Monday, August 15, 2011

Survivor Samoa! [Part 2]

Before we move on to Part 2, I need to tell you about the paopao; a small dug out canoe the Samoans use for fishing in lagoons. Steve has a keen interest in hand-made, timber boats and whenever given the opportunity, would quiz the locals about the paopao. One of the guys that worked at Taufua showed him (and Ava) his family's canoe. Apparently the ones that exist today were all made generations ago and no-one alive has witnessed one being made. Sadly it is a craft which may soon die.

I hope I didn't inundate you with too many pics in Part 1 – I just wanted to show you how beautiful Samoa is. Part 2 starts at Sa'Moana Resort.

Sa'Moana Resort
I booked this resort as I thought we might need to stay somewhere “nice” to counter-balance "roughing" it at Taufua. In hindsight, it really wasn't necessary but we did make the most of having room to spread out and enjoyed having a separate bedroom, not to mention an actual bed to sleep in and our own bathroom. Talk about decadent – it was quite modest really.

Our brightly decorated Family Fale.

This place is owned by an Aussie and caters to surfers but as surf is controlled by Mother Nature, they can't guarantee good surf. Luckily Steve adopts the "make the most of today because you don't know what tomorrow will hold" attitude (particularly when it comes to surf) and he caught a few waves at Taufua. Although the reef break out the front of Sa'Moana was close making it an easy paddle out, it was also very shallow with the coral below threatening injuries.

The resort grounds are very well maintained; staff rake the entire area each morning. There were plenty of hammocks for snoozing, reading or drinking in. You just had to be wary of the coconuts overhead!

I want to go back in time a bit to the snorkelling at Taufua. The coral was still recovering from the tsunami that devastated the place two years ago; it resembled a coral graveyard. It is gradually coming back to life although it is a slow process. There was also a lot of debris that was washed out in the tsunami such as floor tiles, crockery and sarongs; a very sobering experience. There were many more coral varieties at Sa'Moana which made me realise how spectacular it must have been at Taufua before the tsunami. The large coral clumps at Sa'Moana were quite tricky to navigate around – even at high tide. More coral but less fish species were found here.

Steve took us each (separately) out for a paddle in the kayaks. It was a bit choppy on the day I went out and if I had to rely solely on my own muscle power, I wouldn't have got very far. We paddled up to One Tree Point which we were instructed not to pass as there was a crew filming Survivor Samoa and they didn't want on-lookers.

Breakfast at Sa'Moana was a little less social than Taufua.

Hermit Crab races.

Playing games.

The infinity pool.

A traditional cooking fale where they do an umu which is the Samoan version of a hangi.

Jeff the Chef.

This is what they use to make coconut milk.

Monkey-ing around.

The Apia International Airport. Our Samoan holiday is all but over as we prepare to board our red-eye flight home.

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