These statues, which average 13 feet in height and weigh about 14 tons, were created between the 10th and 16th century by the early inhabitants of the island. These monolithic stone heads are baffling to researchers who cannot figure out why the Rapa Nui people went through such enormous efforts to create them or how they carved them with primitive tools. Another lingering question is what happened to the Rapa Nui people? Rapa Nui’s early inhabitants came from other Polynesian island to this one to build a unique culture away from any influences. One theory is that they may have built these statues to honor their ancestors but had to leave once they had completely depleted the island resources. Once a thriving culture, Rapa Nui is today almost barren, with no trees and most of its soil being washed away in erosion. All that is left are these enormous monuments as a reminder of human achievement and resilience.
A bandeaukini (alternatively called a bandini) is a bandeau top (no straps going over the shoulders) worn with any bikini bottom. It is the oldest form of bikini, with earliest examples found in Sicilian Villa Romana del Casale (dubbed the "Bikini Girls) dating back to the 4th century AD. Reintroduced, its appeal grew fast among young women, with bandeau tops edging into the sales of the classic tankini.
The best place to snorkel is the Galapagos Marine Reserve. It’s a protected World Heritage area where hardly no fishing is permitted. Where is it? The marine reserve stretches out all the way around the archipelago, protecting more than 130,000 square kilometers of water. You can find exceptional snorkeling sites all around the marine reserve, but keep in mind that you’ll need a permit and a guide for almost every site. This is all a part of the conservation efforts: restricting access in order to maximize the authenticity of the marine world.
But the faux-tropics didn’t offer anything like the sunbaked warmth of the real tropics. Instead, the steady heat and lack of fresh air made me feel as if I were being slowly microwaved. Over lunch, I Googled things like “How long do flamingos live in captivity?” and “What do you call a group of flamingos?” A flamboyance of flamingos can live up to fifty years in captivity, and T.I. added theirs only seven years ago. Meanwhile, I’d been inside the dome for a few hours and was already craving an exit plan.
Following a brief stint as a refugee camp after the 1906 earthquake, the area was touted as a resort. A small amusement park, Playland at the Beach, was built where Cabrillo and Balboa streets now end. Major development occurred in the 1920s and 1930s with construction of the Great Highway and housing in the adjacent Sunset and Richmond Districts. After the destruction of the Sutro Baths in 1966, the neighborhood lost its resort appeal; the amusement park was also torn down in 1972, to be replaced by apartment blocks and a supermarket in the 1990s.
I really liked the atmosphere in Kaohsiung and Kenting, Taiwan as well as Yeosu, South Korea. I enjoyed their beaches, fast wi-fi, and laid back vibe. Kaohsiung is a larger city, but is artsy. Kenting is a tad touristy and expensive, but made up for it with it’s beautiful secluded beaches. Yeosu also has a lot of tourists, but totally unique rock formations and numerous islands along the coast.
^ Deutsches Institut für Normung: DIN 7878: Tauch-Zubehör: Schnorchel. Maße. Anforderungen. Prüfung (Diving accessories for skin divers; snorkel; technical requirements of safety, testing), Berlin/Cologne: Beuth Verlag, 1980. Deutsches Institut für Normung: DIN 7878: Tauch-Zubehör: Schnorchel. Sicherheitstechnische Anforderungen und Prüfung (Diving accessories for skin divers; snorkel; safety requirements and testing), Berlin/Cologne: Beuth Verlag, 1991.
The small, crescent shaped island of Molokini off the southwestern coast of Maui is a popular destination for snorkeling and diving. In fact, the waters and colorful reefs here are so rich with life, Molokini was named a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District. Molokini is only accessible by boat tour. Tours are available from nearby Maalaea Harbor in Kihei and Lahaina Harbor on Maui’s western shores.
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By mid-morning, all the seafront beach chairs were overlaid with people or place-saving towels, so I checked out the upstairs sundeck. For such a large complex, the sandy beach was actually quite narrow, just a spit of sand ringing the wading pool in front of the sea. It reminded me of million-dollar Malibu beachfront homes where erosion has taken almost all of the sand, leaving behind just the idea of a beach. Still, I wasn’t immune to the satisfaction of being in a bikini in the indoor-outdoor world while regular, old February raged on outside, and there was a particular joy in swiping sand from my ankles as I readjusted.
I came to this beach numerous times during my trip to San Francisco and each time, it was fairly quiet and super clean. During the day, we walked down the hill from Land's End (couldn't hike it since it was closed off due to the govt shut down) passing the Cliff House. On separate visits, I was able to enjoy the sunset and long walks along the water. This isn't something I do often (or ever, tbh) since NY beaches are pretty filthy and cannot compare at all. If you're lucky, you'll get to see all of the sand dollars on the shore. Parking spaces around here are tough to snag, but not impossible. You'll just need a bit of patience, but its worth it.
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