Day 6: Poike Volcano

On the way to Anakena

This is my last full day on the island. I was hoping to get a really early start, so that I could not only get a sunrise photo, but perhaps a photo with some stars in the background. However, I didn’t go to bed early enough and when my alarm went off, I just hit snooze. I still got an early start, just not as early as I wanted.

I went to the north side of the island, where a white sand beach can be found. I was hoping to see if I could find some hiking trails along the coast. A couple of hills can be found near the beach, but when I started climbing up one of them, a person working for the park told me to come down. I sat on the beach for a while trying to figure where else I could go.

My new desitination would be the Poike volcano. I believe it’s the second highest spot and it’s the oldest volcano on the island. It’s thought to have first erupted some 3 million years ago and created the first island. It was then shaped by eruptions from Rano Kau and Tere Vaka, which I’ve already visited.

The first obstacle in hiking up the Poike volcano would be figuring out where to start. All the pamphlets and maps don’t mention any sort of hiking trail. A barb-wired fence seems to run around its base and I could only see one unmarked road leading up through the fence. I couldn’t tell if it was private property. I found a road on the north coast that seemed to go a part of the way, but again I ran into a fence. I noticed a couple of spots where it looked like people were going under, so I decided to give it a go.

Only minutes into the hike, I noticed a couple of people on horseback. I grew a bit concerned, not knowing if I was trespassing. I started forming sentences in Spanish in my head, so that if they came to question me, I could tell them what I was doing. Fortunately, they just ignored me and rode on. I continued up to the summit quickly and was soon presented with the most encompassing view of the island yet!

I knew that near by there were some petroglyphs, but being uncertain if I was even allowed in this area, I decided not to push my luck and came back down. I won’t be doing much else today, so that I can get up early tomorrow. Tomorrow I only have half a day of exploring, then it’s back to Peru.

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