Day 3: Hanga Roa & Rano Kau, Easter Island

Tahai Moai

I landed on Easter Island with only two or three hours of sleep on the plane. I knew the hostel I was staying at was not far from the airport, so I opted to walk rather than take a taxi. With some directions from the locals, I found my hostel quickly.

After checking in and dropping off my stuff in the room, I went for a walk around Hanga Roa, the only settlement on Easter Island. Some two blocks later, I was looking at a bike, scooter and car rental shop. A guest at a hostel had recommended a bike, so I rented one for the remainder of my stay here.

Without food or water, I hoped on the bike and started peddling towards Rano Kau, an extinct volcano crater. The sun was out and quite hot, and several minutes into my ride I was wishing that I was better prepared. About half-way up the volcano, I was wishing that I had rented a scooter instead!

Being on a bike, I took a non-motorized path and found a look-out point of the volcano without any crowds. Aside from a pair of hawks, which didn’t like me being there, I had the place all to myself! I climbed down to the lowest part of the crater’s rim and took some photos before climbing back up. Afterwards I walked and biked the entire rim, eventually ending up at Orongo, one of the settlements of island’s first inhabitants. It doesn’t take long to get through this site. Highlights are some houses and rock carvings.

By this time I was pretty dehydrated and quite sun burned. I made my way back to Hanga Roa and quickly found some water and food. When the sun started to set, I went out again. This time to the Tahai Moai statues right next to Hanga Roa. There were lots of people waiting for the sunset. I walked around and took photos from various angles, before finding a spot to sit down and enjoy it.

3 Responses

  1. Christie says:

    Great pics (and story)! that sunset.. WOW!!
    Especially love the last pic, seeing all the people sitting and watching the sun set. Why don’t we see that up here as much? Something about traveling? the freedom? or was it the view, being away from the city.. Oh I miss that, a field full of strangers simply enjoying a moment together 🙂

  2. Mike says:

    Good point. Must be travelling I think. Even in the mountains people often don’t sit and lounge around that much (other than lunch), despite the beautiful surroundings.

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