Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Easter Island (Rapa Nui)- Day 1

The day dawned bright and sunny. I was awake early because some psychotic rooster started crowing long before dawn and kept going.

We made our way down to the waterfront, passing a primary school with a very large and  interesting choice of sculpture outfront.

At the waterfront we saw a large sea turtle, schools of fish and a lone puffer fish.

We passed a large cemetary that was uniquely Rapa Nui with its mix of traditional sculpture and current day touches.

We then walked to one if the nearby maoi sites- Ahu Tahai- which I was excited to see. The moai were even more impressive in person. At this site there are the remains of 5 standing moai and two off on their own. One of the two still has his top knot and eyes have been added to indicate how the moai may have looked

It is easy to tell that you are on a Polynesian Island. The beautiful flowers, the volcanic formations and the artwork are reminiscent of Hawaii but Easter Island is less developed.

So far I haven't found a large grocery store. There is a limited amount of choice in foods because most things need to be brought in from the mainland and the closest islands are over 1000 km away. It is really quite remote. There is only one airline that flies here.  I also don't recall seeing any buildings taller than one story.

After paying homage to the moai, we visited the museum. There was no cost to the Rapa Nui Museum. They didn't have many archeological pieces but they did have a lot of information abour the history of the island and first peoples.

There are dogs running free all over the island...some have collars, others not. This is yet another place where you have to watch where you step.

Two dogs met up with us just outside the museum and followed us the whole way back into town. They even stopped and waited for us outside when we went into the odd shop before continuing with us to the main street in town. Once we arrived, they just went on their way.

We rested for a short bit at our place before heading to the nearby bakery to get some pastries and rent a vehicle for a few days. Yep, we rented a car at the bakery.

In the afternoon we once again passed the primary school. The kids were singing and dancing to local music but the big statue from up front was gone...?...

We went onto the main street to try a recommended (by TripAdvisor) restaurant called Club Sandwich for lunch. I have not had a hotdog in ages but  travellers we have met, one of our tour guides and TripAdvisor say you have to try the hot dogs in Chile. John had one with tomatoes, avocado and mayonnaise and I had one with sour kraut, tomatoes, mayonnaise, onions and more. They weren't on your usual bun and they were so laden that you were hard pressed to find the weiner but it tasted good.

We made our way to one of the many icecream shops before walking along the seashore.

We passed a resort that had many black flags and signs saying that the resort was built on an ancient burial site and that it is bad tabu. The black tattered flags did look awfully creepy.

Surfers were catching some waves in one area.

There are few signs of the manifestations (protests) here. There is not any graffiti but there are paper signs around.

We made our way back to our apartment where I napped while John made supper. This hacking cough had really zapped my energy.

After supper, we grabbed a small bottle of wine and made our way back to Ahu Tahai to watch the sunset. Many other people, both tourists and locals also wanted to mark the days end in the same manner. Awesome.

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