Akahanga, Easter Island – April 2, 2012
My tour on Day 2 begins at 9:00 am. My tour guide, Matti picks me up from the hotel bright and early and we are off on my second day on awesome Easter Island.
Of the things I loved about this entire trip isn’t just the sightseeing… but the Cultural Adventure of learning about the history of the island and understanding the true story behind the awesome but mysterious Moai that blanket the Rapa Nui.
From Hanga Roa, we once again take the roads on the southern-west of the island heading in a north east direction up the coast. En route, we pass a number of Ahus.
Heading up the coast, I was was worried that it would rain that day. The nature of the island was that it could rain at some point in time regardless of the time of year. Thankfully, the weather for the whole day would be simply awesome. The morning clouds would dissipate later in the day.
Below we see the sun peering through.
We eventually reach Akahanga.
The one thing with Matti. As one of the many tour guides on the island, he is familiar with the schedules of the different tour groups and their timings. He made sure that we got to each destination early and usually ahead of the others. Like with Akahanga… we were the first ones here. I would thus get to enjoy taking pictures without any other people in them.
Akahanga is a site of a huge village. Here I learned more of the ancient living habits of the Rapa Nui people.
Here is the site of what used to be a house… of sorts. I learned that the ancient people built these structures not to live in per se, but rather as shelter against the wind and rain… thus it was quite small. The people were outside most of the time and do not treat these as dwellings the way we do today. Everything they did was outside. These shelters were also meant for the more prominent people of the village… such as the kings, priests, or royal family.
The Moai on Ahu Akahanga, such as with the rest of the island were toppled down during the civil unrest.
In front of the ahu are remnants of smaller earlier Moai.
Meanwhile, I got to appreciate the stunning sea views around the village.
If you will note from the above map of the island, most villages were at the coastline with Moais on the Ahus facing inland or away from the sea.
A little ways off is a smaller ahu with a toppled Moai.
Matti then took me to one of the nearby caves. The caves served as sheltered for the non-Royals who had their private dwellings.
There wasn’t a lot of room inside the cave. But again, the cave wasn’t meant as a dwelling, but just a shelter from wind and rain.
One of the fascinating things on the island were the placement on these rocks used for cooking. Matii pointed out to me that there are always 5 rocks in this formation. They don’t have to be of equal size… in this case of the rocks was much smaller, but they had to be in 5. They aren’t sure what the reason was… but obviously the was a superstitious reason for this. I saw many of these around the island.
The other tour groups started arriving… it was now time to leave Akahanga and move on to our next destination… the Moai quarry at Rano Raraku.