|Easter Island, the most remote
inhabited place on earth. Thousands of miles from Pitcairn Island (population
120) and even further from everywhere else. Five hours flight from
Santiago de Chile, so why bother? Top of my "must see"
list since I was a child and further inspired by a TV documentary
explaining how it was the epitome of a man-made environmental disaster
which practically wiped out its inhabitants.
To its people, the Rapa Nui, it is the centre of
the world as China is to the Chinese, concepts I always have difficulty
with as a Eurocentric.
The wild horses still
roam the hills and valleys, mad animals that canter down to the waters edge
to drink salt water straight from the Pacific Ocean. Nowadays, most
of the locals prefer their beat up Toyota pick-ups and horses have become
a white elephant for those unfortunate tourists who are given one on their
arrival and cannot of course just leave it on departure!