Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Flag Day in Western

On Tuesday, Am Sam celebrated Flag Day. Flag Day is like July 4th, without the fireworks, but it does have boat racing. This being Am Sam, we got off Tuesday (actual Flag Day) and Wednesday instead of the obvious Monday - but who is complaining, it is still a two day holiday. To celebrate, a group of us decided to go to Western Samoa, which does not celebrate Flag Day. Oops. We left Friday and got back Wednesday. The group included Nate, Gonzo, Aaron (the New Guy) and Nate's friends from the mainland, Adam and Mary.This was my third trip to Western, but I continue to have a ton of fun and learn valuable lessons. For example, lesson one - Argentines are crazy drivers. Gonzo drove us around the entire trip and at times I think we traveled back in time.At least the view was great. The first two nights we stayed at the Manusina Inn in Apia (the capital). Our Argentine friends are expanding their business in Western and have opened the Inn. It is a great place and I recommend it to anyone visiting Western. Max and Lupe are great hosts. Lesson Two - Blue Cheese pizza at Giodanno's rocks. We started Saturday with a trip to sliding rock. How can you beat sliding down lava rock into a fresh water pool. We spent some time lounging in the pool and watching no fear Samoan kids jump off cliffs. I should note that Gonzo also jumped off the cliff. I just took the the photos. We went to lunch at Coconuts and then had to take a nap. good times. Then off to Black Sand Beach. You might have to drive through the jungle, but the beach is great. Lesson Three - riding the waves at Black Sand beach is a great way to spend an afternoon. Sadly we had dinner at a restaurant called Sails. It might have been the worse meal I have had in years - and this is including the sushi with mayonnaise in Am Sam. I ordered tuna with a white wine cream sauce. I believe the cream sauce was paper mache. Just horrible. Lesson Four - never eat at Sails again, never. On Sunday we drove down to some waterfalls. Unlike last time, the falls were not flowing, but that didn't stop us from jumping into more fresh water. Got to love the fresh water. We spent that night at the beach fales at Lalomanu.Lesson Five - Uno can be turned into an interesting drinking game and that large quantities of Vailima, Samoa's Beer, can cause discomfort in the morning.I also learned that five plus three equals seven. Ask New Guy about that one. Monday was spent at the Piula Cave Pool. Another great fresh water pool. You can also swim through a lava tube to get to another cave. Unfortunately, Adam went a little too fast through the tube and knocked his head on some lava rocks. ouch. We then decided to go to the island of Namu'a. It is near Lalomanu. We were told that we needed to raise a white flag in order to signal the boat to pick us up. I think this was just a Samoan joke so they could laugh at the silly palagis raising a white flag against a really blue/white sky. Luckily, the boat did arrive, but to drop off some people who spent the day on the island, not because they saw the flag. However, they did pick us up and we got to spent the night on our own Gilligan's Island. It was great. The island has no electricity, or at least none that we could find. The six of us basically tripled the population of the island. The only structures include the main cooking house and the beach fales. Kinda awesome. The next morning, we walked around the island during low tide. We also took a hike up the mountain. Lesson Six - proper footware is important. Using my sandels was like walking on Crisco. It was actually easier to walk up the mountain in my barefeet. At least I made it to the top, or what we decided was the top. The channel between the main island and Namu'a is not that deep, even during high tide. We left the island during low tide, so we had to walk the boat close to the shore. Nate did his impression of Jesus. We then drove back up to Apia and spent another night at Manusina. We also had the best dinner ever at Apula Heights restaurant. We closed out the night/early morning at our new favorite bar - Paddles. After leaving Paddles, we were hungry, but everything was closed, or at least almost everything. We found a foodstand still open. The only food they had left was written in Samoan. The food appeared to be the same thing, but coming in different sizes and prices. Aaron was the adventurous one and ordered the Five Tala meal (about $2.50 US). It came in a sack and weighted about four pounds. We opened it when we got home.Yum! It tasted about as good as it looks, recooked vomit. oh well. We were that hungry that we tried to eat some of it, we did not get that far. And now the final four lessons. Lesson Seven - Kava is like drinking dirt. Lesson Eight - Rainbows are cool. Lesson Nine - Sashimi tastes great. Lesson Ten - I really enjoy Western Samo


stadtler said...

Re: The New Guy's number/math skills.

-They are far from good. I have personally witnessed him hit 18, much to the chagrin of everyone, at a Vegas blackjack table.

Elizabeth said...

The accomodations in Namu'a looked "inexpensive." Did they feed you or did you have to bring your own food?

Anonymous said...

Hey dude! I couldn't stop laughing when I read your journey to Western Samoa, My parents Country. I Just can't believe that You bought that cheap as food. Never mind what I just said, I just love your website page.


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