Visiting Easter Island (Land-Based)

West Coast Scenery (continued)

 
This is the small boat harbor at Hanga Piko, located on the west coast south of the Armada de Chile peninsula. In the center of the picture, you can see the black-hulled pilot/rescue boat Tokerau, operated by the Armada. The sailboat is Miguelete, an Alberg 37 hailing from Puerto Montt, Chile, back on the mainland. I don't know if it's just visiting or if the boat is owned by somebody local. These two boats were in the island regatta that I described earlier. You can see several radio towers in the background which are along the approach path to the airport runway, out of view to the left.   Continuing farther south, this is a small but inhospitable cove at the base of volcano Rano Kau. From here the coast road turns east and heads inland to avoid the bulk of Rano Kau.

I continued south on the coast road and came within sight of the harbor at Hanga Piko. Despite the heavy surf outside, it looked relatively tranquil inside. Good thing, too, because you could never get out of the harbor on a day like today. Besides the numerous breaking waves at the entrance, there was a veritable minefield of rocks in the channel. I could see why cruising guides insist that a pilot with local knowledge is absolutely essential to enter or leave the harbor. Even so, you would need a calm day to avoid disaster.

After Hanga Piko, I walked back to town and stopped at an internet cafe for an hour of surfing and email (3,000 pesos per hour). Continuing back through town, I stopped at the car rental shop and reserved the car again for tomorrow. The lady said the tank was full but I later saw her driving the car around town and I doubt she will fill it up again. Although there are some things to see in Hanga Roa, for all practical purposes you need a car to see the rest of the island. There is so much to see elsewhere, it's impossible to see it all without some kind of vehicle. On the boat, we did all right by visiting the places we did, but there's a whole lot more to see.

I was feeling kind of beat, so I went back to the residencial and took a long rest. I have eaten poorly the past two days, plus both days I'm sure I got dehydrated, which can contribute to a blah feeling. In the early evening I went out and had a sit-down dinner at an open-air restaurant. It was kind of lonely, just by myself, but the real food tasted great and really perked me up. The woman who ran the restaurant was a Rapa Nui, and she frequently spoke with passersby in Rapa Nui. It's a strange sounding language, guttural and choppy. She also spoke Spanish and a little English. Dinner (chicken, rice, french fries, and two beers) was 7,000 pesos, about $11.00 US.

After dinner I went for a walk around town. It was dark by now and I stopped at a few places to take nighttime pictures. I also stopped at the mercado to get some cookies and crackers. After that, I went back to the residencial for my usual nightly routine: recharge my gizmos, update my journal, and take a shower. I take a shower at night because there's only about two minutes of hot water and I bet there's none left in the morning.


 
More surf rolling in (taken near the previous picture).  

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