Welcome to Samoa!!
33′ hit us as we disembarked but it felt amazing 🙂
Faleolo Airport is still undergoing renovations (has been for some time 😬) so we queued to line up for only 5 immigration desks. That process was very quick, then off to the one and only baggage belt where it was like a scrum, find the baggage instead of the rugby ball. Quick trip past Ag and Fish, X-ray and out into the masses and the arrival area.
Our shuttle was waiting and we were immediately lei’d 😜
The drive from the airport to the resort took over an hour and was quite the bumpy ride, as many roads were still flooded from the recent cyclone. Those that weren’t flooded were potholed!
It had been 10 years since I was last in Samoa and the drive to Apia had not changed too much. The houses were still very much Samoan style, maybe just a little bigger than they had been previously.
Apia town has grown a bit, the biggest surprise though was the TRAFFIC LIGHTS!
A couple favourite bars/ restaurants were still where I had left them.
Taumeasina is a very modern resort joined by a causeway to the mainland. As we left Apia town and turned into a side street, it was there before us looking very pretty despite the rain.
As soon as we arrived, the checkin staff were so friendly. It is not a very large hotel so feels quite personal. As our room was not ready, we made our acquaintance with the casual bar and cafe where we became frequent visitors 🙂
Once our room was ready, we unpacked and then explored. The grounds are lovely and as well as the obligatory hotel gym, there was outdoor exercise gear in the resort gardens. I’d like to say we used them ……. but we didn’t!
The sunset viewed from our balcony that first night was stunning! Lots of PINK so we knew the next day would be a stunner and it was. We spent the whole day at the pool, one of two on the complex. Both are very nice pools.
By the afternoon we had to be under the umbrella as the sun was scorching ….. not complaining. It was Mothers Day and the resort was very busy with local visitors.
Monday was a public holiday for Mothers Day so that was the day we drove around the island.
The weather was again lovely, just a few rain showers along the way. As we passed through the villages, many were having a game of village cricket , so cool to see 🙂 Lots of fun but lots of skill too !
Everything was closed for the day so the villages were all busy with chores at home.
We drove to Lalomanu beach, famous for being able to sleep in a Fale on the beach ( at a cost). On the way we passed a high waterfall, free range piggies, one way bridges, lots of small villages and village shops, churches and schools.
The highlight of the day around the island was To Sua Ocean Trench, amazing, challenging ( the climb down) but worth the twenty tala entrance fee.
Lunch stop was Sinalei Resort on the South Coast. Great food, wine (NZ) and service. We dined on a jetty over water.
This resort seemed more authentic to the Samoan way of building but was older than the Taumeasina.
Whilst driving around the island, we decided to pop the iPhone on shuffle and boom!! Rick Astley, “Never gonna Give You Up”, very much our 80s go to song when we flew together, was the first song up , spooky, and very cool.
Our hire car was a great little car, Nissan Duke, We hired it from Samoana Rentals and they were great. I now have a Samoan Drivers License for the next month. I’ve been admiring the Duke for a while so was cool to drive one. Handled really well. A lot of the roads were not great and had been further affected by the heavy rains, potholes were a regular feature
Driving around the island really was an experience, without a map and no road signs, however it is an island so you can only go around, and can’t really get lost haha.
Tuesday saw us visit town briefly, popped our nose into the markets that had not changed in years. We then spent the rest of the day under an umbrella in the sun, reading our books by the pool. That evening we visited Sheraton Aggie Greys Hotel, for pre dinner cocktail. The last time I was at Aggie Greys , it was not a Sheraton, was still a family run hotel. I was keen to see the differences …….The lobby was very distinguished and the layout was different. We wandered trough the pool area and the other accomodation bungalows reliving old times when we stayed as crew years before.
For an animal lover the many many dogs wandering was heartbreaking. I really don’t know how many were homeless and how many were not. I do know that there doesn’t seem to be an animal welfare body so if I win the big Lotto ticket , that is where I will spend the first million…… desexing the cats and dogs.
The Samoan people don’t have a lot, but are so very friendly, eager to please and love to know what you think of “their place” ❤