Will and I dedicated our second day on Easter Island to getting some sun and enjoying the beaches on the northern part of the island. While the weather in Valparaíso was still nice in early April, it couldn’t compare to the island’s perfect climate: warm and just a bit humid. It was beach weather, and we wanted to take advantage of it.
So, early in the morning we set off (using our newly rented bikes) on a 20 kilometer jaunt to the other side of the island. I mentioned in an earlier post how much I enjoyed using bikes as our primary transportation on the island, but I want to reiterate it again here. Biking made the trip, which would have otherwise been a short and rather boring car ride, into an adventure.
The overwhelming majority of the ride was a grueling uphill, but it wasn’t all bad; we had nice interruptions, like this horse that stopped our progress as it took its sweet time crossing the road:
One of the things that made biking around Easter Island so enjoyable was how lush the landscape was. Even a random road in the middle of the island was beautiful because of the vivid greens and browns. Furthermore, because there were so few people on the island (even with tourists), only a few cars passed us and we otherwise had the road to ourselves.
Finally, after what felt like forever, the uphill ended, and we found ourselves staring at an incredibly steep downhill that seemed to plummet directly into the ocean. We knew our destination was near, and we flew down the road with reckless abandon, laughing and yelling all the way. After speeding downhill for nearly two kilometers, we finally arrived at the first beach, Playa de Anakena.
Playa de Anakena is the most famous beach on the island, and with good reason. In addition to being incredibly beautiful, it also has an Ahu right next to the beach and various moia scattered around. We spent a few wonderfully relaxing hours here:
After lunch, we decided to meander over to another beach that was close by: Playa de Ovahe. While there were no moai or Ahu at this beach, I actually liked it more in terms of natural beauty. Plus, because it’s a bit less known, there were maybe five other people on the beach:
After spending some time at the beach (and some time in a rock cave overlooking the beach), Will and I decided it was time to really get off the beaten trail. We found a tiny path on the far side and used it to climb up and get a better view of the surrounding areas. It was definitely one of the best decisions of the trip:
We kept climbing up and up, until we were overlooking the entire island. Again, the view was impressive in its own right, but was made even more meaningful by the sense of isolation that accompanies being on Easter Island.
Finally, after a long day, we made our way back to our hostel. The two kilometers of steep downhill that had been so fun on the way to the beaches, became an almost insurmountable challenge on the return trip. I am not ashamed to admit that I walked a good amount of it. Luckily, once we hit the top of the hill, it was smooth sailing the next 18 kilometers. We ended the day with a good meal, and a drink watching the sunset. Overall, it was an incredibly satisfying second day.