I took this picture on a long journey I made through South America. Easter Island is one of the strangest places I’ve been to. It’s part of Chile but is so different to other parts of South America. The island is a 5- or 6- hour flight from the capital city of Chile, Santiago, and right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is Polynesian, similar to Hawaii or Fiji. The island used to be covered with trees but now there are none. It’s very mysterious, and it was fascinating to see all the huge statues, called maoi, that were an important part of the island’s religious beliefs. The island’s population decreased dramatically over the centuries, maybe due to the people destroying their land or maybe because of the introduction of rats, which bred very quickly, eating all the vegetation. Notice in this picture that the statues are all facing inland, not out to sea. People are still trying to understand the old Easter Island culture. I was privileged to visit the place but I don’t think I would like to return there.