Riding Rapa Nui 3

It had to be done

I'm on the loose again after a bit of a night at my couchsurfing house

The warm weather has meant that we are eating outside. Bedtime tends to look a bit more cosy (brace yourselves, it's a Tiffany in bed picture coming up)......

I've got the luxury of a mattress on the floor, while Nuria and her husband had the bed.

I've got places to see and heads to visit, so no hanging around as I kit up and head off. I do seem tot be the only person wearing full bike gear on the island...

I reach the far south where the cliffs look out over the ocean and these small off-shore islets

These are the site of the origin of the infamous Birdman cult and legends.
Orongo, the site of the cult’s festivities, was a dangerous landscape which consisted of a narrow ridge between a 1,000 foot drop into the ocean on one side and a deep crater on the other. This was where Birdman priests prayed and chanted for a successful egg hunt. The purpose of the hunt was to obtain the first egg of the season from the sooty tern (bird) when they returned to nest each year.
Young men chosen by sponsors from their tribe from each tribe would compete, the race involved climbing down the sheer cliffs of Orongo then swimming to Motu Nui they would grab an egg, and the first contestant who swam back and presented it to his sponsor was the winner, his sponsor was then declared Birdman for that year, a very prestigious and important status position.and many would often die due to falling off the cliffs, drowning and being attacked by sharks. Not for the faint-hearted.

Moto Nui is the further of the three small islands.

The priests lived in small houses like this

They look more like hobbit houses to me.

time to race back to the house to get a picture of the sunset on the ocean - and a picture of some of the other tourists on the island

Looking out over the Pacific - it's indescribable
 Somehow horses are not the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Polynesia, but they are everywhere on this beautiful island, at somes there are scenes more reminiscent of Arizona than the South Pacific, like this cowboy with his dog

I was due to go out riding, but the horse I was borrowing became lame on the day so I didn't get to go.
Instead I made friends with this one that I met on the path

But then the rest of the herd turned up and they galloped down the hill trail, scattering people as they went

They were brought over by missionaries in the 1860's and apparently there are now more horses than people on the island, many of them just roaming wild and causing a bit of a hazard on the roads at times.

Another road hazard

Ah yes, the roadside cow sign - this is the Latino version which always seems to feature a bull ready to face down a matador. In the UK we have a gentle looking dairy cow complete with full udder

Meanwhile, this was the reality

She wasn't keen to move, and I do have a healthy respect for any animal (ever since the anteater turned on me in Brazil), so I gave her a wide berth and went round on the grass verge into a beautiful grove of acacia trees.

and out the other side where I was confronted by the bum of a moai

and then the beach