Visiting Easter Island (Land-Based)

Ahu at Vinapu

The toppled moai and ruined ahu at Vinapu.  


I next wanted to visit Vinapu, even though I had already been there the first time I had the car. At that time, I didn't know how to get to the ahu or to the beach access road.

It turned out to be an easy ride, mostly level or downhill. When I got to the fuel tank farm, I saw a small sign for the ahu and followed the road around the tank farm. As I pedaled down the access road for the ahu, I got quite a surprise: there was Nine of Cups, riding peacefully at anchor in Vinapu cove. I thought they had left on Sunday, and here it is Tuesday and they are still here. They must really be chomping at the bit to leave.

When I had the car the second time, I was going to check out Vinapu to see if they were here, but it was cloudy and rainy and at the end of a long day so I didn't go. They were probably here the whole time. There must have been some problem at Hotu Iti, perhaps excessive rolliness due to swell, that made them return to Vinapu. Unfortunately, today I don't have the radio with me, so all I could do was ponder the situation—communication was impossible. I assumed they were in daily radio contact with the Armada, so if they really needed something (like fuel), they could arrange to have it sent over by panga.

One problem with Vinapu is that shoreside dinghy access is problematic. On a calm day, it might be possible for someone to hop off a dinghy on to the fuel terminal landing, but it would be difficult to transfer fuel jugs or provisions and there is no place to tie up the dinghy. Also, the fuel terminal landing is behind a locked barbed-wire fence, which is another problem. So even if I had the car and the radio, it would be hard to help them here at Vinapu. Although the access road continued down the cliffside to the water, it was so rough, eroded, and steep that I didn't even want to bike it—I definitely wouldn't have taken the car. Oh well, at this point, I don't think there's much I can do for them, they will just have to manage—something they are very good at.

Most of the ahu is in ruins, but an undamaged portion still displays the exquisite craftsmanship of the ancient stonemasons.   I parked my bicycle against a modern stone wall while I walked around.

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