Visiting Easter Island (Land-Based)

Caves at Ana Kai Tangata

Watching the rough surf surge into caves in the shoreside cliffs.   Big waves frequently smacked into the cliffs, causing plumes of spray to shoot upward.

The next stop was to head south to the other side of town, just past the airport along the coast. This is the location of the shoreside caves that I skipped yesterday because I was too tired after walking back from Orongo. I found them without difficulty but getting to them would be another story. They were rather large amphitheater-like indentations in the base of the cliffs, where the surf had found a weakness and eroded into the cliffside forming a cave. Walking around, I saw three caves, but there could have been others. Two of the caves looked to be inaccessible, plus the surf was still up today and huge seething white combers rolled and crashed into the interiors, providing another reason for not entering them. The third cave had a trail leading down the cliff into its interior. This cave also had heavy surf at its base, but the surf didn't quite reach the trail or the upper reaches of the cave, making a visit possible. I followed the trail down and explored the cave's interior. It wasn't very deep, and in a real storm even this cave would have surf crashing into its deepest recesses. In fact, that's how the caves were formed, they don't appear to be lava tunnels.

It was quite mesmerizing standing on the cliff and watching the surf roll into the caves. At one point I went right up to the cliff edge and held my camera out over the edge to take a picture of the water straight down. While I was playing around and gawking, a huge wave smacked into the side of the cliff, sending plumes of spray all the way up the cliff and way over my head. I quickly decided to do my observing from a safer and drier location. Needless to say, I got lots of good pictures and video clips of huge waves crashing into rocks and making lots of spray.

This is a different cave that was much shallower.

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