A Travellerspoint blog

The start of it all

snow -2 °C

March 3, 20009

Naturally on the day of our departure, there has to be a March snowstorm. Decided to leave even earlier than we planned so that our dear neighbours and friends who were driving us to the airport would not have to deal with the ugly roads on their way home. Actually, the snow only lasted till about Innisfail and then it was rain the rest of the way to Calgary. Temperature was 1 C when we left Calgary and we now sit in LA where it is 20 and the sun has just set at 6:00 and it is beautiful. Now to fly through the night.

Posted by Bada Bing 01:50 Archived in Canada Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

Serene and peaceful Samoa...well not Apia

March 5, 2009

Woke up to a wonderful sunny day. Had another wonderful breakfast (included with the nightly fee) of cheese and ham sandwich (again on fresh bread), toast, fruit, jam and rice type pudding (all wonderful) and great coffee. Decided to take a day tour into Apia (the capital of Western Samoa). Went with the supply pickup van. Interesting…we paid to ride into Apia, however, along the road, he picked up several people standing at the side of the roads (friends…who knows), doesn’t matter. Took about an hour to reach Apia as we are on the other side of the island. Some interesting things I noted are that each house has a covered open type area made of cement floor with poles (some have curtains) which is either the main area or an extra area) apparently this is called the “meeting area”. It is built like this so the wind flows through and doesn’t destroy the structure. All the houses have them, some are fancier than others and you can see the curtains but others are very plain. Another notable thing was that most houses have a monument or tombstone like prayer area in front of their houses where it appears that ancestors are laid to rest. Some are very elegant and covered and have many flowers and others are average. Apparently, Samoan land is handed down through ancestory and they are very loyal. The amount of churches that we saw was unbelievable, a very religious island, I would say.

Apia was just another city, not too big, but all the normal stuff…shopping and intrepeneurs. Brochures say that this island has 180,000 people. Everyone in Apia is either selling cell phones, sarapes or something else. Not as bad as Mexico but nonetheless, everyone is selling something..tours, fruit and vegetables, restaurant suppers or whatever. We only spent a few hours there and that was enough of the city.

When our transport picked us up, he again had several people with him who we dropped off at various locations on the trip back to Virgin Cove. I should point out that a lot of Samoan men are very nice looking…and so are the women. Although, I don’t really find the men’s Samoan skirts that appealing…even the police wear them. (they are wrap arounds about ankle length).

Today was a gorgeous day, we had lots of very hot sun, drank lots of water, walked lots of miles and when we arrived back to Virgin Cove at about 3:00 we went for a swim in the high tide (meaning that lots of the wonderful white sand was immersed). Virgin Cove is in a cove (duh) and therefore the waves are crashing out about 1 kilometer so we have just slight waves. The water is so clear and the fish are swimming around you all the time. I had taken some potato chips down at the beach and had the idea to try and feed them. Well, did we have a riot. They ate a small bag of chicken ripple chips and another of salt and vinegar. They would actually take them out of your fingers. It was like being in a fish bowl. And the size of the angel fish was unbelievable although they weren’t the chip terminators like the others were. We stood there for at least 1 hour just playing with the fish.

This place is the most ultimate serene peaceful place that we have ever been. It is so serene and peaceful that you can hear the coconuts dropping off the trees. Ever heard those nature audio tapes that they sell…well we could easily make one here.

Everyone is so friendly…visitor and locals alike. It is a small resort and we see everyone often and the locals are very English friendly as most every country learns English as a second language.

It was so bright this evening that we went stargrazing standing in the cove.(water like bathwater) John was so happy to find the Southern Cross and identify some of the other constellations.

Posted by Bada Bing 00:56 Archived in Samoa Comments (0)

We made it!!

semi-overcast 30 °C

After a long 10 hour flight, we arrived in Samoa at 5:30 in the morning. We have to tell you all that Air Zealand is freaking awesome. As we were boarding, we noticed all seats had pillows, blankets and headphones lying on the seats. We were thereafter served a full course meal of chicken breast with mushroom sauce, zucchini and fresh potato. We topped that up with some great NZ wine. It was very, very tasty and then to top it off we had a wonderful strawberry cheesecake. The flight wasn’t near as bad as I anticipated it might be, we took a gravol after supper and managed to sleep most of the flight with the odd turbulence which woke us up…especially we hit the equator bump………no, only kidding. Lol. Turbulence was minimal throughout.

Breakfast was a ham and cheese croissant with yummy yogurt, fruit bowl, orange juice and coffee. Arriving at the airport at 6:00, we were met by a transfer to take us to Virgin Cove Resort. It took us about ½ hour to get here from the airport which involved at least 5 miles of washout sandy roads which supplied us with our chiropractic treatment!

We stopped and picked up the cook who was walking to work…I can’t imagine what time she would have got here, it was a damn long walk from where we picked her up!

The reception was not yet open when we arrived but shortly thereafter another worker, Frank, took our suitcases to our Fale. We aren’t actually sleeping in the open sided fales, we have a beach bungalow which has walls and screens and a gigantic patio door. And with all the rain that appears to have happened overnight, it’s a good thing cause the little stingers are all still milling around. The humidity is unbelievable and we have fans in our beach hut which should make it a more enjoyable night.

Took a nature tour with the resort tour guide who is a native Samoan. Learned a lot about the usefulness of the forest to the Samoan culture. Ink trees, water vines, eatible trees but don’t get me lost cause I certainly can’t remember what each looks like. Went on the tour with 2 Swedish students who are studying archaeology at the university here in Apia and a Samoan girl who was born and raised in New Zealand and is now enrolled in Uni here and taking the same class, I believe. You would not believe the sandy beaches here, it is similar to white flour and oh, so inviting.

Started to rain about oh, say 3:00 (who really knows cause we’re not watching the clock) so we read and had a siesta(or whatever it is called in Samoa), went for supper and had a absolutely wonderful chicken stirfry and tuna which could have been labelled a 5 star hotel supper, it was soooooooooo tasty.samoa2009_011.jpg

Posted by Bada Bing 00:53 Archived in Samoa Comments (0)

Final Countdown

to the big trip

overcast -15 °C

Today, we started packing..I hate packing, probably cause I always pack for two...John and I! He is pretty good but he does need supervision as we have gone on trips where beleive it or not, he forgot his shaving stuff. It's interesting how (when you have the time and inclination) that you can pack for 4 weeks taking less than we do when we go for two weeks in Mexico. I think the reasoning is that you absolutely know that you will have to wash clothes in 4 weeks but when you go for two weeks, you hope to not wash clothes. Besides we will be on the go and the less luggage the better.

Just a couple days and we will be in Samoa for a 3 day adventure sleeping in a fale but hey can't be any different than a cabin without walls, can it?

beachbungalow280x210.jpg

Posted by Bada Bing 12:43 Archived in Canada Tagged preparation Comments (0)

Interesting Tidbit

International Date Line

overcast -7 °C

Just was reviewing our flight itinerary and noted that we leave Tonga on March 31 at 9:00 p.m. for return to LAX. However, we arrive in Calgary at 8:00 on March 31. No, I did not make a typing error! That is the result of crossing the international date line down there in the Pacific. We actually leave Tonga and have to stop at Samoa to get on the international flight to LAX. That is going to be oh, so weird. Jet lag or what.

Perhaps not, just a day gained, I suppose.

Posted by Bada Bing 08:57 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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