Blogs from Samoa, Oceania

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Oceania » Samoa » American Samoa January 17th 2015

The lure of a flight over to American Samoa cast a powerful spell on me, and it didn't take long for the friendly staff in the Apia office of Polynesian Airlines to get my itinerary sorted. I always find it thrilling when a new travel itinerary has been finalised, and the chance to visit another country in this wonderful world becomes a real prospect. The airport to American Samoa is very close to Apia itself, only a ten minute drive in fact. The runway is only suitable for propellor planes, but the ride in the taxi entails just a few turns in an Apia neighbourhood, and suddenly the airstrip presents itself seemingly out of nowhere. I arrived at the airport a little over an hour prior to departure time, and there were a few taxis and ... read more
Beautiful beach
Tradewinds Hotel
The beach at Maracas Bay

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu » Apia January 10th 2015

To be honest I was feeling a little cross and out of sorts. There I was on New Years Eve back in the Fijian resort town of Nadi, swinging away in a hammock. The thing is though, I was meant to be in Samoa already, but Fijian Airways cancelled my flight without explanation and this had thrown my into a temporary funk. It was great to be back at Bamboo Backpackers, but it was not where I expected to be at that time. Then a beautiful blonde from Sweden approached and started a conversation. It came up within minutes of our chat we were both heading for Samoa, and after exchanging details she moved on for the evening. Part of me was thinking this was all a dream, as surely such coincidences can't happen in real ... read more
Fale on Manono Island
Apia resort entrance
Le Vasa resort beach

Oceania » Samoa » American Samoa August 22nd 2014

During the night we steamed across the South Pacific Ocean into the Samoan Basin. This morning we approached on a Northerly heading towards Pago Pago harbour. Approaching to the entrance, Dawn Princess left on her starboard side Breakers Point and on her port side Tulutulu Point before making final approach towards our berth. In the afternoon when all passengers were back on board we thrust off from the berth and exited Pago Pago Harbour limit. Once clear we then set sail on a South Westerly course towards Auckland.Six Islands comprise American Samoa and there is a population of only just over 57,000 people... read more

Oceania » Samoa » American Samoa August 22nd 2014

Pago Pago: During the night we steamed across the South Pacific Ocean into the Samoan Basin. In the morning we approached on a Northerly heading towards Pago Pago Harbour. Approaching to the entrance we left on our Starboard side Breakers Point, and on the Port side Tulutulu Point before making final approaches towards our berth. On going ashore Colleen, myself, Greg, Judy, Liz, and Howard hired a bus to take us out to Two Dollar Beach and then onto Tisa’s Bar and Grill. All beaches in American Samoa are privately owned and no prize for guessing how much the cover charge was for using the beach. Tisa’s Bar and Grill is commonly referred to as the “bar at the end of the world” as C.N.N. did an article on it some time ago hence its name. ... read more
Queen Lucy
Bathing Beauty
The little lassies

Oceania » Samoa » American Samoa February 27th 2014

18th February Pago Pago, American Samoa Today we docked in Pago Pago, (pronounced Pango Pango) on the island of Tutuila, the largest of seven islands that make up American Samoa. It has a natural deep harbour which was shelled (only once during WWII) and is home to the Tuna cannery which employs up a third of population of the island. You knew about the cannery when the wind shifted every now and again!! It was a warm and humid morning when we docked. The islands lie in the tropics with heat & humidity highest between December and April when you have the highest rainfall, which inspired Somerset Maugham’s story of Sadie Thompson entitled ‘Rain’. There is a hotel called Sadie’s on the Beach close to the berth. There are few historic sites on the ... read more
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Oceania » Samoa » Upolu » Apia October 16th 2013

Just got back from our shore excursion to Apia, Samoa - independent Samoa, not American Samoa. About 40,000 people now live here, but one it's famous residents was Robert Louis Stevenson, who came here for relief from his probable TD in the late 1800's. He built a lovely home which is now a museum. Got to see a Samoan dance/singing show there. And a tour of the downtown of Apia with a stop at the huge indoor flea market - it was hot and humid. Luckily no flies - they were all at the fish market down the street where we did not go. Leaving here in a few hours and then off to Fiji where we'll be after another day at sea. Looking forward to a longboat ride there. Tonight some of the Indonesian staff ... read more

Oceania » Samoa » American Samoa August 23rd 2013

Pago Pago (pronounced Pango Pango) - what a breath of fresh air after five days at sea. Very mountainous and lush, with lovely friendly people. While it was high 20's temp here today, the cooling trade winds made it feel not so humid. We had a long walk around the main area - then decided to catch a local bus around the bays and over the top of the mountain around the national park, it was a lovely trip with gorgeous scenery and a great way to engage with all the locals who were so friendly on the bus. When we arrived at Vatia at the end of the bus line we took a walk around the cove and through the village and then caught a bus back to Pago Pago. There were churches on every ... read more
ONCE A MAGNIFICENT HOTEL
GOVERNMENT HOUSE
LOVELY COVES

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu May 16th 2013

At 7am I caught a free ride back to Apia with a van of school-girls. I had been planning on going back to Mt. Vaea for a last try at some of the missing birds but the winding road from Lalomanu had reminded my stomach of yesterday’s seas, the temperature was extremely hot, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my bags if I went into the forest. So I just got some breakfast in Apia then went to the bus station. I found a bus, sat in it for an hour until enough passengers had gathered, and then went to the airport where I sat slowly basting in the heat like a New Orleans plantation owner until my flight which was supposed to be at 3.30pm but turned into 4.30pm because ... read more

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu May 15th 2013

Access to Nu’utele Island is only possible from Lalomanu at high tide because the reef has no channel so the sea needs to be high enough for the boat to ride above the reef. Fortunately the high tide today was at 8am, perfect for going birding. An Austrian chap called Walter from the place I was staying was also interested in going to the island for no real reason, so in the morning Foki picked us up and we set off in his little tin boat. I’m a bit erratic when it comes to sea-sickness: sometimes I don’t get it at all, and sometimes I get it bad. It’s only about thirty minutes across to Nu’utele’s beach but I was already feeling pretty queasy by the time we got there. I was going looking for the ... read more
Foki's boat
Samoan fruit bat (Pteropus samoensis)

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu May 13th 2013

Although I was sure I had been scammed yesterday I believe that people in general are honest, so in the morning I waited in the hotel lobby just in case my ride did turn up at 9am. I had the number of another driver, Jerry, who’d said he would take me to Lalomanu for 80 Tala so I was going to hold off until 9.20 and then call him. At 9.20, just as I was about to call Jerry, the woman from yesterday walked in. I’ll call her Violet, because that’s what she said her name was. Immediately the reception lady said she’d have to give me my receipt and when I went to the desk she wrote on a bit of paper “this woman is no good, she is a thief and will steal all ... read more
Taufua Beach Fales




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