Days 52, 53 & 54.......updates / sitreps.
As has already been mentioned, I was on Easter Island for a quick 4 days and I attempted to do the blog using video, but the weather was a tadge windy, so not all could be heard. Here is a quick update.
Day 52 saw me organise a horse ride to the highest point on the Island. On arrival at the stables, I found I was going with a family group of 7, which covered the full spectrum of ages from grandma down to a child of about six. All of these had some riding experience and handled their horses with some expertise, including the youngest. I on the other hand am to horse riding, what the KKK are to race relations, and to compensate for this I was given the 'Reliant Robin' of the fleet in the form of 'Colin' (real name unpronounceable).
Now Colin had one speed (or so I thought) and this was just slightly up from reverse. Initially this was good for me as I got into the swing of things, but eventually the looks I got from all the family (including the child), for holding the group back, combined with an eventual personal desire for a little more speed, were to no avail, as Colin settled in to his plodding speed for the duration.
After reaching the high point about half an hour after the rest of the group, we headed down again and by this stage I wanted Colin to move up to a sprint, as my arse was absolutely killing me and I could only think of getting off. The 2 hours back was painful but the best was yet to come as we turned to enter the gate to the stables. As we entered the yard, one of the family, who had arrived about 20 minutes previously, came running out; this spooked Colin who then showed what a sneaky shite he had been all along, by moving off with the speed of Usain Bolt. This caught me completely by surprise and at that point I parted company with Colin landing flat on my back, knocking the wind out if me and apparently really amusing all the children of the family!.
Thinking I had cracked a rib in my back, I pretty much felt like chilling out for the night but had booked to see a show. This was local traditional dancing and was spot on. However guess who got dragged up on the stage to join in.?
Now... in the show were 5 women in 'Hoola' type skirts (nice, see pics), and a guy dressed as a 'Rapa Nui warrior'. He jumped around the stage and was really entertaining and got me to jump around after him, screaming and shouting, which was appreciated by the audience. The problem being was that it was not really acting as I was in agony and struggling to breath, due to the rib pain. The local warrior lead me round the stage, merrily slapping me on the back and encouraging me to help him fight the imaginary invaders and eventually bear hugging me once we had kicked their arse. The tear in my eye as I re-took my seat, was definetly not due to the overall emotional experience of it all.
The following morning showed an improvement in my injury, indicating muscular rather than skeletal damage; so loaded with pain killers, I took a stroll to the top of the volcano, at the end of the Island. Decided not to follow the trodden path used by everyone else (very unlike me). Walked through a heard of cows and they decided to tag along. This created a scene reminiscent of the end of a Benny Hill show, in which I tried to loose the heard by walking in circles!
Great views from the top (see pics) and a really good days hiking.
Returned to the mainland the next day and again paid the Holiday Inn at the airport a small fortune to stay for less than 12 hours; after this I jumped on an early morning flight to head due south. (currently sat on the plane typing this)
Easter Island is lovely, I recommend.