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Faces in Places Traveling as the Uni of Life

Start of the return journey.

AUSTRALIA | Saturday, 17 May 2008 | Views [1451] | Comments [4]

Coconut girl and me

Coconut girl and me

Hi everybody and sorry for the long period of communiction silence...

About a week ago I sat down in an internet cafe in Sydney and wrote down my entire Samoa experience, but as soon as I pressed "save", the page wanted me to log in again and I lost my two hours of effort. :( Since then I didn't find the motivation to retype it all, until now...

It is the perfect day for it anyway here in Melbourne; rainy and cold (7 degrees) outside, but dry and warm inside at a friends place in a beautiful suburb, with heaps of coffee, food and good company!

Let me try to recapture Samoa, which by the way, seems like ages ago..

Somewhere in the first week of my stay on this beautiful bunch of islands I stationed myself in Lalomanu, south east of Upolu Island. The place where I stayed had a great family atmosphere and was the perfect place for good food and meeting other people, besides the fact that it is situated right on one of Samoa's best beaches. With a German tour guide who had been living in Samoa for the last 15 years, I spend the evenings jamming on our guitars, while during the day I would hang around playing frisbee, snorkelling and writing. A pretty attractive lifestyle I might say, although after a week I felt I needed to go out and see more of Samoa. I decided to visit tiny Manono Island for a couple of days and then would head towards the other big island of Savaii.

On Manono I stayed overnight with a local family. The average Samoan family has about five children. The average village has about three churches. And the average Samoan is huge.. as are their bottles of coke.

In the evening I ran into Peter and Franzisca from Germany who I'd met in Lalomanu and who were, just as I was, slightly shocked by the insane amount of cockroaches in the toilets. Seriously I'm fine with a couple, but the entire walls, the roof and the floor looked like they were running away.. yuk!

Next day I walked around the beautiful island, that absolutely looks like one big botanical garden. Samoan people put a lot of effort in their property and the whole country is an interesting combination between raw wild jungle and civilized landscape architecture. After I got back 'home' from my walk, I was just in time for cold canned spaghetti in tomato sauce. I left the island after lunch to continue my journey to Savaii Island.

The ferry boat took me in 1,5 hour to the second largest island, called Savaii. Arriving in the late afternoon I was lucky to board a bus immediately, which took me to the township of Manese, northern Savaii. Following advice from other travellers I ended up in another great family runned guesthouse with traditional fale housing on the beach. I arrived just in time to join the big community dinner at 6.30pm. Here I met heaps of people I had seen a couple of days ago, which made it easy to slide back into the laidback lifestyle I was living in Lalomanu. I did though, invest a day in hiking to the volcano crater that last erupted 100 years ago, creating awesome lava fields that spread out into the sea, creating even more awesome blowholes where waves are pressed under the lava until they find their way out.

Some other day I rented a car with my German friends and made a road trip around the island. Especially bouncing through thick potholed jungle roads, moving our heads up and down on the beats of Die Fantastischen Vier was pretty funny. :) We stopped that day for a swim in a fresh water pool, a splash at the blowholes and a great view at some neat lookouts. When the sun was going down, we made our way to the most western part of the island. From here, as the last persons on earth, we watched the sun set the 19th of April 2008, since that specific place is the closest to the International Date-Line.

After five days on Savaii I travelled back to the capital of Apai on Upolu Island. Here I wanted to get some souvenirs, check my email and buy creams for my infected feet that had been bothering me the last two weeks. I stayed overnight in Apia and then decided to spend my last days back in Lalomanu, which felt like my Samoan home. When I arrived here late afternoon I got warmly welcomed by the family, who were surprised to see me again so soon. Again I indulged myself in their great food and hospitality and met heaps of nice people to hang out with.

From a hill where I climbed onto some morning, I could see where I had been living most of my time in Samoa. Lalomanu is absolutely stunning.
On the day I had to catch my flight at night, I stayed until after dinner, played our favourite songs together with Aliki, the German guy and then got into a car to the airport. Next morning really early I arrived back in
New Zealand...

When I arrived in New Zealand I first went to a hospital for a check up on my foot, because it was starting to transform into a blood infection. My whole leg and all my joints hurt badly and the wound itself wasn't looking very pretty. Here I got antibiotics straight away and this eventually cleared it up..

Besides that it was freaking c c cold in New Zealand, which was the first time since eight months that I experience weather like that. It didn't bother me that much though and it was actually fun coming back to Christchurch, since I knew the place pretty well after spending three weeks there while my dad was in the hospital. I had only one day to spend though and so I did all my favourite things; eating sushi, drinking smoothies, walking through the botanical garden and wondering around one of many bookshops. Next day I flew to Sydney, Australia.

In Sydney it took me again a while to get used to the different mentality of the travellers, however I got convinced to go to some fun places like a Dutch student party (with kroketten! :D) and a psy-trance party on a prime location in Darling Harbour. Most of my days in Sydney though, I spend reading and playing frisbee in the parks, next to some Art Museum visits, including one of my favourite yearly exhibitions, the World Press Photo Exhibition. Good jamming with Wallace from Gibraltar on our hostel rooftop and fun chatting with lots of other nice people that I've met there.

Last Sunday I took the night bus to Melbourne, where I arrived early morning. Here I would meet up with my friend Rachal, with whom I'd travelled in Laos last December and January. At the moment I'm staying at her friend's place in a pretty suburb. There are four people living here, who are all artists and living here reminds me a bit of my home in Rotterdam, that I shared with my good friends Sanne and Rogier. As they will understand, this means good times. :)

Anyway, we're planning to make a road trip around the state of Victoria next week. So we're now busy arranging all that is needed to hit the uninhabited outback in an old minivan. Will be great, although I hope the weather will get a bit better..

For all the people in Holland, I hope you're enjoying the nice weather up there! Please save some for me when I get back on the 3rd of July! :) Looking forward to see ya'll. Time flies!





Aliki passed away in hospital on Sunday. We did a day tour with him only a week before hand!

  Ken Jul 23, 2008 7:10 PM


Hi there, I see you have read my post on trip advisor. Please, if you have any photos of Aliki I would love to have them, as I am compiling a book and any pics you have would be most appreciated. Faafetai tele lava.

Tina De Suza
New Zealand / Samoa

  Tina Aug 18, 2008 7:44 PM


hi fui ur a very nice n excellent ur trip in my island....I watch ur picture its very beautyful ur smile..hahahahaha...try ur best fui n have fun god bles u fui.
babye babye.....

  Georgina.Matua Feb 19, 2009 11:55 AM


I am trying to set up a preschool or child facility in Melb Victoria, I need stats on the large Samoan families.... pls respond

  Sharlene Apr 1, 2010 2:27 PM

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