Bernie and Bianca Scheidt visited Easter Island together in 2016. Submitted photo

Explore the towering statues of Easter Island in next week’s Lawnchair Travel presentation

Bianca Scheidt will be presenting her 2016 trip to the remote island on Monday

Bianca Scheidt and her husband Bernie spent five days exploring Easter Island, a remote island far off the coast of Chile, where towering stone statues featuring carved faces look out over the landscape.

The island is small, just 163 kilometres squared, and has only a few thousand residents. The nearest inhabited land is more than 2,000 kilometres away, making it one of the most remote places in the world.

To get there, Scheidt had to take a flight from Santiago, Chile — a flight which only runs once a day.

But for Scheidt, it was worth it.

“Easter Island was always on my bucket list,” she says. “As a kid, I watched the movie Rapa Nui, and I just liked the story and all the historic stuff that’s behind it. And so I decided one day, I need to visit this island because it’s pretty … adventurous. And there is so much history in it.”

The movie Rapa Nui, which came out in 1994, was loosely based on the legends of Easter Island, and follows a civil war between two tribes. Rapa Nui is also the name of the aboriginal Polynesian inhabitants of the island.

And in 2016, as part of a longer trip around northern Chile, Scheidt and her husband made it happen.

Every February, says Scheidt, there’s a festival on the island, with markets, music, barbeque and shows featuring traditional clothing and dance.

The two-week Tapati Festival also features sporting events. One such event is the Tau’a Rapa Nui Pa’ari, a triathlon.

The triathlon sees competitors paddle reed boats across a volcanic lagoon, then walk the perimeter of the lagoon carrying 55 pounds of bananas, then another lap without the bananas, followed by a reed-float-assisted swim back across the lagoon.

There’s also a nice beach on the island, with the ability to take out a boat and go paddling on the ocean.

But perhaps the most mysterious — and certainly the most famous — part of the island is the moai, the towering stone statues carved into faces placed around the island.

The moai have their backs to the sea, and many believe they were created to protect the island, but little is known for certain about the statues or the people who built them. One long-held theory suggests that once the islanders first came to Easter Island and built the statues, they ruined their society with infighting and the depletion of natural resources.

But a more recent theory, out of the University of Queensland in Australia, is that the early society was more sophisticated than they have been given credit for. The evidence of their robust stone carving industry, for example, is evidence of that.

Because the island is so small and difficult to access, Scheidt says many people probably won’t ever be able to visit it. For that reason, she decide to present her trip in the upcoming Bouchie Lake Lawnchair Travel Series presentation.

She says she plans to focus on the history of the island and the statues — and discuss all the different types of monuments on the island, as well as the festival and local culture.

Scheidt will present her trip on Monday, March 11 at Rocky’s General Store in Bouchie Lake. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and the flight takes off at 7 p.m.


Heather Norman
Community Reporter
Send Heather an email
Like the Quesnel Cariboo Observer on Facebook

 

Moai, tall, stone statues, cover much of Easter Island. Submitted photos

To this day, all that is known about the origin of the moai is theory.

Just Posted

Business training funds still available for businesses impacted by 2017 wildfires

Businesses with less than 50 employees, less than $250,000 net profits eligible to apply for reimbursement of training expenses up to $10,000

UPDATED: Air quality and dust advisories ended for Quesnel

Meteorologist Ralph Adams said having both advisories at the same time was unusual

Where the Rivers Meet Country Bluegrass Jamboree: a brief history of the Quesnel festival

The Cariboo Country Bluegrass Society reminisces about their time hosting the jamboree

Federal budget focuses on the middle class

Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty releases statement calling the budget a cover up.

Forestry Ink: learning about snow fleas

Snow fleas are a sure sign of spring

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Most Read