The final full day dawned, which was a shame. There were still lots of sites I wanted to visit, but I’d run out of time. On the upside, it gives me the perfect excuse to return some day!
Anyway, HC and I decided to spend the morning visiting the museum, and shopping for souvenirs, as that was a rather important thing neither of us had done. The first point was the museum, which was fascinating. It had several very interesting artifacts on display, including weapons and stoneworking tools, but those that were most interesting were the (copies) of rongorongo tablets, and an original moai eye. People have spent their whole careers studying rongorongo, but the salient facts are that it is an undeciphered script, found only on 26 tablets (which were found on the island). Nobody knows what it means.
We went to the artisanal market, and I ended up buying a small model moai. I couldn’t not really, and I knew that if I didn’t, I’d definitely regret it! For those of you who will inevitably wonder if I named him, the answer is yes. I christened him Tim.
After the shopping, and a brief lunch, Christophe appeared once more, and drove us both (as HC accepted my offer of joining me on another trip) to the North Eastern end of the island, the Poike peninsula. It is inaccessible to vehicles, and so you have to walk (or ride) to explore the area. As a result, it’s seldom visited.
There are various archæological sites on the peninsula, some of which are completely unique. One on the itinerary today was one such unique one. It is called Vai A Heva, and is a statue that has a large mouth in which to collect water, carved into the side of the mountain.
A little farther up the mountain was a very tiny cave (you essentially had to curl into a ball to get inside), but inside the cave was another petroglyph of Make Make.
We continued walking, and reached the summit. At this point, we were very lucky with the weather, and the sun came out, to give the most amazing view. Looking west, you could see most of the island, and from one coast to the other. It was awe inspiring.
With the view having been seen, it was time to head down the mountain, and return to the hostel. It was an excellent finale to an excellent holiday.