|This is the little rental car, parked along the southeast coast road. All vehicles get to the island as deck cargo on a freighter from the mainland.||At Vinapu cove, I walked up to the edge of the cliff to get as close as possible to Nine of Cups.|
At 9:00 a.m., the rental car I had ordered yesterday arrived, a 4WD Daihatsu, a little Korean knockoff of the Suzuki Samurai. With map in hand, I drove out of town in the general direction of Rano Raraku, the quarry where the moai were carved. Along the way, I stopped to take numerous pictures of the exotic scenery, plus I was keeping my eye out for Nine of Cups.
When the main road reached the coastline near Vinapu, I saw the boat anchored in a cove near the fuel ship terminal. I wound my way close to shore on dirt tracks then parked the car and walked to the very edge of the cliff. I tried hailing them, whistling, and using the radio, but got no response; I would have beeped the car horn but it didn't work. They looked snug and secure so I hoped things were OK; I didn't see anyone on deck.
Driving along the southeast coast road, I passed many archaeological sites that were noted on the map. Many times, a moai was indicated but the site was in ruins, or maybe there was just an ahu (platform) which also might be in ruins. So far the best moai were at Anakena, plus "Obsidian Eye Guy" in the park north of Hanga Roa.
At one point, I encountered a herd of cattle ambling along the road, tended by a cowboy on a horse plus a dog. I was going to beep-beep gently to shoo them, but the horn didn't work. Instead, I crept through the herd in first gear. As each cow saw the car out of the corner of its eye, it would slowly move aside and allow me to advance one cow-length. Repeating this maneuver a number of times, I finally advanced to the head of the herd and took off.
|Nine of Cups anchored in Vinapu cove, from a more distant viewpoint.||This viewpoint is even more distant, but Nine of Cups isn't visible from here. These views are to the southwest, with the thick flank of volcano Rano Kau in the background.|
|A herd of cattle ambling along the southeast coast road. There are very few fences, so you may encounter livestock on the roadway.|
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