Sunday, September 23, 2012

Millenia Hotel.

We only stayed the one night at Outrigger before moving on the the Millenia Hotel on the waterfront at Apia. We were offered a waterfront room but the receptionist was sure we would not want it because it was right beside the restaurant, but that didn't worry us at all, we loved out waterfront room so close to the restaurant, we quickly made freinds with the waitresses and got the best service.

 We had our own private balcony in front of the unit and on busy evenings diners came and ate their meals on our balcony, we liked that.
Were fascinated by the way patrons drank their beer from tower with a huge iceblock in the centre to keep it cold.  This was our new friend Notta and the singer from the band that entertained us one evening. And another waitress with some ladies out for a few drinks.
We however drank a cocktail each evening and some wine with our meal, no beer towers for us.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Old Outrigger Hotel, Apia.

We called back into Agggies and inquired about the cost of rebooking in there and were quoted a very reasonable price...... until after several questions we realised that it was quoted in US$! is this even legal to quote in the currency of another country? I was very unimpressed and told them so as we were leaving fast. Maybe another day it might be in Japanese yen or South African rand who knows. Too confusing and that ofcause was why they spoke in foreign money rather than Samoan Tala.
We had spoken with someone who was staying at the Old Outrigger hotel so we set out to find it, after some losing of way we did find the Outrigger, it turned out to be a backpackers, but that was not a problem, we booked in and the receptionist took one look at us and put us in the best suite in the house, with en-suite and all, a huge great room at the front of the house, very nice too, except for no air con except a big fan which we used continuously to keep cool.
There was a good swimming pool, not as great as Aggies pool  but still very nice and we enjoyed a couple of quick dips.
 Later, we walked down the road  to just the best Pizza place we have ever had the pleasure of eating, it was fantastic and didn't take long considering how very busy they were. We ate it around the pool like all the back packers were. The other mainly young people  were all staying in the outside fales, these ones had quite solid matting sides and were large and spacious except for the fact that so many backpackers piled in, it was lying down room only. They were happy.

A small ground bird; a Crake I think came to the swimming pool for a drink, it was obviously very thirsty. The little bird perched on the smooth rounded edge of the swimming pool and reached right out to get a sip of pool water, got one tiny sip so stretched a little bit more ...... and ....... plop head first into the pool for a swim! I was in the pool at the time and could see the poor bird would never be able to get back out again on its own, so a got the pool scoop for leaves and followed it round the pool til I managed to scoop it out where it promptly flew away into the bushes and safety. My good deed for the date.

I suddenly had a brilliant brainwave, as we had a communal kitchen here, why not get up early, go to the fish market and buy some fresh  lobsters. We could cook them up while we ate the lovely tropical breakfast that we were provided with. This worked very well, much to the jealousy of all the others who could smell the lobsters cooking. So we had our lunch for the day when they cooled down. Yummy.

Across Upolu Island to where the tsunami hit.

We only booked into Aggie Greys Hotel for 7 of our 14 day stay on Upolu  in Samoa, after that we intended to stay on the other side of the island, where there are nice sandy beaches and also where the tsunami hit a couple of years ago causing much destruction.
So, we checked out of Aggies and headed off on the Across Island highway to find accommodation for the next few days. Another lovely day in Paradise it was sunny and calm, rather too hot in fact, as Samoa is!

Pleasant drive it was too, over the other side is very nice, the beaches are great but the tsunami really did do a great deal of damage to the villages and the resorts, we found a lovely nice new resort called Sea Spray where we stopped for a coffee in the new cafe, but there accommodation which looked great was completely full, so we drove on, called into a couple of small villages but there were conferences being held and they also were booked out.
This fat pig was wandering around at one of the villages we called into, it was very tame.

We were not as all sure we really waned to stay in a village in an open Fale - a small raised building with a roof but no walls except for the poles that hold up the roof, so no privacy at all and also no bed, though we were told they would bring us a mattress, and no where to secure to put our luggage and belongings, we are too old for that kind of lark. I believe, that in bad weather a screen of matting is put along the sides to keep our some of the wind and rain, but very little protection.

Eventually we got to Tautua Beach, a great spot lovely beach and sparkling water, very inviting, and so it had been to many others too, they also were completely full.  A bit sad because the  bungalows were brand new and lovely we liked them

. So we stopped for lunch in their nice new cafe. I watch 2 ladies arranging beautiful tropical flowers, and then asked to have a swim on their beach, no problem as we had bought a meal it was free to us, but fist they had to give us a long lecture about the nasty Crown of Thorns starfish that the tsunami had brought in from outside the protective reef around the island, very nasty poisonous things.

We got a bit frightened about them so only swam in the shallows where we could see where we were putting our feet, a nice swim but not as nice as it would of been before that dreadful tsunami.
We looked at the big rocky cliff faces that the poor survives had to climb to escape the raging waters that just kept coming in at them destroying houses and trees and everything in it s path including people, I seriously doubt if I could have climbed those cliffs and how very dangerous for those that did.  We saw lots of houses with roofs ripped off and all windows blown out and many concrete pads where other homes were, empty villages, some folk had moved their whole village up on to the top of the  of the cliffs for safety in the event of another disaster a long way from the lagoon that they get food from.
Very pretty area with small islands around this part of the island, we had a nice drive.

So, unable to find a bed for the night we had no choice but to head back to Apia and look out another place to stay.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Samoan countryside

 Our renal car, it went well, but we managed to get a puncture and then we found the spare tyre had been padlocked in to stop theft, not very handy for us, we couldn't change the tyre so had to drive back to Funway rentals to have it repaired. They were so good to us. Repaired the tyre gave us a drink and some banana chips and a cool shady place to wait while the repairs were done. Nice people. No charge for this service.

We hired a car, a huge great Rav 4 as it was the only one available at the small car rental firm  near Aggie Greys Hotel. Took it for a quick run around the marina area and managed to get lost, kind of, and ended up driving for many miles around the coast and the countryside, past a lovely waterfall right up to a huge dam and the big lake behind it. Finally we decided to turn around and drive back on the same road. Mostly there were no nice sandy  beaches just rocky coastal beach.

Stopped and bought some bananas from a family along  the way Mother and 3 kids helped us chose a good bunch and it was only 2 talla very cheap we thought. They lived in this home in the trees.
Tthe Lemafa scenic site was a nice veiw of the countryside back towards the ocean. This young man was carrying coconuts in baskets on the nd of a pole, he didn't mind us taking his photo..

We came back to the Marina area and stopped for a drink and a snack in one of the nice cafes at the port. very colourful area.