16 Glimpses of Hanga Roa, Easter Island

Hanga Roa is the only town on Easter Island, and it’s kind of spread out. Our first day there, it was pretty rainy and windy. Our time was limited, we were not about to spend it sitting in our room! So… we went out and explored in the wind and the rain.

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We walked a LOT.  This is the main street…

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Still main street… getting a little busier. Tourist hotels, souvenir shops, restaurants. There’s really everything you could want here! Or maybe I just feel that way because I am a woman of simple tastes. 🙂

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There are also several surf shops (for renting gear, and taking lessons — we did neither).

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I think maybe now we are getting towards a side street…

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Walking past artisan markets…

It’s kind of hilly…

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Here’s the beach of Hanga Roa… it is petite. As Easter Island does.

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And here WE SEE OUR FIRST MOAI STATUE!!!

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It was raining lots. But anyway it was a thrill to see the first moai of our trip, as we strolled through town!

(Hey, do you know the story behind the moai? They’re the statues that were erected around the island’s perimeter sometime between 1250 and 1500. They represented ancestors, and the idea was that as far as the moai could “see”, that was the land of that particular tribe or family. After European contact, the social dynamics and belief systems of the Rapa Nui (indigenous people of Easter Island) changed and they knocked each other’s statues down. Some have been restored. Anyway, the Rapa Nui did not have the wheel or horses to transport these massive statues, so how did they do it? It’s a mystery. Adds to the intrigue.)

From here our vantage point is: standing at the marina looking back at the in-town moai.img_3492

There are lonely dogs everywhere. Andrew is kind to them. But I don’t have much patience for being followed around by dogs.

From here, you look up the shoreline and you can see there are more moai in the distance (Ahu Tehai). We were super-eager to get to them!

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Sometimes we walked along the shore, sometimes along the sidewalk. We would walk this route many times during our stay. And one time we drove an ATV along this route, too. 🙂

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I’ve been collecting rain-friendly gear over the years: shoes, jacket, hat — all good for wet conditions! Makes me a happy traveler in the rain.

Looking west, back at Hanga Roa.

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You can see one of the island’s dormant volcanos in the distance.

The Hanga Roa cemetery…

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The only bank on the island…

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Walking along the shore road…

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The ocean is on the left.

Some cool buildings, they were empty the entire time we were there (it was the slow season).

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And the sun was beginning to set. We had heard it’s phenomenal to see the sun set from Ahu Tehai, which is the set of moai near Hanga Roa (and quite near our accommodation).

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And thus concludes our introductory tour of Hanga Roa!

Next up, sunset at Ahu Tehai.

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