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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Manono

SAMOA | Monday, 28 November 2016 | Views [379]

Only a little more than a week I have left in Samoa. For the past couple of days I’ve been staying with John, Lagi, and family. They have four children: George, Frank, Mona, and Fina. Lagi made her first carrot cake last night; excitedly enough, she posted a photo and put it on Facebook. Lagi and John are fairly well-travelled by Samoan standards, having been to Europe a few times, Israel, New Zealand, and various Pacific islands. It was early but I could tell today was going to be another scorcher. The insects and the heat are two things I will not miss, but there is a lot more that I will miss. My mission for today was to go to Manono, partly due to the last remaining geocaches in Samoa being there. I’ve found every geocache on both Norfolk and Lord Howe, so now I’d have an opportunity to run the table with the little boxes here in Samoa. John and I went to their tyre shop in Apia’s west, meaning I had a solid chance to hitchhike. After a coffee I set out. It was steaming hot already and I forgot my sunscreen, and after being told the bus wasn’t coming for another hour. A police truck stopped; never a good sign! I thought they were going to give me a grilling for hitchhiking but they were going to the police station opposite the airport. One more short lift would get me to the ferry. Many men were milling about ready to take people to Manono but a roundtrip is a whopping 80 tala! Using my bargaining skills I negotiated a lift for 50 tala and I was the only passenger. In a colourful blue and yellow canoe fixed with a Yamaha motor I was whisked across, knowing that’d be the last motor I’d see until the boat returned.

Manono has no dogs, no roads, no vehicles, and no bicycles. There is noticeably less rubbish floating about. Walking slowly, I came upon a geocache called “sweet escape.” A local muggler approached me and wondered what I was up to so I waited a few minutes before replacing the cache. Ten geocaches in total in Samoa. In a few months I’m thinking of my first trip with geocaching as my main objective. Bermuda, despite being a small island is home to hundreds of geocaches. The final cache I’d have to log is one on Nu’ulopa: a small uninhabited island only reachable by boat. However, as Jo pointed out a few months ago, there is much more to travel than just geocaching and I should appreciate the place and beauty more than the caches. In a clockwise direction I made my way around the island, with a local selling me a thirst-quenching coconut. He runs some fale and he offered me a trip out to Nu’ulopa for 50 tala but it’s a bit much for such a short trip. Even though the cache description says not to attempt to swim to the island I thought I’d have a look and see what it’s like. Ambling over rocks I took an unexpected bad fall, getting my camera wet. Immediately I dried it, not needing a repeat of what happened at Kakadu. In the end I enjoyed the walk and abandoned my attempt at getting Samoa’s last geocache; I’m stopping one cache short of finding them all. I’ve been in the Samoa region for seven weeks now and I’ll admit I’m ready to leave. Summer is approaching and lately it’s been like an oven. Walking around Manono today proved rather uncomfortable and I took shelter in a fale to cool down.

At 2 PM I was picked up and I had another adventure to share after today.

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