Easter Island was given its name by an early Dutch explorer, who landed on the island on Easter Sunday, 1722. However, the Polynesian locals know it as Rapa Nui. This is one of the most remote inhabited islands on the planet and home to the EarthCache, Rano Kau – Rapa Nui (GC22ZGB), this week’s Geocache of the Week.
A visit to this EarthCache is a true escape: the island is located 2,182 miles (3,512 km) off the coast of Chile and the nearest inhabited island is 1,289 miles (2,075 km) to the east. Most visitors know Easter Island for the large Moai statues that represent ancestors of the island’s original inhabitants. These massive statues were carved between the years 1100–1680 out of compressed volcanic ash or basalt.
For geocachers that make the journey to Easter Island, finding the Rano Kau EarthCache in Rapa Nui National Park is a must. Rano Kau is an extinct volcano located in the southwestern portion of the island. It was formed at least 150,000 years ago from basaltic lava flows. Now, it stands over a thousand feet tall (over 300m) and contains a crater lake—one of only three natural sources of fresh water on the island. The crater is nearly a mile wide and contains its own micro-climate where figs and vines flourish.
The geocache creator, Dutzig, had this to say about Rano Kau, “The uniform shape of the crater, and the nature and the depth of the crater lake and of course the extraordinary beauty made me hide the cache on the crater of Rano Kau.” When asked about placing an EarthCache versus a traditional geocache, he said, “With my EarthCaches I try to point out unusual features of the world to travelers and give them pleasure. No one has to destroy nature, to look for a geocache. My EarthCaches are partly in very sensitive areas of the world and no one can sabotage the cache or remove [it]. ”
To log a smiley for this EarthCache, you must answer a few questions and you have the option to upload a photo of yourself and your GPS with the crater lake in the background. An uploaded picture to log a smiley is no longer a requirement.
Previous “Found it” logs include plenty of praise for the beautiful location. Geocacher sasktravelbugs had this to say, “We were excited to see another EarthCache from the famed Dutzig, with whom we found another of his caches on Antarctica only a few short weeks ago. What an AMAZING crater! We spent a lot of time just marveling at its size and colours. Thanks so much for creating another great cache that allowed us to learn more about the geography of Rapa Nui.”
Geocaching can take all of us to some pretty remote places, where is the farthest from home that geocaching has taken you?
If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, send an email with your name, comments, the name of the geocache, and the GC code to firstname.lastname@example.org.