Monday 26 March 2012

Blue + white + black = gold

That's not a formula you'll find in any art room or paint shop, but it worked for me today. After a whole nine hours' sleep - luxury! - we went to the quarry where all the moai, or heads, were carved, and marvelled and puzzled over the mystery of how these huge, heavy statues were moved from the one source all over the island, over such rough terrain that our vehicle frequently had to crawl along the unpaved roads. Beno, our local guide, had no problem: "It's mana," he said, meaning power, knowledge, skill.

Then we had a treat: taken along the coast to where our lunch had been laid out with sun umbrellas and chairs on the rough black basalt rocks where the (sorry) azure blue sea was breaking in a most spectacular fashion in white foam and spray just metres from where we stood with pisco sours, beer and - whole new taste sensation! - a Buck's Fizz made with fresh raspberry juice, which not only perfectly matched my top, but tasted wonderful. Then a buffet for lunch followed by fruit and the perfect chocolate brownie. Explora does know how to look after its guests, truly.

And after lunch, more moai and caves and cairns and walls, a walk along the coast, and then today's climax, the Rapa Nui first fifteen: a row of moai on an ahu, or platform. Just like rugby players, they didn't have much above the eyes, but they were impressive, impassive and inexplicable. I don't care what Beno says, they are a mystery.

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