Friday - Day 5
Trip Start May 04, 2009
7Trip End May 14, 2009
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Our first stop for the day was to retrace our steps to the village of Samauga (Sam-oww-ung-ar) and head about 5km inland to the Dwarfs Cave. The road is just a 5m wide track, hacked into the natural terrain, with numerous lumps of volcanic rock protruding from the road, making navigation a task. The cave is a hole in the ground that you enter with a guide (who has the only torch) to see a subterranean cavern system that incorporates many lakes and habitable areas. Local legend says that a tribe of dwarves used to live there who had magical powers (not unlike the Apia bottling company's spokesperson and his ability to sell product)
Second stop was Turtle feeding at the village of Satoalepai (Sar-toe-ar-lay-pie), where an enclosure has been built by an entrepreneurial Samoan where Palagis can hand feed and swim with the turtles. Lots of fun for the whole family. The local tour guide also showed us how the Samoans extract the coconut cream from the coconut and how they manufacture cocoa from the cocoa plant by roasting the seeds, not that dissimilar to roasting coffee beans.
Our final stop before returning to the ferry was a visit to a Saleaula (sarl-ay-owl-la) and a church that was in the path of the 1905-1911 eruptions of the Mt Matavanu (Mart-ar-varn-oo) Volcano. The lava is more than 2m thick in places and impressions of the roofing iron can be seen in the volcanic rock. Lava flows litter this side of the island. Some fale's are built right on top of them and their gardens incorporate the volcanic rock in amazing ways.