Our Easter Island tour continues with our next stop at the Quarry on Easter Island. In the last post, we visited Tonjariki, which is the most spectacular and famous of Easter Island’s ruins. I also noted earlier that 70% of Easter Island is a National Park, and when you land at the airport, tourists should by the Island pass, which for non-Chileans is $60, which was good for the four days we were there. There were only a couple places we had to have the pass stamped, and the next site was one of them.
While we were at the entrance where we got our ticket stamped, our guide pointed out some interesting information on the site we were about to visit, pointing to posters at the entrance, about sites we would see as we explored the area. There were also several different types of volcanic rock on display, which was used in the different sculptures. The dark reddish rock, for example, was used atop the head as an indication of hair. There was also a white-ish rock that was used for the eyes.
A couple of Steve’s Travel Tips that bear remembering:
The walking can be quite strenuous, especially on this tour as we did a bit of hiking up steep terrain. Wear appropriate shoes, and don’t strain yourself. Bring water, and sunscreen.
Also, almost every tourist area that had a restroom (and most of the sites are unattended and do not), a charge of 500 Chilean Pesos, or US $1 is charged for the restroom. Bring change, and hand sanitizer accordingly!
Like the first site we visited, the tourists were scarce at this quarry site, although we did run into a very few. Of all the sites we visited, this was the most strenuous as far as hiking, and the terrain could be fairly steep, so we took caution on the trails. We saw many ‘heads’ along the way.
Our guide showed us a few of the quarry ‘mining’ areas where the stone was taken from. It’s really hard to believe that these statues were sculpted here high up on the hillside, and somehow transported below INTACT to their final destinations; quite a mystery to this day.
I asked our guide what type of tools were used, and are they on display somewhere. Great question she said, and we would later tour the archeological museum where we could find some of the tools and other artifacts. None of the tools, however where displayed at the quarry or other sites except the museum, which we would later visit on a different tour. (Shown below).
I wish I could remember so many things we were told regarding how the sculptures where mined, constructed, and eventually moved, and even as I tried to take notes on my iPhone, I did want to take everything in as we were viewing it, not to mention staying on the trail and watching out for the inevitable dog or horse ‘poo’! (Dogs and horses were seen in the wild everywhere, and we made a friend or two along the way!)
I didn’t take many photos on the trails around the quarry as it was quite steep and could be slippery. When we came down from the quarry and towards the entrance, we did as our guide suggested, and hike up to the crater. While a shorter walk, it was much steeper, and we felt a bit winded when we finally got to the top. It was well worth the effort though, as we were afforded beautiful views of the crater and surrounding terrain.
After this fun-filled, but rigorous tour, we were taken back to our hotel, the Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa, where we had a leisurely lunch. After touring this morning, it sure felt good to relax a bit!
We sat outside and enjoyed the view and beautiful day and weather, before feasting on the grilled AHI tuna and chicken caesar salad. We could order anything on the menu as we had the all-inclusive package, but we had this yesterday and it was so good and fresh we repeated this lunch for today. We skipped the included beer and wine and even dessert though.
After our two hour lunch break, we resumed our tour in the afternoon, this time at a more leisurely pace. (We tried not to appear to worn out from the morning hiking!) This time we went to ‘The’ beach on Easter Island, know as Anakena.
There is really only one beach on the island, although you did see a couple patches of sand here and there. This afternoon it was quite breezy (the weather changes at moment’s notice), so we had our lightweight jackets on and walked around the beautiful beach area. Some people were actually swimming or sunbathing, but the low 70s-ish weather seemed a bit to cool for us Florida-birds to do so.
We spent the better part of the afternoon wandering the beautiful seaside, and of course Steve (DOS) found a beach-side souvenir shop or two. Or Three. To his (and Easter Island’s credit) the souvenirs here were genuine and hand-crafted by the islanders, unlike the tacky made-in-China souvenirs you buy most all over the world with the site’s name on it.
There were also a couple of restaurants and bars by the beach, conveniently sheltered in tent-like structures.
We also had a stop at Te Pito Kura, yet another magnificent site overlooking the Pacific Ocean.As dinner wasn’t until 7pm, I made the most of our Mangua Suite, and enjoyed a soak in the huge tub before dinner.
We then headed over to the restaurant and enjoyed our evening pre-dinner cocktail at the bar with our new favorite bartender, before having dinner.