Vlog by Isabelle: see below.
We don’t spend a good night, with some insomnias. Still the effects of the jet lack. We wake up at 7am. We want to be at Ahu Tongariki at 8:15am, for the sunrise. With 15 imposing statues, this monumental ahu is the largest ahu ever built. The site was restored by a Japanese team between 1992 and 1995. Only one topknot has been returned to its place atop a moai.
It’s a magical place; so breathtaking! The pictures can’t reflect the grandiose aspect of this site.
We then go to the nearby Rano Raraku. This volcano is the quarry for the hard tuff from which the moai were cut. We can wander among dozens of moai in all stages of progress studded on the slopes of the volcano.
It emanates a magnetic, mysterious vibe from this island. It’s not only because of the moai but also because it is one of the most isolated places on Earth; Chile is 3,700 km to the east. And Tahiti 4,200 km to the west.
We visit a last site for this morning: Ahu Akahanga. We find it much less striking.
We drive back to town where we do some shopping: water and vegetables. We find tomatoes with difficulties + a few avocados.
We go back to the hotel, to eat our lunch on the terrace of our new rooms; we indeed changed rooms, from the 2-room bungalow to 2 rooms as comfortable.
Around 3pm, we go to Anakena. It’s a sublime white-sand beach forming a perfect backdrop for Ahu Nau Nau, which comprises seven moai, some with topknots. On a rise south of the beach stands Ahu Ature Hulu and its lone moai, the first one that was re-erected (in 1956).
We spend more than an hour on this idyllic beach, swimming and resting under the shadow of the palm trees.
Around 5pm, we go back to Ahu Tongariki, to see the enigmatic statues under a better light. The site is already closed but I take some pictures from outside the stone boundary wall.
We then quickly go back to Anakena beach to take some pictures of the moai of Ahu Nau Nau under a better light (but it’s still not great).
It’s very convenient to have a car and to have the flexibility that goes with it.
We go back to the hotel, at 7:15pm. The bad news is that there’s no water (and we are all creamy and salty…).
We go and see the sunset at Ahu Tahai, the site that we visited yesterday morning. No chance with the sunset tonight though.
We go and have diner at ‘Au bout du monde’ restaurant, on the coastline, at 8:30pm. We try the shrimps in ginger sauce, the tuna in Tahitian vanilla sauce, the organic beef fillet and the tuna sashimi. Everything is delicious. And for dessert, we left room for the Belgian chocolate mousse. Yummy!
We come back in the hotel at 10pm. We’re all tired. Isabelle and I read / write until 11:30pm.