Another beautiful day begins.
Today we are going to visit Ahu Akivi.
Ahu Akivi is said to represent the seven men who first came to Rapa Nui. It is very interesting to note that the seven are all of equal size and shape. It is also a celestial observatory, that was set up in the 16th century. They exactly face the sunset during the spring equinox and their backs face the sunrise during the autumnal equinox! You can see the cement where the heads were reattached.
Here is a baby pineapple!
Our first hike of the day was to a lava tube, Anu Te Pahu. Have you ever been in a lava tube before? Well come along.
These horses along the path were quite healthy.
With all the recent rains the path was quite muddy.
The cave is hidden by the trees and the banana plants. Bananas do not grow on trees as the plant has no woody tissue!
The cave was used as a dwelling place for the early people. It was also used during the tribal wars and a hiding place during the raiding for slaves.
Down we go! This is the largest cave on the island. There are several interconnected chambers totaling a length of seven kilometers. It was damp. Water was dipping down from the ceiling. Lilli drank the water and said that we could to, as it had been purified by going through so many layers of basalt rock. I didn’t want to risk any indigestion of any kind, and passed on the opportunity. Ah, the end of the tunnel appeared. I was so happy to see the end of the tunnel. We could have gone further through the tunnel and seen the ocean through lava windows, but I knew that we had to return and would have another hike in the afternoon. Yay! Steve came out right behind me. We had to use a flash light on our walk in the cave, and the flash light app on Lilli’s phone. The sharp lava rocks made the hike very difficult. I was hot, tired and sweaty and we still had to hike a long way to get to the van. Lilli found a sweater left by a guide on a previous walk. She was bringing it back to where we had left our van. The path was really muddy and slippery. I never fell completely in the mud, nor partially, but it was tough going in a number of spots. You can see the guava fruit growing on the tree in this picture.
Lilli showed us a guava. The horses love to eat them.
They were easy for Lilli to twist open. My sneakers were a mess, along with my pants of course. Good thing there was a shoe cleaning station back at Explora!
I am wearing one of Elliott’s old fishing shirts, as I left my white one on the white bed in Valparaiso, I was happy to have this one! I felt as bedraggled as I looked!
We got back in the van and traveled to see…More Moai! You were not allowed to go past the markers as the ground is sacred. These guys might have had a story but i forgot what it was.
Here is Steve studying the two Moai. This site was restored in 1974.
This one got really eroded over time.
He is the only Moai on the island with coral eyes. The eyes are a restoration. Don’t the coral eyes make him really seem alive? He also has the top knot. He is called Ahu Ko Te Riku.
Didn’t Lilli take a great picture of us? Someone’s keeping an eye on us!
You can see the crane in the distance unloading goods to be brought to Easter Island.This picture has all the Moai in it. On our way to town we passed by a cemetery. If you didn’t have much money you could go camping. Remember me telling you about the richest man on the island? He owns this car rental agency. He also rents mopeds and motorcycles.
We drove into town and saw this Moai. I had mentioned in a previous post about the festival that was going to be held in a few weeks. Part of the preparations was erecting a painted Moai.
Lilli is explaining to Steve that it is made of concrete. Lilli said he would be painted yellow, the color that the original Moai were painted.
This shows the coloring a little bit better. It will be quite dramatic when it is finished!
I was hoping that I didn’t get the van too dirty. I really was a mess!
Soon we were back at Explora and it was time for lunch.
Minced vegetable tortellini.
Creme anglaise with caramel for our dessert! Yum, yum!
Since our next hike wasn’t until four, we decided to have massages.
Too bad you close your eyes during your massage. The view was really nice. The massage therapist played native music. It was a blissful afternoon!This is the way back to our room where we got ready to go on our afternoon hike.
Now it is time for you to learn about top knots, or pukao. What are those strange things on top of the Moai? They are pukao, the top knots. How did they get up there?
Puna Pau was the quarry where the top knots were from. The stones were cut and then rolled to the site where they were carved and then erected onto the Moai. There are several different viewpoints on how it was done.
A Chinese group joined us at the site. They do love to do the crazy photos!
Here is our guide Stephen telling Steve the story of how the top knots are created. Believe it or not, but Stephen stayed with an uncle in Saugerties for a year. Saugerties is about an hour northwest of us! More information regarding the pukao. This is how some of the archeologists believe how the top knots were placed on top of the Moai. We headed back to the van and passed by many top knots that never made it to the tops of the Moai. Our guide carried a back pack filled with emergency gear, and he always had a walkie talkie with him to contact the hotel.
Then we were off on another short hike to see some pictographs in a grotto.
Unfortunately, going down would mean going back up also!
The pictographs had been very badly damaged by the elements and natural breakage over time. The drawings were on the ceiling and just flake off over time.
My last picture of our hike for the day. I was so tired of walking around. Steve got out of the van at our next stop. 11,000 steps were enough for me! We still have a week left on our vacation in South America! Yikes!
Lovely green salad. I had the duck confit.
Steve had the seafood pasta, hold the octopus. My dessert. It had bananas in it. Steve doesn’t usually care for fruit.
Dessert number two. Which was guava cake. I asked the waitress which dessert was better. She told me to have both. I actually only ate 3 bites of each. That is my story and I am sticking to it.
Do you have an uncle in Saugerties?
Have you ever been to Saugerties?
Do you know where Saugerties is?