Visiting Easter Island (Land-Based)

Walking Back From Orongo (continued)

When I got back down to the bottom, the road went past the approach end of the airport runway. I heard the Armada patrol plane take off and make a noisy circuit of the island. Along the shoreline, I noticed some caves that I wanted to visit, but I'll have to come back tomorrow since I'm too tired today. I stopped at the gas station convenience store to buy some lunch and also changed another $40 US to pesos (since I'm running out of pesos).

By the time I got back to Hanga Roa, it was siesta time so most places were closed. As I walked along I snapped a few pictures here and there. Hanga Roa is beginning to feel comfortable and familiar, although I think if I lived here it would be positively claustrophobic. It's hard to imagine how people live here for years without going nuts from the very confining size of the island and the very limited offerings. Although it's a very interesting place to visit, I think it would be very tough place to live.

As a aside, I think "Rapa Nui" translates as "land of barking dogs". I've seen numerous dogs around town, all roaming everywhere at will, all appearing to be strays without anyone caring for them. And they all seem to bark all the time. At least the dogs are mild-mannered and not vicious.

I've also seen many horses around town and all over the island. Some people ride horses like others drive cars, riding them around town for errands. I've seen people riding them on the sidewalks, and also galloping down the street with dogs chasing and barking. Wherever you have horses, you have horse poop. It is literally everywhere—on the sidewalks, in the streets, on the lawns, in the fields, even in the most inaccessible places like barren fields of lava rocks or on the beach. You can not walk around Easter Island anywhere without having to constantly watch your step, to avoid the numerous piles of horse turds.


 
A horse and rider galloping up Te Pito o Te Henua street.   There was horse poop to the left of me, horse poop to the right of me, horse poop everywhere!

Back at the residencial I took a rest, then went out again and walked around town. I went down to the harbor and watched the surf roll in as the sun set. A panga motored out of the small boat harbor and out to sea, punching through the heavy surf. He had a rough time and the bow bounced high over the big rollers. Across from the harbor I watched kids playing soccer, probably school teams practicing because there was a coach supervising. It was a peaceful and pleasant evening, with all the typical small-town activities and goings-on.

As dusk fell I walked back towards the restaurants and had dinner. I ate at the same place as before although I wanted to try a different restaurant. The problem is that I am heading out to dinner too early, before most restaurants open. Here on Easter Island, as on the mainland, they have a very late dinner. The place I went to seems to open early, so they got my business. The last time I was the only diner; this time there were four tables of diners, all English-speaking tourists. The Rapa Nui lady who runs it (all by herself) is a little strange looking, big and hairy like a guy in drag. But the food was good (tonight: pescado - fish).

Before bed, the usual (you know by now): recharge gizmos and update journal.


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