It's a shack with a big bed where we've slept, a kind of COMPLETELY PACKED bunk beds and a lamp on a rusty table. The roof, of plastic, is about to yield so much accumulated water. We are really lucky, because the backpacks have barely got wet but we could be like chickens ...
Dennis is already up and has prepared a breakfast based on coconut, papaya and other fruit. In his "house" (which is equally "rustic") he keeps a piano, a photocopier Among thousands of trash cans. This is horrible! and we doubt that hygienically it is very healthy.
Our initial idea was to leave East today with Dennis and go to sleep with families, but our body has been removed for it. We don't like the idea of going so quickly from paradise to hell, and after such a horrible night we need a very hot shower and something solid. We will change the plans and explain it to Dennis. We just want him to get us down to Apia and we'll call him. We are not very far, just about 20 minutes
We hardly even realized that Last night around 23'20 we were on Samoa, a country with history for 3500 years, when the first settlers arrived from the Lau Islands in Fiji. We continue in Polynesia that we start in Tuvalu and continue through Tonga.
Samoa is mainly formed by two islands: Upolu (where we are and where the capital is located) and Savai'i communicated by ferry and daily flights.
In addition to the Spanish navigators and Mr. Cook, the Pacific received waves of Dutch expeditions, and with it arrived Jacob Le Maire, a rich Dutch merchant who would bend Cape Horn we saw in the 2009 adventure on the trip to Antarctica (but that has nothing to do with the Le Maire Channel or Kodak Channel that we saw on that trip) and would touch Samoan lands in 1616 (although he would die on his return to Holland).
We also We just touched the first thing we visualized this morning. It's called Hotel Elisa, and letting us be guided by the Lonely Planet, we already have a decent room, internet (19.22 WST) and a hot shower. It's simple, but much better as a base of operations for these days.
As today is Wednesday and we have many days ahead until Sunday that we have flight back to Nadi, we will try to re-organize, and for that the first thing is to kick Apia and discover what we can do, in addition to taking out some money (1 EUR are approx. 2.9 WST, whose name is "felling")
The first thing we see on the way to the center is the bus station, and ... !! ITS UNIQUE OMNIBUS GREAT THROUGHOUT THE PACIFIC! A real pimp used for local transport
It shows that Samoa is something different from the rest of places we have seen. Here there is a taste and care for things with a certain elegance. We can see this in its wide avenues, its well-kept promenade or its large buildings such as the Samoa Bank perfectly located. We have left behind fruit and fish market, which are not too different from what we have seen these days in other Pacific capitals.
Getting to the center has no loss. Apia is not too big either. This point is indicated by Clock Tower, built in memory of those who fought and died in World War II.
In search of the Tourist Office, we take advantage to go through a supermarket, which has nothing to do with those "simple" that let's see in Tanna or other places of adventure. This is much more civilized and orderly. After 23 days of travel, we already need a series of basic things to replace in our backpacks (24.40 WST).
Another thing that surprises us is that after reading that in the colonizing era it was the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States who would claim parts of the kingdom of Samoa, and the last two who would exert greater influence, the cars circulate in the British style, as in the other countries visited except Vanuatu. This was not the case until 3 years ago, but in 2009 The government decided to change simply because everyone else had it that way, as did New Zealand from whom it became independent in 1962 and with whom it has closer ties (cars are brought from there).
A) Yes, One day to another, including thousands of prayers in the churches so that nothing happened, the regulations changed, and Samoa started driving on the left
We have found the Tourist Office, a fale style house (typical Samoan house from which we already saw some similar in Tonga) and here they tell us the "must have" of both Upolu and Savai'iORGANIZING ON THE MARCH:
After the hustle and bustle of the night and gather information, we have decided to change our plans and today we will dedicate the day to know the capital, replenish and plan the next days
We have decided that tomorrow we will go to see Upolu, and for this we will get up early and go with a person who has recommended us in the tourism agency. His name is Dan, and he has been teaching the islands for 25 years. He does not do great tours, but for few people, since it is his hobby. We will go alone with him
Let's talk to Dennis, to help us go on Friday and Saturday to Savai'i or even come with us. We will try to spend your 4x4 on the ferry on Friday morning and return on Saturday at 2pm or 4pm (better first to have a second option if it fails)
We continue our walk along the promenade, throwing a postcard for Spain (13 WST with seal), to reach the famous Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows
This typical colonial-looking building, founded in 1933, was a den for American soldiers during World War II and a source of inspiration for the character of Bloody Mary in James Michener's novel "Tales of the South Pacific."
Returning through our steps, since the "town-town" of Apia ends, we find the monument to john williams, a missionary who was killed and ate in 1839 (theoretical). We also realize again that we are "taking winds" from civilization. 20,000 km from Spain? !! Uffsss !! Better not to think about it
A curious detail is that we are in the first country in the world with the immense Kiribati to receive the new day. Until 1 year ago the Tonga - Samoa trip that we did yesterday made you live twice the same day (nooo !! twice sleep in the same nooooo cochiquera !!), but now this does not happen. This experience our friend Floren lived it on his exciting trip to the islands, great source of inspiration for us (plus dozens of emails with him).
But Samoa made a "pirouette" at the end of 2011, by disappearing on December 30 to jump from 29 to 31 and thus move in the imaginary line that marks the date change. Do you remember our travel day 4, the day that never existed? About 2,300 km northwest of Apia or about 3 hours by flight, it is the about 5,000 inhabitants of Christmas Island (Kiribati) who just recently the year, but APIA IS NOW THE FIRST CAPITAL OF THE WORLD to do so, since Tarawa is further west.
What if we have realized that here the internet is going very badly, so we have bought a SIM and recharged it (100 WST with 850 megabytes) for the laptop of a company with Spanish investment called Bluesky. He Government Building it's the last big building we see ...
… prior to get lost again in its streets, its large number of existing markets (curiously there are no stores or Chinese businesses that we saw so much in other capitals of the area, especially in Suva), many local crafts that Paula so much likes (wicker items, necklaces of marine debris , plant fiber fabrics, etc ...) and again its colorful bus station, with the last ice cream of the day (2.50 WST)
Apia is a mixture of westernmost city like Suva and more colonial city like Nuku'alofa. Here the taxis ask you to claim to climb, there are no Chinese but there are many Italian, New Zealand and American businesses. He Samoan has a clear thing ... "Samoa is for Samoans." It is an idea somewhat different from Tongan, proud of his Kingdom and his country but allowing foreign wealth in the country. There are a thousand problems here to take any step, Dennis told us this morning, and now we see him. It is a different mindset.
The writer Robert Lous Stevenson spent his last four years of life here and is buried in Mount Vaea, which dominates the city and the house he built, "Vailima" which is now a museum in his memory, and the best beer in Samoa… with which we said goodbye to the day with a good plate of Sashimi and some Yakitoris in the restaurant of the Hotel Elisa. Tomorrow, from a cozy bed "to take winds" of civilization, which would say "grandmother cotters" ...
Isaac and Paula, from Apia (Samoa)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 159.12 WST (approx. 54.87 EUR)