campaign. It was quite amusing to see the locals dance and flirt..when there are oly 2,000 people on the island it's a lot like high school dances in small towns. And if you struck out in high school on Easter Island, you're probably not going to be doing any better when you're 40. Ouch. We witnessed a few train wrecks on the dance floor and watched guys crash and burn.

Tahiti and Moorea where nice, but I think they are overrated and are definitely not the island paradise the tourist board makes it appear to be in the advertisments. I found that it was filled with snobby and rude French tourists. I did however meet one American who was on a faster trip than me, only taking 3 months, and an English guy who was taking 5 weeks to go around the world! They were the most pleasant conversations I had while I was on the islands.

Tahiti- the island of Moorea

I made the mistake of taking a guided tour. I quickly realized it was a waste of time and money when the guide kept answering his cell phone and eventually left us stranded for 20 minutes so he could go get gas. And to top it off we went to 4 gift shops where we could buy souveniers that were made in China. Ugh. A double ugh to the old lady that spent 2 hours shopping at these crappy stores. Never take a guided tour of an island that is only 10 miles across.

So far I’m 20,000 miles done with the 41,000 mile trip. All right, I gotta go because I’m falling asleep with the time change.

Sean McGrail

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