APIA, UPOLU, SAMOA
11.06.2013 - 12.06.2013 32 °C
A FABULOUS/FASCINATING/FUN FACT ABOUT THIS PLACE:
Apia is the capital of Samoa. It is located on the island of Upolu. It is the only "city" in Samoa.
There is a McDonalds and a NAPA AutoParts store here!
The famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson brought his family to live on Upolu in 1890 and built a large home in the foothills above Apia, where he spent the last five years of his life. He was affectionately known as ‘Tusitala’, the storyteller, and he is buried on the crest of Mt Vaea. His home and tomb within the Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Reserve can still be seen today.
As for the country of Samoa:
Samoa, officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962.
Capital: Apia; 40,000
Area: 2,831 square kilometers (1,093 square miles)
Language: Samoan, English
Life Expectancy: 69
GDP per Capita: U.S. $5,600
Literacy Percent: 100
Samoa has its own Ancient Pyramid. The Pulemelei Mound or Star Pyramid, is situated on the Island of Savai’i. It was built between 1100-1400 AD and was no longer used by 1700-1800 AD.
Until recently, Samoa had been the last country in the world to see the sun-set. On December 29, 2011 – Samoa jumped the International Dateline and became the first country in the world to see the sun-rise. Samoa skipped a day (December 30, 2011) to fall in line with New Zealand and Australia to welcome in December 31, 2011 – New Years Eve.
Men wear a straight wraparound lavalava along with a shirt: Yup - even the cops...
Every day, evening prayer (sa) takes place in every village around dusk before the evening meal and lasts about half an hour. It is usually signalled by the sound of a conch shell or the ringing of the church bell. The sa usually means no loud noise or walking through the village commons. Matai sometimes stand by the side of the main road, which pass through village land, to slow down traffic until prayers are over.
The 2009 Samoa earthquake was an 8.1 Mw submarine earthquake that took place in the Samoan Islands region at 06:48:11 local time on 29 September 2009. At a magnitude of 8.1, it was the largest earthquake of 2009.
A tsunami was generated which caused substantial damage and loss of life in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center recorded a 3-inch (76 mm) rise in sea levels near the epicenter, and New Zealand scientists determined that the waves measured 14 metres (46 ft) at their highest on the Samoan coast. The quake occurred on the outer rise of the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone. This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates in the Earth's lithosphere meet and earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.
189 people were killed by the tsunami.
In 2013 Air Samoa became the first airline in the world to charge passengers by their weight as opposed to by seat.
HOW EVER DID I GET HERE?
Air Pacific was kind enough to drop me off at the airport After first dropping me off at the airport in Fiji and leaving me for 6ish hours that is...
WHERE DID I STAY?
Tatiana's Motel. Can't say I would recommend it. But I didn't die at any point throughout the night. I have to admit though as far as I can recall, this is the only night I ever slept with my knife, blade out, ready to go.
THE AGE OLD QUESTION: HOW WAS THE WEATHER?
Hot and humid I arrived near midnight and it was 30+ even then. Such a welcoming change from New Zealand.
WHAT DID I SEE HERE AND WHAT DID I DO?
Good question. I didn't see or do as much as I had wanted to here. After arriving at the motel close to 1am, exhausted, both physically and emotionally, barely sleeping due to motel sketchiness, loud people, stray dogs barking and roosters making a racket, I didn't have the energy to accomplish much the next day. I walked around Apia a bit but quickly realized that as a single female with barely any tan, I was just a walking target for harassment from the menfolk. And one large and incredibly sketchy woman. I managed to walk through the town a bit, visit a market, eat a donut or something, go to the tourism information center and stroll along the harbour front. I realized that it was a lot easier to just not make eye contact with anyone so as not to encourage their comments, advances and offers of taxis, but I really didn't want to see a new country by looking at the ground the entire time. After stopping to sit and drink a bottle of water on the sea wall and being approached by a large woman with the shiftiest eyes I have ever seen, who tried to lure me into her blacked out SUV with a busted tail light and some dude driving, I decided I had had enough of the city already and just wanted to get to the beach. I returned to my motel, asked for a taxi and got out of there.
ANY RESTAURANTS, SHOPS, HOSTELS, PEOPLE ETC WORTH MENTIONING?
No. Not at all.
FAVORITE MEMORY FROM MY TIME HERE:
Leaving the city. Also, the people at tourism information were very nice.
WOULD I EVER COME BACK HERE IF I HAD THE CHANCE OR WOULD I RECOMMEND IT TO A FRIEND OR FELLOW TRAVELER?
Toughie. There are things I didn't get to do in Apia that I would have liked to - such as the Museum of Samoa and snorkel the marine reserve. But I really didn't enjoy being in Apia. If I did go back I would go with a friend. Preferably a man. And a big strong one.
THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION OF THE ISLANDS. QUITE THE EXPERIENCE
CLOCK AT THE CENTRE OF APIA