Okay, as you know I jetted off to Samoa courtesy of Polynesian Blue Airways and the Samoan Travel Authority, I was supposed to have time and access to blog while I was there but that went a bit pear-shaped so I’ll be dribbling out a few stories over the next few weeks.
My second post is about my visit to the ‘other’ Island, Savai’i.Â With a population of 42,000, Savai’i is the third largest Polynesian island after Tahiti and New Zealand. Savai’i is a scenic treasure trove, offering everything from a rich, unspoilt marine life and breath-taking waterfalls, to caves, blowholes and rainforests teeming with birds, other creatures and health-giving plants.
It was an incredibly early start, from the Le Manumea Resort, I booked a call for 5.30am but it came at 5am, after getting to bed at 11pm so it was a bit ugly for me, I’m not a great morning person and I had to pretend with strangers, even worse!!! I got to enjoy the secure outside shower for the last time, boo!
We caught a ferry from Mulifanua Wharf across the Pacific to Savai’i Island, it’s a massive island, bigger than Upolu, with huge lava cliff faces being smashed by massive waves, on a flat sea as we crossed – thank god and as you will read about below, the return trip was very ugly for me!
Driving around the Island, I felt like we’d entered Jurassic Park with the lush greenery and plethora of coconut trees on the island. First stop was Afu Aau Waterfall, where Robin and Barry went for a swim in the waterhole, typical me was just busting to do a pee so didn’t go in, you know why, don’t make me spell it out!!
Next stop was the Alofaaga Blowholes which were absolutely amazing, massive waves crashing along the volcanic coast line with huge blowholes that sounded like whales giving a big sigh as the water shot straight up into the air. We got absolutely soaked with the strong salted water but it was refreshing and fun … I was just waiting the appearance of a Jurassic Park Dinosaur to pop out and say hi.
Next stop was lunch at Satuiatua ,where I had a toasted cheese and pineapple sarnie, there was a strong coastal breeze off the beach that looked like the Maldives with it’s crystal blue waters that you just wanted to dive straight into and swim off into the horizon!
So we couldn’t wait to get to our accommodation at Vsau Bay, the seaside lodge Va i Moana.Â The location was divine, based around a little protected bay, the water was flat and turtles floated by but OMG, the accommodation was so disappointing, I felt like I’d stepped back into my backpacking shoes from many many years ago and I’ve already ticked that box and didn’t want to tick it again.Â My little ‘villa’ was stuck up the back in the middle of no-where, I was so disappointed I even forgot to take a photo inside to show you.
Staying positive Robin and I got our swimmers on and went for our beach swim we’d been dying to do and just floated around and laughing until we turned to prunes and decided it was time to get out … it’s hard on your feet because of all the hard volcanic rock but it was just beautiful.
Dinner was a big group buffet on the sand under the clearest starlit sky I have seen for aÂ long time, with the lights dancing off the water while we were serenaded by traditional Samoan musicians. Much laughter was had over the chicken stir fry, rice and lobster mornay dinner and we even had heavenly vanilla ice cream to top off our meal (although we had to pay for that the next day as it was additional).
The service and quality of the food was five star, but the little things matter like soft towels, a bedside table with a lamp, a table to put your suitcase on, a proper bin instead of it being a bucket and a shower with pressure that was a touch hotter than tepid, they make a difference to me. There’s huge potential here, but a lot of work needs to be done even some simple landscaping, I want to see a bar on the jetty with chairs & tables!
We checked out on Tuesday and I was the grumpiest bum ever, I had a bad back from the too soft and lumpy bed, I couldn’t shower ’cause the water was freezing cold and there was no help getting my luggage out to the van and breakfast was a shambles and it was just one of those disaster mornings that just kept snowballing.
Into the van we headed, after driving for about 20mins Lupe remembered she’d left our ferry tickets back at the accommodation and we needed to turn around and go back to get them otherwise the next ferry wasn’t until 4pm and it would have been ugly as everyone was a bit grumpy, not just me!
First stop was Swimming with the Turtles at the Satoalepai Wetlands.Â Satoalepai is an inland sanctuary where green turtles are raised in the part fresh-water / part salt-water wetlands and I have to admit I was a bit disappointed when I saw it, I thought we were going to be swimming with turtles off the beautiful coastline in Maldive like water, how that would work I don’t know but that’s what I was thinking.
Robin and I were the brave ones who went swimming with them, it was hilarious, I thought I was going to get bitten and it’s not easy getting into the pond, I don’t understand why there weren’t any stairs, it was really incredibly unladylike and I’m all about the ladylike! And when you’re in there you can’t see the turtles, so I was constantly in fear one was going to sneak up on me and bite me but I eventually calmed down and enjoyed the experience.
Next stop was the Saleaula Lava Field and Sapapalii Church … the Sapapalii Church was nearly engulfed by the lava when the Vulcano Mount Matavanu erupted at the beginning of the century.Â The lava flowed constantly from 1905-1911 and what was incredible to see was all the plant life that grew in between the cracks of the sea of black lava.Â There is also a Virgin’s Grave that the lava flowed around and didn’t cover up the grave, I believe it was the lucky location of a steam vent.
I absolutely adored the shapes and patterns in the lava … just beautiful!Â There’s a close up in the gallery below with the beautiful autumn leaves scattered on top!
So foot flat to the floor, Lupe got us to the Salelologa Wharf for our trip back to the island of Upolu and our new hotel (which we were all busting to get checked into) Aggie Greys Hotel & Bungalows.
There was one place that I really wanted to go to but it was closed for repairs, the Falealupo Rainforest Reserve which has this awesome canopy walk with spectacular views over the tropical rain forest. The walkway winds its way up a Garuga Floribunda tree to a suspension bridge spanning a 30-metre gap to a large tropical banyan tree.
As mentioned above, the return journey across the water was very ugly for me, we were in a barge this time, not a ship, so we sat low to the water and it was just gross. The water was not choppy just really big waves from the aftershocks of the Christchurch earthquake. I had to stay in the van holding onto a pee for the nearly 2hr journey staring at the horizon. The water was mesmerizing, the sun was glistening off the undulating waves, so powerful and snake like it was.
It was the best feeling to be back on dry land again and zooming along the coast back to Apia for a much needed shower, lie down, a bex oh and a cupcake!
More Samoan tales to come, if you want to read my first post, you can go here.
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