Sunday, August 24, 2008

Second Weekend - the SW Coast

Some pics - the morning laundry in the sink of out Motel room. A village church.

Just back from the south west coast, we spent the day at a very up-market surfing resort although it suits any holiday. The grounds are immaculately presented, the pool is magical, the food scrumptious (I had the calamari and coconut rice with side salad), and the snorkeling pretty good with lots of different species of fish. The whole resort is environmentally friendly with composting toilets and large accommodation huts. After lunch we walked east to a lagoon behind some small islets and met some locals who where netting for mullet. Then it was a swim in the pool and finally time to leave for a late afternoon drink at Agie Grey’s Lagoon Resort near the airport. Checked out the dive shop, ST$195 for a double dive.
Dinner was leftover spagbol with toast. Samoa is not the place for a diet, eating out is relatively well priced especially seafood. I found a bakery at Farmer Joe’s that sells fresh lamingtons for ST$1.00 that’s about 47 cents in Aus. Enough said. We are both joining Health Attack Gym and I have Hash on Monday evening, wish me luck.
Sa'moana Resort
Sign, sign everywhere a sign; chilling out at the restaurant; even F swam in the pool; typical coastline around the resort; surf break in front of the resort; the magical pool.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Second Week in Paradise

This week has been filled with interesting things to do:

I had my first Bali Belly experience, not good (First Aid Kit pills did the trick)
Blocked ear canal (Swimmers ear drops from the chemist)
My first bicycle ride to town with a milk carton fashioned into a rock repository ( for the dogs) and wearing my bike helmet which created a bit of a sensation (obliviously not that many helmets here.) I joined the Nelson Public Library for 10 tala and checked out most of the collection (3 books for 2 weeks).

The pic is of the sea wall in town and the dogs that hang out there. I bicycle along the path which is better than playing with the road traffic and the dogs.

I went to the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve near the Apia Wharf this morning on the last of the incoming tide for a snorkel. I hired mask, snorkel and fins, looked at the map, got directions to swim to the first pole on the reef and snorkeled for 90 minutes. The Deep is a large depression in the reef and the sides are covered with corals and fish on the drop-off to about 10-15 meters. While it was good to be back in the water again, it was the things I found that amazed me, I had worked the east side that had the best coral and then crossed the hole to the harbour side and came across first a divers knife and later a mask and snorkel. Obliviously someone had had difficulty here in the last week. The ebb tide race can be quite strong with several signs along the front street testifying to this. So it was a happy soul that finned back to the beach.

There I met a spearo who was going to go spear fishing around to the wharf area. Albert was from New Caledonia and was attending Bible School. He was well set up with a fish float, very long spear gun, knife and spearo fins. He invited me along but I had already been in the water for 90 minutes and the prospect of another 90 was a bit daunting, so I wished him well.
So it has been an interesting week so far, Saturday we are going to the south west coast for an explore.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Some more pics

Some more pics: Looking north from Lemafa Scenic Lookout on the easterly cross island road
Fales at Lalomanu ( every scale of comfort - no walls and matress, walls and matress, walls and bed, ensuite and bed) breakfast and dinner included.
Taufua Beach Fales ( )

South east coast exploring

Saturday 16AUG08

Today we drove to the South East Coast of Upolu Island. We visited the Fuipisia waterfall for some pics and braved the mud and tree roots to the head of the falls.

Then we drove east along the south coast with the sea and fales on one side and villages on the other. We snorkelled at Taufua Beach Fales in Lalomanu village which was sponsored by the Red Cross. They also have a excellent restaurant and the fish and chips filled us up, so it was packed noodles for dinner.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Arrival in Samoa


After much last minute packing and lots of cleaning we put our unit in the hands of a Real Estate agent to rent. We unfortunately lost 3 empty packing cartons off the roof of our 4WD in the main drag of Coolum Beach in our last minute mad dash at getting away. The moral is never put anything on the roof as you never check there. Drove to Brisbane on our last afternoon and had dinner at South Bank on the river for F’s daughter’s birthday and family time. Our first leg was to Aukland (NZ) in 3 hours, one hour to get our tickets, then nearly 4 hours to Samoa and the previous day as we crossed the Date Line. So it was a double Wednesday for us. Our accommodation driver was waiting as we emerged from Customs for a leisurely drive at night to Apia(35mph/56kph Highway Speed). Finally crashed at midnight, after a tiring day but we were here in the tropics with the air-conditioner on for the first night’s sleep.

My first day was spent walking the streets of Apia, lunch of a chicken meal deal at Macas (no skinny chips here) and they have the only toilet facilities that I can find in town. Taxi back with my bags of groceries, SAT 2.50. Went to get our Drivers Licenses’(SAT 100) in the afternoon and found the bakery for some multi-grain bread. Driving left hand vehicles, it’s tight right and loose left at intersections (a slight change of pace from Aussie)

The barking dogs kept our second night lively, so the air went on at midnight. I got a lift to the Uni and checked out the Library, then caught the local bus to town (60 sene) and finally walked to our accommodation (1 hour). I did this again in the afternoon, in practice for the Hash run next week with the RAN crew from a frigate that will be in town. Had my first night drive to Giordanos Pizzeria for take away, no dings as yet. The 4 litre diesel is very forgiving for my botched gear changes, my right hand will get better.

More photos when we get a better connection.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Short Holiday in Kingscliff

After a week of packing boxes, 38 for Samoa and 35 for storage we needed a holiday. So we drove about 3 hours south to Kingscliff, very similar to Coolum Beach, but a change and different sights to see. Each day we did something different, a day in Byron Bay and bought some Tee shirts, a morning in the rainforest at Natural Arch, a waterfall in a cave, a morning photographing Cabaritta Headland and a walk around Rainbow Bay. We enjoyed the Tibetian restaurant in Kingscliff and fish and chips at Byron. After a family reunion in Brisbane and a great dinner at JoJo's we came back to the cleaning and residual packing, just how much can you squeeze into a suitcase and haw many to take or send airfreight. Questions ????

So I have been ocean swimming each morning, water 18c, beautiful sunshine around 22c. Samoa is 27c water and 28c this time of year.

We are both looking forward to our adventure next week when we fly out via Aukland, NZ.

That's about all for now.