Ana Te Pora
Ana Te Pora is a medium-sized cave, located in the vicinity of a cliff on the northwest coast of the island. It forms part of the great system of caves of the sector known like Roiho, whose greater exponent is the cave of Ana Te Pahu.
The cave of the canoe
Ana Te Pora that could be translated as “the cave of the reed canoe” is a long lava tube that contains a large room in the shape of a vault with smooth walls. It is believed that this cave was an Ana Kionga or refuge cave and was used to hide from the enemy in times where clashes between the different clans was frequent.
The place where the cave is, resembles a small square surrounded by volcanic rocks. To the right there is a karava or stone ledge that may have served as a refuge but does not lead to the interior.
The small entrance is located to the left of the small esplanade, and it is observed that it was protected and reinforced with large stones forming a narrow passageway to improve the security making more difficult the access to the interior.
A stone bed, ceremonial altar or burial?
Once in the interior of this great room, a few steps from the entrance, there is a rectangular formation made with stones that resembles a bed or a mattress. It is ignored for what was created. The ancient Rapanui slept directly on the ground on a bed of mats or grass and used a smooth stone as a pillow. If the weather was cool, they were covered with a layer of mahute (vegetable tissue). However, this does not seem to be its function.
No other structures were found similar to this one in a cave. It is thought that perhaps it was constructed like a ceremonial altar or like a grave for some burial, by the bony remains found here. The caves of Easter Island served as last dwelling for numerous inhabitants reason why they have always had a sacred character linked to the spirits.
After leaving behind this “stony bed” you can continue to the end of the room where a small wall of stones appears. After that, the cave narrows enough and becomes dark. You have to crouch down to advance this section with the help of a flashlight until soon after it is observed that light comes from outside. This clarity comes from the other access to the cave, much more rough and natural than the previous one, which forms a beautiful and picturesque frame to a fig tree that grows on the ground and ascends to the surface.
If you like and you are in a position to do it, you can go through this hole by climbing a little by the stones. Another option is to return by the same path to the main entrance. Halfway between the two approaches, a lateral tunnel leads to another exit near the cliff. Only a few choose this option since it requires to deal with truly dark, narrow and claustrophobic stretches before reaching the end.
How to get to Ana Te Pora
Ana Te Pora is situated on the road that borders the north coast, about 400 meters after Ana Kakenga or cave of the two windows, and just over 1 km before reaching the Ahu Te Peu.
It is only possible get there by walking or cycling along the road that begins at Ahu Akivi and which is part of so-called Te Ana circuit or “the caves”, offered by most agencies and which includes a visit to Ana Te Pahu, Ana Te Pora and Ana Kakenga.
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Another option is to take the trail that starts at Ahu Tahai and passes through Hanga Kio’e. The route, which has an approximate length of 4.5 km and a duration of one and a quarter hours, allows to enjoy the sea breeze and the beautiful views of the cliffs of the coast.
In any case, it is necessary to show the ticket to the National Park at the checkpoints located at the starting points of both routes.