We started out the day, before heading to the Coral Sea in the South Pacific, just completing items done for our next stage in the journey. We did laundry, figured out what we were taking and what we were leaving, and just having a nice dinner. Thai food – yum. Sorry, Jill, I forgot to take pictures. But you will like the next ones.
Bright and early, before the sun had even started thinking about waking up, we were on our way to the airport where we dropped off our car and started the process of getting out boarding passes. “Process” is a good word. We were given the 3rd degree, almost turned down, and then finally they said, yes, we can go to Samoa! It came with an advisory that we would probably be questioned some more after we get to our layover in Auckland. We were told, “Don’t be surprised if they send you back”. Auckland was a breeze!! No one said a thing and we breezed from one flight to the next.
Arrival in Samoa!!! It is hot…like really, REALLY, hot…like Florida muggy hot!! You felt the heat the minute you stepped off the plane where we then had to go through the gauntlet of questions about our health: where we were coming from, how long we were there, and, oh, yeah, “Can you prove you were in New Zealand for six weeks.” Dave got his passport stamped in NZ, but Kathy’s was an E Visa and no stamp and no proof. I think they took pity on Kathy and saw her panic—they let us both in. Phew! that was just the first hurdle. Then we needed to have a medical screening. This included getting our temperature taken. Kathy was cold! Could be the lingering terror as she had boots and thermal socks on, and still registered ~~34 C. Another hurdle down. Now, on to Customs where Dave got his bag searched. Finally, now it’s on to find the rental car. Unique to say the least, but we have our beat-up, low budget car that got us to our next destination.
This was a resort on the beach, not an AirBnB, as we had reserved. We have a six-sided room that had no air conditioner and no bathroom, but we do have the beach inches from our front door. A unisex bathroom was just across the way for us to shower, shave, brush our teeth, wash up and use the toilet. The bathroom had no door, but at least it had stalls for the two commodes and one for the shower. We played in the infinity pool, played in the ocean, and walked the beach. We met a family from Australia who are vacationing here and had a lovely chat. The beach was covered with hermit crabs. I was reminded about our two pet crabs that escaped! I think they dug a hole and ended up in Samoa. They look happy!! Dinner started with an amazing rum drink for Kathy and lime soda for Dave. This was followed by a fish dish with rice for Kathy and burritos for Dave and ended with a banana ice-cream dessert. Tomorrow, we plan on kayaking and maybe running into town. Stay tuned for pictures as we have no internet here!! Are you surprised? If they don’t give us a bathroom what makes you think we’d get the internet?
Ahhh, the resort life has ended, and we are off to the airport after days of lollygagging on the beach, eating casual dinners, and just playing. We kayaked, swam in the infinity pool, and did some reconnaissance in Apia for our return un 5 days. We felt we got a good feel of the area.
American Samoa here we come…….or not. American Samoa will not let us in! Apparently, due to the coronavirus, we have to self-quarantine for 14 days in Samoa before they will let us fly to American Samoa. Dave opened Incident Command and we spent the next four hours in the hot, open airport trying to plan our next steps. Can we get refund for the flights we were not allowed on? What about our hotel in American Samoa that is paid for? What about a place to stay here? Do we get a rental car or take taxis everywhere? And a myriad of other “ifs”. We were fortunate to get our same, old, smelly rental car back (at least we had filled it with petrol!) We were also able to get a room in the place we were going to come back to in 5 days after American Samoa. We are waiting to see if we will get a full refund for the hotel in American Samoa. We will be spending another 8 days in Samoa, so we should be just like the natives soon.
We knew that glitches would happen on the trip, but we did not expect a global pandemic. Totally came for us out of the blue!! (Or, out of the “red” since it started in China…) This was not on Dave’s “Hazard Vulnerability Analysis”. Doom on Dave! But, at least we are quick thinking and we will make some lemonade. We have a car, a room with its own bathroom and air conditioning. What more could we ask for?