Samoa - Part Three

Ooops. I am starting to write long lists in my Samoan holiday journal, concerning my garden back home. Just a few, nothing too serious. And I miss the animals - I wonder if the cats and the dog would like it here? Their fur is far too thick...

 Beautiful blue sea!
Outside Our Fale

Sunday 13th August

Sad fact of life for a Samoan cat - the black female is sitting with me, no longer pregnant. Samoan cats are very light-boned, with narrow faces - certainly slim-line model, thinking of the Moosey cats back home. The breeze is blowing, the waves are flip-flopping onto the beach, and I am pretending to be a professional writer on a South Seas island, where there is nothing to do except write - and swim, and snooze, and eat...

Fat-Fish Antics

The morning swim was funny - I've spent at least a half an hour watching a silly fish (bigger than a dinner plate) with fat fish-lips. He's been busily head-butting, or rather dive-bombing, one special spot on the sea floor, and dropping small black rocks from his mouth. Clouds of sand-dust have been swirling up and around, and a group of spectator fish (the cream ones with the yellow Nike swoosh) have been peering down, watching the action.

 We often had lunch outside.
The Resort Garden at Stevensons

Fat-fish (who is pale orange and green) has been fish-digging some sort of hole? Or did something yummy dive under the sand, hoping to escape the food chain?

People and Paradise

Another read, another snooze, and then some more seas life! I walked down the beach past the mottliest collection of hermit crabs walking slowly away from the waves. Each had a totally different shell, in size and colour. I also saw some zooming see-through sideways scuttlers. I picked up some broken glass and an emerald green crisps packet. When people mess with paradise...

And guess what? I am almost bored. I miss my garden, my cats and my dog. Time can be both fast and slow here - I imagine if one were alone there would be much cold beer drinking, and drifting away, floating on nothingness... But there's always food to look forward to! Such is life on a quiet Samoan Sunday.

 Ravaged by a cyclone in 1994.
The Headland at Falealupo-Tai

Monday 14th August

Today we took a seven hour tour, guided by our waiter Peter and van driven by one of the gardeners. We've walked over lava fields, and underneath armies of coconut palms. One of us (not me) walked on a Rainforest Canopy Walkway.

We stared at Moso's footprint, watched coconuts blown sky high out of a blowhole on the seashore at Alofaga, visited a turtle recovery sanctuary, and an abandoned village at Falealupo-Tai.

 Many of the womens groups do conservation work with the turtles.

I've now seen even more styles of Savai'i gardening, using the natural materials. Villagers use the volcanic rock to build neat little walls, or encircle their coconut trees, or build rockeries of tropical foliage shrubs.

Tuesday 15th August

The Samoan gardeners here think I am mad - I have just taken several photographs of their wheelbarrow, and their rake with a pile of fallen leaves. There's time for one last swim, then we are off back to catch the ferry MV Fotu-O-Samoa II.


Eek! MV Fotu-O-Samoa II was a small ferry crammed with far too many locals, plus cars and trucks, in a big swell. Scary! I stood in the shade by the rail and grimly watched the horizon. But we have arrived back in Apia to the air conditioning and swimming pool of Aggie Grey's), and tomorrow we leave for home.

 One of the Manase village fales.
Garden and Fale

What a brilliant holiday! My head is full of Savai'i roadside images - the tropical hedges, the solid churches, the see-through houses, washing drying on lines or draped over the volcanic rocks, the Toyota pick-ups crammed full of people, Vailima (the locally brewed beer) signs, horses tethered underneath trees, pigs and dogs and chooks, huge taro leaves, fales built on lava fields...

I have written exactly six lists of things to do when I get home. I am inspired by the Stevensons gardeners to sweep my house patios. I might even buy some cans of turquoise blue paint, in memory of the sparkling sea. Or bright baby pink, or yellow, or strong teal blue, in memory of the Savai'i houses.

Samoan Sunset

Thank you to Savai'i, the big island of Samoa, for bringing a slice of summer colour into my life!