Friday, 2 March 2018

Microblog 4 - Samoa

Samoa was a wee bit stressful from the beginning. A cyclone hit on Friday night just after Aric had arrived.  I got a phone call from him on Saturday morning,

me: "hey babe, how are you, enjoying Samoa?"
Aric: "didn't you see the news? There was a big cyclone and we got hit and I had to be emergency evacuated at 3 in the morning because the hotel had flooded"
me: "oh, that wasn't what I was expecting you to say!"

He was fine but a bit shaken, an emergency night time wade through a neck high river in PJs will do that to you!  Luckily there were no reported deaths and the weekend stayed fairly dry but stormy, allowing the flood waters to recede and the Samoans to get back on their feet.

It was a bit up in the air as to whether I would be going out there, however Air NZ hadn't cancelled the flight and my insurance would only cover me if they did, so I went anyways, preferring to spend my time in a cyclone hit country with my boyfriend than be at work.   But it was fine - I was very impressed when I arrived. Apart from a few downed trees in the forests, and the odd fale roof on the ground, the Samoans had been very industrious and cleaned up very quickly, you could barely tell a cyclone had whizzed by a few days earlier.

I wouldn't recommend Samoa in rainy season - 1) cyclones, but 2) the humidity is unbearable!!! Everything was hot and sticky.  Even if you got into the pool or the sea, it was bathwater temperature - not gunna lie, I did struggle a bit!!!

Aric had to work Thursday and Friday so on the first day I went into Apia, the main town, and wandered round.  There isn't too much to see and the heat was making me feel a bit ill, as well as the constant cat calling i was subject to.  I haven't been cat called in a very long time and it did shake me up a bit which surprised me, but it also made me appreciate New Zealand that little bit more as I haven't been cat called in my entire 2 years there.  I met Aric for lunch after wandering round for 2 hours, then headed back to the hotel to melt into the pool with my book.  We were staying in a really fancy hotel courtesy of his work, so I sat in a shady spot in the pool and chilled out for a few hours until he got back.

That evening we'd been invited for dinner at his colleague's house, so we got in a cab and drove up the hill where we were greeted by his colleague and his wife, and an amazing food spread.  They were really nice and his wife was Japanese and had cooked some delicious food which I couldn't stop talking about the next day.

The following day I decided to be ridiculously lazy and had a pool day.  I think I did a little kayak in the bay next to the hotel but apart from that I sat down on a sun lounger and didn't move until Aric came back from work. That evening I had one of the most embarrassing experiences of my life....

We went to a cultural show dinner, and I got picked out to do a dance competition with the performers. I tried to refuse but they (and Aric) were quite I had to do it.  I am pretty sure I was as red as a beetroot and I hated every second but I had to smile the entire time so as not to look grumpy. We had to learn some dance moved in front of everyone (anyone who knows me knows I am TERRIBLE at dancing) and then compete with other members of the audience.   My dance partner was jumping and doing all sorts in front of me whilst I stood there awkwardly swaying my hips as I was too embarrassed to do anything else, wishing the ground would swallow me up.  Cringe. 

We got a taxi home and all the taxi drivers are super chatty and friendly, but they all want your business to drive you round the island seeing the sights.  Our driver offered his services but we politely declined, saying we'd hired a car tomorrow.  We asked him if he recommended any spots on the island and he replied 'no' and didn't talk to us the rest of the trip home.

The following day we picked up our car, a little Rav 4 - as we pulled into the car rental place there was a smashed up Rav 4 on the forecourt, luckily not ours! But it did make us change our mind about buying car insurance.

We drove to Piula Cave pools, a nice refreshing freshwater pool next to the sea.  You pay $5WST each to get in, we stayed for about 20 minutes as we had lots to go and see.   Outside of the pools there was a BBQ so we treated ourselves to a very cheap and yummy lunch.

We then headed to Te Sua trench which I was most excited by - a huge hole in the ground filled with sea water.  You have to climb down this rickety old ladder to get to the bottom - not going to lie I was a bit scared, however looking at photos from a couple of years ago it looks like they've made lots of improvements to the ladder!! We swam about in the watering hole for an hour or so - the waves wash in and out but you don't notice it until suddenly the water all seems to start draining from the hole and you flow out with it, but you can't see where the water is coming from or going to - it's a bit of a weird experience.  We did take some photos on the GoPro but they didn't come out very well at all sadly.

We carried on driving and stopped off at some pretty waterfalls, then went to head to a beach on the south but the road was blocked with a huge landslide from the cyclone, so we headed back and checked into our hotel. 

I got pretty drunk and then felt ill because it was so hot. Not a good idea.

The following day we kayaked at the hotel for a bit then headed out to the Giant Clam Observatory - a lot of things shut down on Sundays in Samoa as it's a day of rest, but our hotel assured us this would be open.  Spoiler alert - it wasn't. As we'd driven an hour to get there, we weren't to be defeated and ended up at a resort nearby where we could swim and eat food.  No giant clams though unfortunately. Did see an awesome blue starfish, luminous blue fish and a black and white sea snake though. OH OH OH and they also had a tiny tiny kitten who fit in the palm of my hand and made me happy for the rest of the day.

Monday was our last day, so we checked out of the hotel and drove to Apia, stopping at Robert Louis Stevenson's house on the way back - the gardens are beautiful.  There is a summit walk you can do there but the cyclone has blown trees into the path.   We wandered about Apia for a bit, Aric bought another island print shirt, then we headed for a resort near the airport  - turns out we were the only ones there so we swam and played scrabble and ate chips until it was time to get on the plane and fly home.

All in all it was a nice break but I was almost glad to get back to New Zealand to get away from the humidity!


  1. Ah-ha, the Beast is back in blogging mode! What a mind-blowing post. I loved hearing all about Samoa. I also wanted to know how you took pictures underwater and how long was the flight time?

    1. just seen this! a gopro for underwater pics, and flight time is 4 hours i think


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