After a wonderful night’s sleep and finally catching up from several short nights in a row (it’s amazing what a night in a geodesic dome can do for you!) we were off to wander around.
But first…breakfast at Mamma Nui Glamping. Short of buffets, it was one of the most elaborate breakfasts I’ve ever been served at a hotel: a platter of fruit, meats, cheeses, multiple kids of breads, toast, rolls, juice, fried egg…the list goes on and on! More than enough to fuel a day of adventure.
We had decided the next day would be the tours to see most of the island, so today’s plan was to wander around, try and find a tour, and just orient ourselves to things a bit. We hadn’t seen much of the town given we hiked straight out on the first day, so today was really all about exploring.
After breakfast, we headed to the northern side of town and passed our first moai of the trip on the way:
Some more restored sculptures on the northern side of town – you can see just how perfect the weather was!
Crystal blue water, clear skies, and sculptures…pretty close to paradise!
Not sure what this one was supposed to be….a fist gripping something…maybe a fish or weapon?
As we continued out of town, we passed by a cemetery, which was also guarded by a moai:
A group of restored moai at Ahu Tahai on a platform:
The bright blue sky with the sun overhead made a great contrast with the moai, and was fantastic for taking pictures:
By this point, we’d wandered several miles, and were starting to get hungry. The skies were also beginning to cloud over, so we decided to take refuge and get a small bite to eat. Pisco sours and tuna and cheese empanadas….how can you go wrong?!
Just as we sat down, the skies opened up and very heavy rains started. We were sitting across from the local football / rugby field, and had a great view of the rugby practice that continued despite the heavy downpours. Personally, sitting drinking pisco sours, I thought we had the better way to wait out the rain!
While having lunch, we attempted to figure out which tour company to go with. We’d seen great reviews of Easter Island Travel, but their office appeared closed, and when we sent them a message on WhatsApp we got no response. Strange for the highest rated tour company on the island. We later found out it was a public holiday – the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul (which we affectionately referred to as the feast of Peter, Paul, and Mary for the rest of the trip) and thus they were closed.
On the walk back, we walked into Mahina Tour which seemed to be doing good business, and had good reviews on TripAdvisor, and offered a full day tour of the main sights…and the price was fantastic…so we booked hoping for good things. It was pretty much a 9-5 tour the next day, but would let us see all the highlights.
After the rain cleared, we headed back to Mamma Nui for a bit to recharge phones/etc, before heading out again to catch sunset and dinner. Walking back the same way we’d gone in the morning, we passed a horse just hanging out in front of a sign giving the distances to a variety of South Pacific islands:
The moai of Ahu Tahai at sunset…unfortunately, it was a little too cloudy to get a great pic.
…that said, I do like this rather artsy shot of a solo moai with a little sun behind it:
As the sun was almost set, we stopped in the Te Moai Sunset restaurant to grab some dinner. First up was some spicy shrimp as an appetizer:
…followed by an amazing ceviche for dinner:
There was also a super tasty desert, but that was consumed so quickly that I didn’t even get a picture of it.
After dinner, we decided to head back to the Mamma Nui and walk off dinner, but there was one small problem: there was no light pollution at all on the island, and it was pitch black and we couldn’t see where we were going – even using iPhones as flashlights.
After just a couple of minutes we decided to admit defeat and went back to the restaurant to have them call a taxi for us. It was probably only 1.5 miles or so back to Mamma Nui, and fortunately (unlike almost everything else) the price was extremely reasonable.
Bit of wine back at Mamma Nui’s restaurant, and off to bed – we had a full day of touring planned!