©Wolfgang Kaehler

Wolfgang’s Top Ten: #10 Easter Island

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As a professional travel photographer, Wolf has traveled to over 160 countries around the world. Today we start a countdown of his top 10 favorite destinations.

10. Magical Easter Island

Wolf watched the MS Explorer sail west towards Polynesia as he stood on a sandy shore; he had stayed behind to explore Easter Island, a remote island in the South Pacific, on his own. A local family had offered him a room in their humble one-room stone house – a base for his wanderings. Each day Wolf set out to reach the many ahu – sacred sites – around the island also known as Rapa Nui. As the weekend approached, the family prepared to head for their cave near the beach of Anakena on the northeastern shore. On Saturday morning, the father gestured for Wolf to pack a small bag and clamber into the family Volkswagon van. They rattled along a red dirt road past windswept hills where clouds cast shadows that traveled over the grassy knolls like herds of wild horses. Arriving at Anakena, Wolf, along with a dozen children, climbed out of the van.

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Before them, seven moais, perched on their ahu, stared across the island as waves crashed and prostrated themselves on the sandy shore. The family gathered wood and built a chattering fire on the beach then roasted a meaty pig. Later, when stars invaded the sky like a million little faces, they all crawled into the cave to sleep. When Wolf awoke, he was buried in a pile of snoring, sleeping bodies. The children had rolled along the sloping floor and were now nestled between his feet, and cozily resting on his belly. He gingerly lifted the children, placed them on a blanket, and slipped out of the cave. As he emerged into the morning light, the sunrise blazed casting a magic light on the moais and igniting the morning sky with red and yellow flames. The magic powers –manna– of the moais came to life. Mesmerized, Wolf gazed at the rush of clouds and light and shot one of his best Easter Island photos.

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Why Easter Island Should Be On Your Bucket List:

1. It is one of the most magical and spiritual places on earth.

2. You can explore the many archaeological sites – including 250 ahus — at this intriguing World Heritage Site.

3. You can ponder the mysteries that intrigued famed Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl in the 1950s such as how these monolithic statues were transported from a quarry to their ahus around the island.

For more photos please visit:  www.wkaehlerphoto.com

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