Time to be a tourist in Samoa. While so far our days in Samoa have been spent wandering around and exploring this island nation, we decided today we needed to get a “guided” tour. On a bright and early (and sunny, finally!) morning, the tour guide picked us up at our hostel to begin our tour. Climbing into his cab, the journey began. First stop – a gas station where Dave had to finish paying for the tour so that the guide could fill his tank. The next stop was his Aunt’s home where he picked up some coconuts and bananas. The bananas were crawling with ants and Kathy wouldn’t let them sit in the backseat with her! Instead, the bananas rode the dashboard obscuring the windshield just a bit, or so Kathy imagined. The coconuts were put aside to try out later!! The first stop on our sightseeing trip was a waterfall called Papapapaitai Falls, which was a tall, thin falls which cascaded down through a lush valley of ferns. Next stop was the national park in Samoa called O Le Pupu-pue where we swam in the waterfalls and just played. The waterfall was called Togitogiga Falls and was an impressive group of falls that came together to then cascade down one side of lava rocks and end up in a pool at the bottom. Out next stop on the journey was the To Sua Ocean Trench, which was a large swimming hole with a very steep climb down a wooden ladder. The trench is sink hole with a lava tube out to the ocean and is affected by the ocean currents. Ropes were set up in the sink hole for people to hang on when the currents get too strong. This helps to keep from being swept out the lava tube and out to the ocean. After the swim, and thoroughly dehydrated, we were offered our coconut milk. Henry our guide chopped off the top of the coconut with his machete and presented us with the drink. The jury is still out on the taste – was it salty, sweet, or just different? Next stop was lunch at a resort at the other side of the island where Kathy and Dave deposited the remains of their coconut milk and coconuts into a handy garbage can. Lunch was somewhat normal, a club sandwich for Dave, and vegetarian nacho’s for Kathy. Nice break from a busy morning. Next stop was Falefa Falls, a smaller fall that was on the grounds of the theological university. Small falls, but intriguing for its beauty and lush gardens. The last stop on our trip around the island was the Piula Cave Pool which is a natural spring water pool where you get an opportunity to swim with some fish. The water was quite a bit colder that the other pools and was refreshing on our feet. Spending time relaxing by the pool, we chatted with some folks from Malaysia while our guide napped in his air conditioned car.
Phew! The tour was over, and we were back “home” at our hostel in the heart of Apia. Who knew we would consider a hostel a “home away from home”? But it does have air conditioning! A power nap was on the agenda and then it was time to figure out some dinner. We decided on pizza from a local restaurant which was good, but still not the Little Italy pepperoni pizza, which we miss desperately. A quick stop for cupcakes and then a lovely night discussing traveling with a couple from Denmark.