Easter Island Retrologue: The inefficient journeys

February 16 and 17, 2007

Days three and four were my first efforts to really get moving. Results were mixed.

On the first non-rainy and not seriously sick day, I was going to out on a mountain bike. But I ran into logistical deficiencies. But the time I we really ready to go, it already 2:00pm (12:00 by the sun) and the rental places wanted $16/day. I set out on foot for what I thought would be a reasonable loop.

Image of moai

I stopped at Tahai with better light than the previous day. I then proceeded up the trail to all the wonderful Ahu’s shown on the map. I didn’t find them. Mostly I had trouble even finding the trail and correlating the map with the real world. I did, however, learn something important. Anything not marked on map as important is probably not worth looking for and you won’t find it anyway. Also, the maps are imprecise but you really can’t get lost. Don’t backtrack. Just go with the flow. Finally, learned that water was a serious limiter. There is essentially none available outside the town. I brought 1L, drank it all, and was nearly an hour dry before I made my way back to the hotel. I packed the bottle carrier as an afterthought. I don’t know how I would have managed without it.

Image of seven moai

Ok, so maybe hiking is not the way. The next day, I rented a bicycle from another shop for “only” $12/day. Rain and threat of rain meant another late start. The bike wasn’t great but it worked. I did a loop from Ahu Huri A Urenga to Puna Pau to Ahu Akivi and back home. Not spectacular, but nice sites. Very hard going, though. Rough dirt track, steepish climbs and descents. Very hot. I rationed my water and finished without dying of thirst but there was nothing in the bottles at the end.

From that trip, I learned to pony up the extra dollars for a better bike and to start earlier.

The next day’s success also came from the bike having two water bottle holders. With two bottles on the bike and two in my fanny pack carrier, I could actually go places.

At Angkor, in Cambodia, every major and some minor temple has someone out there selling water at exorbitant prices. I wonder why the idea hasn’t caught on here.