Day 5 on Easter Island

easter island day 5

Sunday in Hanga Roa, and we went to the Catholic Church. In a way this has become a tourist attraction in its own right. I was a bit concerned that we would be intruding into something that was "private". However Sharon assured us that they welcomed tourists, and that it was a real part of island culture. The church was packed and the congregation enthusiastic. Everyone seemed to participate in the hymns and a suitably uplifting sermon was delivered in Spanish, while words of welcome were rendered to us touts in a multitude of languages. The service also included linking hands with the people around you, a bit like Auld Lang Syne, and joining in the celebrations.

Spiritually uplifted we were able to face another walk, this time north along the coast past our old friend Ahu Tahai, via a new friend Ahu Kioe to reach Ahu Te Peu.

Click on the thumbnails below to get larger photos

The Catholic Church has become a tourist attraction on Sunday Morning when an exuberant Mass is celebrated
Walking home from church And then in the afternoon a long hike along the coast past Ahu Tahai and its moai, past
Ahu Kioe , the last moai ever erected on Easter Island. Past the odd horse corral, and a blow hole down in the lava field. Along
more dramatic lave rocks to Ahu Te Peu which is known for the remains of a native village with the traditional boathouses, as well as a
   
substantial ahu with carved rocks, and surrounded by wild flowers.    

The last statue to be mounted on a platform on Easter Island is at Hanga Kioe.It was erected in the middle of the 17th century. Hanga Kioe consists of two separate ahu, but one of them contains only a small remainder of the statue it holds. A part of the torso was recovered from the ocean shore when the statue was re-erected.

Ahu te Peu is about 8 km’s north of Hanga Roa. The views from the cliff on the coast are spectacular. There were five moai on this altar, but they are all destroyed and pieces of the statues and pukao are spread over the site of the ahu. Ahu te Peu also has the remains of an old town with a magnificent ship house more than 45 m long. Extensive archeological work has been done with the town foundations, and one can clearly see the outlines of the houses. The ahu still remains in ruins, and it is believed that Thor Heyerdahl managed to undermine some of the foundations of the ahu during his excavations of the site in 1955, resulting in a further collapse of the ahu.

We had dinner in a restaurant called Alhoa in the main street. It was good value for money - the fact that the restaurant is on the main street and not the seafront, keeps the price down. The staff were pleasant, and no 10% service charge appeared unannounced on the bill. The sea front restaurants certainly offer better views, but this offers better value for money. However it was unmemorable, to the extent that in writing this I can remember little about the food, ambiance or service.

Easter Island Diary