Today was long and my ass is sore.
We started early, walking through town and then climbing to the Orongo crater at Rano Kau (I hiked straight up the slope while David ran a switch back road). Then, after a mercado lunch of fresh from the oven rolls, chorizo, and cheese, we were picked up and taken to a small stable where we met some horses and other tourists. We rode for just over three hours, up to the false summit of the highest peak on Easter Island, Volcán Terevaka. My horse was an asshole and kept crowding the other horses (getting bit as a result) and trying to run me into trees. My knees and calves are banged up in addition to the aforementioned sore ass.
After adventures, we decided to get a somewhat extravagant dinner, and after walking away, realized we’d been overcharged the equivalent of US$75. I stormed back in and got $40 thousand of the (closer to) $60 thousand pesos that were incorrectly added to the bill. Nothing like getting cheated for ruining a day.
One of the highlights of the day was Consuela. This place is full of street dogs and each day many of them go out and try to find a tourist. She found us early in the morning by the sea rocks. She was a young, mostly black with a bit of yellow, and very playful at first. She followed us around the western edge of the water and then she came with me up the Orongo trail while David ran along the road. On the trail she first protected me from cows in my right of way, by herding them off the path and into the underbrush, and then later, when three dogs came out of the woods and were growling and nipping at my coat, she blocked them out. She was a very good guide. At the lip of the crater I asked around until some fellow Americans could spare a few doritos for her good works. Then we climbed back down and she was visibly tired, but stayed by our side. David went into the first market we saw and got us rolls and chorizo, and a bag of doritos for Consuela. We gave her bites of bread and chorizo, too, of course.
The last leg of our walk was through town and that’s when I noticed visitors, whether singly or doubly, all accompanied by a street dog. Not all of the dogs are so gregarious, but almost all put up with handling in exchange for a handout. Consuela came back to the hotel with us and laid under our patio table, but when the car came to take us to horse riding, she ran into the street and then watched us leave. David was very sad to lose her, as she wasn’t waiting when we got back. She was a super dog and I hope she finds good turistas mañana.