20.06.2013 - 20.06.2013 29 °C
I decided to rent a car in order to get around and see more of Savai'i. I got a lift from Richard into Salelologa to get a car. Salelologa is a village district at the east end of Savai'i island in Samoa. It is the main entry point into the island with the only ferry terminal on Savai'i. It also serves as the main township for shopping and public amenities with a market selling fresh produce and arts and crafts. Basically if you want or need to buy anything, you have to come here. It's also the only place on the island with a traffic light! It's the only place where one is needed though, and even here it's a stretch. haha I grabbed my tiny rental and headed back to Lauila to pack some stuff for the day. There's 1 road that circles around Savai'i. So I headed north on it.
Amazing views all around as I drove through village after village.
I stopped in Manase on the north shore and had a drink and a bite to eat at a fale overlooking the ocean. I saw loads of turtles in the ocean. I met a lovely Samoan/Kiwi couple visiting from Auckland and they offered me the used of their snorkel gear. Of course as it goes, I didn't see ANY turtles once I got IN the water. But I had a lovely swim. The water was WAY warmer here than it was on the east coast where I was staying. I layed on the beach to dry off before heading on my way.
THIS BUILDING IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY CANADA!
ONE OF THE COUNTLESS CHURCH'S IN SAMOA.... NOT TOO SHABBY!!
YET ANOTHER CHURCH!
I continued my circle around the island. Drove through village after village, passing people, pigs and chickens on the way. I got to almost the halfway point and decided to gun it and make the full circle of the island instead of heading back the way I had come from. It's really not that much of a distance but the speed limit in the villages is 40 kmph and 56 kmph between the villages. But you're almost always in a village. And you have to be on constant lookout for kids and animals. And adults. So it actually took a long time. It was a very interesting drive as I got a good look at Samoan life along the way. In every village I drove through there were yards full of people outside working and playing. There were games of volleyball, cricket, rugby and soccer being played and each game involved children and adults of all ages. There was a such a sense of community and togetherness in each village I passed.
As I neared Lauiula, I experienced yet another interesting event. It was getting late and getting dark and I ended up driving through several villages where evening prayer had begun. At the roadside of each property in the village there was a man (the property owner) standing, wearing a crisp white shirt and a dark colored lavalava or shorts. They were lined up the road as far as the eye could see. I wasn't sure what the exact protocol for driving past was but I was sandwiched between other vehicles so just kept in line with them.
I arrived back at Lauiula well after dark and had a delicious meal with the other guests, played some cards and then headed for bed.