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

Around the Cradle

SAMOA | Saturday, 3 December 2016 | Views [352]

Only three more days left in Samoa! Today I’d do a trip with Fa’amanu and Mark around the “Cradle of the Pacific." After having some difficulty sleeping last night I had a shower, got ready quickly and walked up to the shop. It turned out Fa’amanu left for Salelologa already to get the van serviced; it’s had an iffy battery of late. I had to go to Salelologa to do some shopping so I figured there’s a good chance I could catch up with him. Tausala pointed out this morning that I complain a lot; I really wish I could break my habit of complaining about little, insignificant things. The heat, the bugs, the pesky taxi drivers, the lack of ingredients, the unpredictable internet, the roosters, the dogs…stuff I ain’t got an ounce of control over! One of these days I’m going to really miss Samoa, just as how I really miss Ethiopia and a handful of other places that I complained so hard whilst in. After my morning coffee, Tausala was set to go to Salelologa and I quickly jumped on board. Yesterday I made it round Savai’i for the first time but didn’t stop except in Falealupo. Aside from the blowholes and a few waterfalls there aren’t a lot of must-see sights per se. The market in Savai’i is jumpin’ (by Samoan standards) on Saturdays but not like you’d expect. It's mostly locals doing their routine and the most of the foreigners you're likely to spot are LDS missionaries or the odd Peace Corps volunteer. The fish market (a far cry from the one in Apia) is more a place to hang out as there were as many people as fish on the fish tables.

After stocking up on a few provisions, we began our journey around Savai'i. Due to the battery, Fa’amanu couldn’t turn off the van so we could only stop briefly at places. Our first stop was a black-sand beach; something I’d yet to see in Samoa. Mark joined us on the drive today.

Foolishly I forgot to put on my jandals as black sand will burn your feet easier than white sand. Compared to the heat of this past week, it was relatively cool today. A breeze flowing through the van feels wonderful! We stopped in the village of Fagafao to visit Utupo, the old man whom I met on my first day in Sale’aula. He’s been staying with family whilst battling a stomach ailment. As usual, I was offered something to eat. This time it was a tasty fruit salad. Tausala and Fa'amanu have encouraged me to bless my food before digging in.

As I travelled yesterday I couldn't get a photo of this gorgeous inlet but today I had an opportunity.

Among our final stops for the day was the tiny Asau Airport.

Savai’i has two airports but neither of them are in operation; the only way between the islands is the ferry. Flying into Savai’i you’d have a gorgeous view of Mt. Silisili to the left. When I returned home, Matthew cut my hair.

Tonight was another tasty Samoan dinner of fresh-caught fish, taro, chop-suey, and the like. I'm not sure if I've mentioned but there's a hierarchy when it comes to eating in Samoan culture. Unlike in many Western countries where you usually eat as a family, in Samoa elders and guests eat first, and then children eat after the former have finished. As I promised I did some baking tonight, baking a carrot cake and then a banana cake.

Overall, this has been another great journey! I reached one of most far-flung countries, met two awesome families here in Samoa, and spent a week in America’s most remote outpost. The only thing I regret is I felt I spent a little too long in the region. I was expecting this trip to only last about five weeks but it ended up being eight weeks. What got most to me is the heat. This past week I’ve had a case of heat rash similar to when I was in Darwin. Oops, I'm complaining again! However, I'll be ready for some fresh cool air in New Zealand in a few days.

As I've said before, the true highlight of travel is the people you meet. What I planned on being about four or five weeks turned into eight weeks in this beautiful part of the Pacific, and Fa'amanu, Tausala, and family have been the true highlight of my time in Samoa; so much so that I've created a small series of geocaches and named them in their honour. Thank you very much and much love to all of you!

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