Monday, May 28, 2007

Back to Ofu

For Memorial Day weekend, a group of us decided to go to the Island of Ofu. The Ofu seven were Naomi, Liz, Markus, Fred, Niki, Aaron and myself. The last time I went to Ofu I almost died, so I hoped for a better visit this time around. I am pleased to report that it was a great trip and I had no near death experiences. I did get a nice sunburn, so perhaps that will later cause me to develop skin cancer, but I think that would be unfair to blame it all on Ofu. It was sort of an adventure to get to Ofu. InterIsland Air is the only airline that flies to Ofu. I first attempted to book a flight three weeks before we left. They were not able to tell me if we could leave on Friday or Saturday. I had to call back. Two weeks before we were to leave, I was able to confirm a flight for Saturday morning, and I was told that we might be able to get a Friday afternoon flight, but I would have to check a few days before we left. Aaron checked for us on Thursday. They said that they might be able to get a Friday afternoon flight, depending on the pilot, but we would only have about 30 minute notice to get to the airport to get the flight. We said that worked for us. For better or worse, the Friday flight did not work out, so we left Saturday morning. When we left, we were not sure when the Monday flight would pick us up - I was originally told that when we heard the plane land in Ofu, we would know it was time to go. Can't argue with that logic. The trip to Ofu was beautiful, but uneventful except instead of providing an in-flight beverage, they tried to put us out with knock-out gas. Once we got to Ofu, Marge and the family greeted us warmly. We dropped of our bags and went right to the beach, which was only steps from the airport and the lodge - perfect. We spent the morning at the Lodge Beach and then went down to the Hurricane House Beach in the afternoon. It is so named because their is a Fale that is used as an example for the island residents of how to build a house that will survive a hurricane. [Thanks to Kim for the fun fact]I am not sure why they have a stop sign - I think Ofu has about a dozen cars and one road. A few yards from this section of the beach is where I got caught in the ava last time and almost drowned. yikes. I went out snorkeling again, but kept relatively close to the shore. Safety First! After a great Thanksgiving dinner (including homemade stuffing) prepared by Marge and her family, we spent most of the night looking at the stars on the runway. Not a picture of stars, but still cool, no? It did storm a little, and we got to see a water spout (tornado) in the clouds. Later on, we decided to take a midnight skinny dip in the ocean, which was great. It was full moon, in more ways then one, that night. On Sunday, we drove through the National Park to the Bridge Beach. Liz, Markus and Naomi decided to walk - silly palagis. We didn't see any buffaloes (look at the sign again), and Aaron didn't see any giraffes, but I think he was still impressed with the beauty of the island. Ofu is part of the Manu'a Islands, which also includes Olesaga and Ta'u. A bridge connects Ofu to Olesaga. Below the bridge is a nice beach area. The water was deep enough, so we were able to jump off the bridge. Somehow I was selected to go first - great. But now I know that if I jumped off a bridge, my friends would as well. The jump was a lot of fun, and each time got easier. However, at first it felt like you were falling forever, which was both a pretty cool and scary sensation. Here is Aaron taking the plunge.Video of Fred & Niki (aka Adventure Girl).

Here is Aaron, Fred and me jumping.
My Solo Jump
After a great day at the beach, we went back to the Lodge. I took a nap in a hammock on the beach falling asleep as I listened to the waves. I really love my life right now. After another great meal by Marge and Co. - we played some poker and then decided to try to start a bonfire on the beach. A pit was already dug and we had collected some wood earlier, however, we realized that we did not have much to start the fire. In an amazing MacGyver style move, Aaron and Fred were able to start the fire with a match, a cereal box and a Lysol spray can. Amazing. Fred keep the fire going for a long while - we were all impressed. The next morning, we heard the plane land around 11 am, so we checked in at the airport, and it was time for us to leave this island paradise and return to our other island paradise. Yes, I have a tough, tough life.


Megan said...

While I had a super great weekend out in the wilderness camping, mountain biking, and seeing some pretty cool guys may have won. Ofu looks absolutely amazing.

Kim said...

Last time Mike and I were in Ofu, we found out that the Hurricane House is/was actually a demonstration how on how to build a hurricane proof house for the island residents.

fa, Kim

Turtle said...

Actually, Megan won--she hung out with me!

Hi, my name is Jaymie...I sometimes claim Aaron (New Guy) as my friend ;)

cyn said...

i can't tell you how happy i am that there were no life-or-death occurrences this trip. phew!!!

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