Anakena: The kingly beach

Easter Island Travel Blog

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One of the best preserved Ahu (funerary platform) in the island. Nau Nau. They are usually the first a traveller sees, and as such, they make your hair stand on end.

Rapas are very proud of Anakena. And if you're lucky on your first encounter with it, you'll understand why.

It's a 13 km drive from HangaRoa towards the Northeast to get to it, through a winding road that at times cuts across a beautiful forest to then go up and down slopes of a green that's just plain beuatiful!

This is the first time, too, in which you'll catch a glance of the Ranu Raraku, but from behind it, so ehat usually happens is that islanders will point at it, almost revering it, and travellers will pretend to be surprised (which they'll be, later on!).

And thus, slowing down at times not to scare colts lazily walking down the road, and more often than not overtaken by speeding Rapa bikers with their beautiful long hair blowing in the wind, you'll suddenly come to a place where the road seems to bend a bit, and there it is: Anakena!

Oral tradition says this is the place Hotu Matúa, the founding king come from Hiva, chose to disembark.

A sight of Anakena, from the Ahu

In an otherwise beach-lacking island full of rocky inlets that make little bays, Anakena's golden-white sands and imported palm trees are the perfect frame for turquoise waters in a tranquil bay that really makes one want to laugh and sing and jump down the small dune.

At least it did me. Both times I-saw-it-the-first-time!

Wish I could convey the beauty of it. But I'm such a terrible photographer! :-(

And then, and although you've known all along they are there, it's only when you're coming out of the water that first time, still exhuding happiness and awe...that you have a good look at your first Ahu, the Ceremonial or burial platform atop which the grandest clans had a statue erected in memory of their beloved.

Ahu Nau Nau, its once-seven moai looking inland, somehow remind you, warn you... this is a great culture lost in the midst of the Pacific ocean and you'd better approach everything and everyone, with a lot of respect!

So that's that! I slowly walked up the dune again, and sat there, cross-legged, in the sun, just admiring the statues...and then went down again, and swam a little, and read a little, and swam again, and then slept a bit. And when I woke up, I shared my cookies with Dani, who was sitting nearby and who swears when I took out the pack from my rucksack, had a bite and then offered it to her, she could actually SEE me in my kindergarten years, trying to make a new friend!  Maybe it's true. Food is a peace offer, specially from a plumpy like me!!!!

And that was my second day, which ended up with Dani, Claudio the paddy and I sipping lazily on a few beers in Te-Moana, a pub right around the corner from Tekena Inn. :-)


geerbox says:
Great writing!
Posted on: Mar 27, 2008
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One of the best preserved Ahu (fun…
One of the best preserved Ahu (fu…
A sight of Anakena, from the Ahu
A sight of Anakena, from the Ahu
Easter Island
photo by: alexchan