Death trap to the big heads
Isla de Pascua is not a very big place. So when we realized that the critical error of my husband not bringing his license would not allow us to rent individual scooters, we weren't too worried. We could just rent a motorcycle and he could ride pillion. Even though the motorcycles were clapped out 250 dual sports, 15 miles would get us across the whole island. How bad could it be?
We started out under the watchful eye of the rental agent. Sure, there were lots of local women on motorcycles and scooters, the prime method of transportation on the tiny island, but a Gringo? We took off with no problem. The handle bars weren't quite straight, and the rake was vastly different than my KTM 950, but the turning radius was awesome! As we hit second gear there was a ghastly noise from somewhere down below. The clutch didn't seem to slip though, and I moved on the third gear with no issues. Oh well, guess I will stay out of second gear as much as possible. We made it out of town and kicked the bike up to 60kmh. Boy, that seemed a lot faster without the extra size and power of my Adventure bike. I am not sure my husband, Hans, was totally comfortable on the back of that little thing, but he was a brave soldier and bucked up.
The open road was wonderful after having spent 20 days of our trip being carted around by other people. Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, and freedom; just wonderful. Even when it started to rain it didn't matter. In this tropical land, the showers were warm and short. Hans began to see one of the advantages of riding bitch. As the first drops fell, I complained, "Aw, man!"
He said, "What? What's wrong?"
I told him it was raining. "Can't you feel it??!!"
"Nope, can't feel a thing," he replied.
We had been warned of the animals of the island, namely horses and cows. As we came across the first small herd of horses they didn't seem disturbed and hardly moved. We just wove through them. Speeding back up we hit the dreaded second gear. It sounded pretty bad, but moving on to third it went away again.
We got to the other side of the island and came to Anakena beach. It was beautiful; grazing horses under coconut trees, pink sand, and the big heads.
Easter Island is a very cool place. We wandered here a bit, then jumped back onto the bike towards our next destination, Ahu Tongariki, home of the largest standing Moai. The road turned to dirt. It had lots of potholes and was pretty rough. If we had each been on our own bikes it wouldn't be bad, but two up on a little unfamiliar bike made it a bit treacherous. Hans bucked up even more and said nothing as I swerved around the holes. Later he told me it was pretty hard going, with each bump jarring his spine. I was a bit nervous trying to be considerate of my passenger. We're Adventure Riding now! :lol3
We thankfully hit pavement, but our little steed was beginning to be unhappy in third gear now. Still, we motored along happily in fourth and found our way to here-
I wanted to get a photo of me giving an ADVRider salute with the bike, but the tourist buses arrived and there would be more opportunities down the road without the hoards of camera jockeys.
Next stop was Ranu Raraku crater, home of the quarry that most of the Moai came from.
Pulling up the slight hill towards the quarry, our Yamaha started to protest with a bit more insistence. This isn't good. We decided to check out the quarry and head back to town. There was another bike there that had looked a bit better than this one. We would trade for that.
As we got to the ticket window, we discovered that tickets were not sold there, only in town. The rental place had not only given us a bum motorcycle, but bum information about tickets to the park! Well, we had to turn the bike in anyway, so we headed back for a new scoot and tickets for the quarry.
Now the ride got really adventuresome. The poor engine sounded like there were rocks in it. Occasionally it would let out a particularly angry grinding sound and we could feel it jerk, almost as if the rear wheel was loose. I desperately tried to find a speed that made it happy, and it would work for a while, then back to the clunk, rattle, screech, that was now the norm.
Turn your sound up...
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Please, just make it back. I was waiting for a full rear lock up at any moment. As we neared town, it started to feel wobbly. I stopped to make sure I didn't have a flat. Alright, almost there! I didn't dare go over 40kmh. I ashamedly got passed first by a scooter, then a minivan!
We entered town and I started laughing. I felt ridiculous klacking along, it was pretty loud now. As the rental agency came into view, it let out a particularly long sckreeeeeep! I am sure some piece of metal got sheared off somewhere. We pulled up and the lady who worked there walked up happily, "How was it?"
"Uh, it's broken."
We explained what happened, and she told us that there were no more bikes, scooters, or quads left. Did we want our money back or did we want to take a car? The motorcycle was fun, but a car sounded pretty nice at this point. We finished the day in a Suzuki Samurai. Unfortunately I never got my "ADV salute" photo. Oh well...
This was just a portion of a 24 day trip to Chile. More pictures of Easter Island and the rest of our trip can be seen here
The only other riding we did was on horses, and it was up a trail that would require a trials bike to travel on. :eek1
After this trip, a full on Adventure ride to Chile will be in our future.... someday.
This is the trail to La Junta from Cochamo. Maybe a trials bike could make it. I was surprised we could ride horses up it.
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I really enjoyed the photos and the video. Always wanted to visit Easter Island.
That had to be a great trip. Those carvings are fascinating.
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