Day 6 – 9/7 – Easter Island

We have another half-day tour today, but this time it’s in the morning. We had breakfast at 8:30AM and waited for our tour guide to arrive at 9:30AM. It’s overcast today, but so far no rain. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that the weather will hold up.

We booked a private tour for today with the same tour company. Since, we weren’t able to go to Orongo yesterday, our tour guide/driver Maria will take us there as well as Ahu Akivi, our original planned destination.

Our first stop was a scenic point on the road to Orongo. From this vantage point, you can see the entire city of Hanga Roa. Thirty years ago, you would’ve only been able to see five houses, but the city has grown tremendously since. There are hundreds of houses now.

Our second stop was at Orongo, a crater created by volcanic activity over 2.5 million years ago. It is now filled with water and serves as the island’s source of fresh water. Off the coast is a tiny island where the sooty stern used to nest. That is the island where young Rapa Nui men would have to compete to find the first egg laid by the sooty stern each season. On top of the crater, where we stood, there were 53 “houses” where the people of high society would stay during the competition. The houses are really just bedrooms, since the Rapa Nui people only go indoors to sleep.

Our third stop was at Ahu Akivi, our original planned location. On this platform stands seven moais unlike any other moais; these seven actually face the sea. It is believed that these moais represent the seven explorers that King Hotu Matu had sent to find a new land to inhabit. So they face the sea to remind the people from where they originally came.

Our final stop was to see the three platforms at Tahai. They were just like any other platforms with moais. But nearby, there was the remains of a “boathouse.” The Rapa Nui people were excellent shipbuilders, so when it came to building houses, they would use the same technique as their canoes. The perimeter of the house would be long and eliptical (in the shape of a canoe).

After our tour, Maria dropped us off at an emparada stand in town. Emparadas are pastries filled with meat. Alice had the steak emparada, and I had the tuna emparada. They were actually quite delicious.

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping, snacking on ice cream, souvenir shopping, and walking around town. We had dinner at Au Bout Du Monde. I had tuna in a green curry sauce, and Alice had a beef filet gratin. Both dishes were very good. Alice said that it was the best meal she’s had on this trip.

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