After 11 days at sea, we were thrilled to pull into the busy bay of Hanga Roa. We thankfully arrived at this anchorage in the middle of the day. Normally a quiet location, but when we arrived, there was a container ship making its monthly delivery of supplies and the National Geographic Cruise Ship. These two vessels were anchored next to 10 other sailboats. Who knew Easter Island would be so busy? We were in good company. We dropped the hook in 20 meters of water (yep, super deep), let out all of our new stainless-steel chain and attached the bridle at 90 meters.
This is a pretty exposed anchorage. On top of that, the entrance to shore is through the breakwater which has large, threatening, crashing waves. It is very intimidating! We watched a few pangas make the run before we decided to brave it ourselves. Counting, 1, 2, 3, zip in.
Once inside the breakwater, you have to navigate around dangling lines, pangas, and other small watercraft. All boats use painters (lines at the bow of the boat) and stern ties. It took us awhile to figure out how to secure Sweetie. Our visas expire soon so we don’t have much time to play. We arrived in Chile on 1 January and spent the better part of 2 months sailing down the coast to Valdivia. We knew it would take us a few weeks to get Easter Island (which is also Chilean) so we had hustle. This only left with 4.5 days to explore this fascinating island.
Once ashore you are immediately greeted by several MOAI! I think I took photos of every single one I passed. I was enthralled and in awe! We checked in with the Armada, found the petrol station, got a new SIM card, and began exploring.
Everything seems so much more vibrant on Easter island. The greens are greener and the blues are bluer. It takes your breath away just walking among these statues carved out of volcanic rock.
This beautiful MOAI was carved on both sides (front and back) in an intricate design that surprises you as walk around him.
Beyond the Coast Adventures
We walked around the coast, exploring on our own. We scheduled a tour for Saturday, but it didn’t cover the entire island. So, we decided to check out the sights not listed as part of our tour. The only problem is that we don’t have anyone to explain the stories of the MOAI and many don’t have signs. But they were all beautiful to behold. A lot of the MOAI are near large bodies of water and along the coast.
We came across a circle of carved statues in the middle of a grassy park. We do not know the name or historical value of this beautiful little reflecting area, but we admired it none the less.
As we continued down the coast, we found the “old cemetery.” The most amazing thing about this cemetery is that they actually grow plants, grass and flowers on top of the graves. It looked like a giant garden. They have a “newer” cemetery on the other side of the island.
We found a large grouping of MOAI at Tahai. They had several MOAI with hats and a few without. They also had 6-MOAI together depicting their respective leaders.
Just off the main road is their local church which rang its bells on the hour. We also enjoyed browsing the mercardo artesenal, and had lunch at a local eatery overlooking Tahai.