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  • Easter IslandThe Essential Guide
  • Kay Kenady Sanger

EIF's newest publication, Easter Island. The Essential Guide, is the revised and updated edition of the 2011 book of the same name by EIF's Vice President Kay Sanger. Kay has spent a considerable amount of time on the island documenting rock art and compiling visitor information, and is highly qualified as both a writer and archaeologist. She is the author of five guidebooks and recently published the popular book, Write your Memoir in 10 Steps.

This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to Easter Island currently available. It will help first time travelers to plan their trip and explore on their own, or provide additional information as they tour the island with a knowledgeable guide. Whether you are planning a first trip, or if you have already been to Rapa Nui, this book will be a great source of information about Easter Island.

Starting off with a preface by Easter Island expert and EIF founding member Georgia Lee, the book begins with basic Easter Island facts and lists the must-see sites. The guidebook, at nearly 200 pages, is considerably longer than the first edition, but still compact enough to take to the island. The revised edition contains more photographs, especially color images, many of them new images taken by various photographers. Maps of island areas described in the section Exploring the Island will help visitors to get their bearings. All maps and many illustrations were drawn by Kay's husband, Tom Sanger.

The first section details how the island was named, the climate, flora, fauna and environmental issues facing the island and its people today. The second section deals with history: the first settlers, European colonization and religious conversion, and slavery. It ends with a section on modern Rapa Nui and includes a timeline that helps put everything into perspective.

Archaeology of the island, with sub-sections on moai, rock art, and rongorongo are described in the next part of the book. Methods of moving the moai are detailed and illustrated. Kay worked extensively with Georgia Lee documenting the rock art of the island in the 1980s, thus she is well-qualified on this subject. The section ends with a description of the people of Rapa Nui.

A chapter about planning a trip to the island covers arrival by plane or boat, what to bring, money and banking, health considerations, communication, vehicle rentals, hiring tour guides, and other necessary visitor information.

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In the section Exploring the Island, the island is divided into six parts; Hanga Roa village, north of Hanga Roa, the southwest corner, the south coast, the northeast coast, and the north coast. Each area is described in detail and includes a map, highlights, pictures, and drawings.

The Recreation section includes information on swimming, diving and snorkeling, surfing, kayaking and boat trips, fishing, biking, hiking, and horseback riding. At the end of the section, five great hikes are suggested and detailed. Suggestions for enjoying nightlife, dance shows, food buffets, and the annual Tapati Rapa Nui festival are covered in a section on Entertainment and Festivals.

The last few sections cover shopping, dining, and accommodations. Although hotels and restaurants on the island can seem to be in a perpetual state of flux, there is a comprehensive listing of places to eat, along with hotels and residenciales, with websites and phone numbers to assist in making advance reservations.

The book ends with a useful glossary of Rapanui terms and a suggested reading list.

All proceeds from the sales of Easter Island. The Essential Guide support the Easter Island Foundation, which provides scholarships for university students of Rapanui ancestry. We are offering the guidebook to our members and readers at a special price of $20. [End Page 73]



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