Samoa - A week in the sun!

Trip Start Aug 03, 2004
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Trip End Jan 27, 2005


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Flag of Samoa  ,
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

After our hectic schedule in America, we decided that our time in the Pacific would be more relaxing and would have plenty of beach time. With the extremely blue sea and white sand, we weren't disappointed. On arriving in Samoa we decided we would see both the main islands, Savaii and Upolu. After spending just one day in Apia (the capital) we caught the ferry to Savaii and spent four days there - three days on the beach at Siufaga Beach Resort (nice place) and one day on a guided tour of Savaii Island. On the guided tour provided by Green Turtle (recommended), we saw beaches, turtles, rainforest, and solidified lava flows from the last volcanic eruptions. Although probably the highlight of the tour was the blowholes at Alofaaga - our guide threw a load of coconuts into the blowhole and these were fired high into the air as it erupted (see pictures and video clip).

We returned to Upolu by Polynesian airways (or Venga airways as we nicknamed them) and our amusement at the small and primitive airport was amplified when we saw the plane we would be flying it - It had a propeller, just 8 seats and one pilot which explained why they had weighed us as well as our baggage at check in! The 'boarding pass' given to us was a card with a number on it, and as we'd suspected, our seat numbers of 1 and 2 were right behind the pilot. This was good as it meant a better view, but Ig was concerned that there was only one middle aged pilot and if he keeled over in mid-flight it would be left to co-pilot Higginbottom to land the bird - needless to say he watched carefully what all the switches and levers did!

We made it safely back to Upolu and after kissing the tarmac we took a taxi back to Samoan Outrigger - our excellent budget hotel in Apia. Next day we hired bikes to see some of Upolu island, but it was far too hot so we didn't get very far or see too much - we only made it as far as Villa Vailima which is the former residence of Robert Louis Stephenson and is now converted to 'worth seeing' museum. After all that cycling we decided to have an early night but this plan was soon scrapped when Mary realised that our flight was at 4 am the following morning. We had it in our heads that we flew the following night and having only realised 4 hours before the flight was due to leave, we frantically packed and headed for the airport!
Samoa is a very relaxed, friendly country. The beaches and scenery were excellent, well worth a visit.

Observations

- The people are very friendly
- Paradise beaches, palm trees, blue sea, lots of sun
- Religion is very strong - everything stops on a Sunday
- Buses are very colourful and packed with people
- Men wear skirts
- Women wear flowers in their hair
- The inter - islander air tour is an experience!
- Very laid back
- Alofaaga blowholes are very impressive

Our Highlights

- The beaches - especially Siufaaga
- Alofaaga blowholes
- The nightlife in Apia
- The tour of Upolu with Green Turtle
- Vailima lager - the very nice, very cheap local beer.

Soundtrack to our trip

- Going to Ibiza by Vengaboys - This was played on the bus from the airport as we arrived and was heard several times around the bars of Apia - one of those holiday songs that gets into your head. We adapted the words for our own amusement - All together now: 'Oh, we're going to Upolu! Oh, from Savaii! Oh we're flying with Venga airways, in the Poly-nes-ian sky'
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