Ok so I was supposed to write each of my bucket list of things I've done in Samoa in an individual post each week for six weeks. That was over two months ago and I didn't do it. I can list each of my excuses for not doing this, or I could just get on with it and write my list. Well here is the list:
My son and I loved this place! The customer service officer was lovely. She was well mannered and able to give me all the information that I needed as well as take the booking. When we arrived the boat was ready to leave. The boat driver (? I think there is a term for this I just can't think of it) was also very accommodating. He was nice but not too nice where once could come off as being sleazy. The facilities were well maintained and very accessible.
I am a bit of an environmentalist so I was ecstatic to see that they used solar power for their lights, gas for cooking and water tanks for the water. I would love to see them look into a biogas system to treat wastewater and also generate power for cooking and lights.
The path up the mountain was not set up as well as it could be. If they had a dedicated and well maintained path up the mountain it could add to their already lovely establishment.
Namu'a is beautiful, it is quiet and just lovely. I can't wait to go back!
Afu Aau Falls
I am not a good driver and having to follow a map while driving at the same time was a challenge for me. I found the drive and signage for the Afu Aau Falls very easy. The road going to the falls is not paved. We went on a nice day so it was easy for our Hyundai Getz to get up, but I can see that it would be more difficult if wet weather so be mindful of this when planning your trip.
The falls themselves are beautiful. Like so much of Samoa the beauty really is something that you need to see first hand in order to understand just how beautiful it is. The entrance fee was not expensive and the people at the gate were friendly.
I have always wanted to do the canopy walk ever since I first saw photos of it. I also loved that I would be able to share my first experience on the walk with my son. When you arrive there was a little hut where a group of men sat. This was not very inviting and made me a little apprehensive to approach them. They ended up being nice men. The price of entrance was a little steep, but I was told that it included the price of entrance for two other attractions down the road, the foot print and a stone house I think. I had not planned on going to either of these sites but because it was included we added it to our itinerary.
We had a guide take us up the canopy walk. It was higher than I expected, but if my 11 year old can climb up I was not about to chicken out now. So we climbed and the views were spectacular. You could also see that there were huge improvements made to the canopy walk in comparison to the photos that I had seen. This made me feel even more comfortable paying so much to enter. The walk itself was shorter than I expected. It was a beautiful walk though. Then we reached the other side and climbed up a massive tree up into the sky. I felt a little like Jack and the beanstalk climbing up to see the giants. We didn't see giants but could see the leafy tree tops that led to the ocean. Absolutely amazing experience.
We finished our tree canopy experience and made our way to the foot print. The signs were not well placed or easily visible. When we arrived we expected to see a sign for parking or for costs to see the footprint, there was nothing. Instead a man walked up to us so we showed him our receipt and told him about what the man at the canopy walk told us. The footprint man explained that neither he nor the stone house guy are accepting the receipts anymore and we needed to take our receipt back to the man at the canopy walk and tell him that.
This incident put me off and there was no way that I was going to talk to anyone. If the footprint guy had a problem with the canopy guy they needed to discuss it amongst themselves and not include the paying customers. I was saddened that their miscommunication had ruined my day and my visit to this area.
I had always wanted to visit the pizza place in Savaii opposite the Le Lagoto Resort. I had been told great things about them and I love my food so thought I would give it a try. The service was not the best, she appeared to enjoy talking to other staff more than taking my order. We love niu and wanted to drink as much of it as we could before we left and was so disappointed that this niu somehow tasted like mould and we couldn't even finish them. The pizza was costly so I expected that it would taste amazing, again I was disappointed. The crust was flaky and too light and the chef seemed to think that toppings were optional so he didn't use many. It tasted ok but I would not pay that much money for the size and quality of pizza from this establishment.
I don't gamble. I can't bring myself to waste money on something when I could use it for things like food or books. I did however spend $10 at the casino. I couldn't just go there and not play anything. Anyway, first we entered and gave our passports, because you can only go to the casino if you hold a passport that is not from Samoa. Once registered I smelt the delicious aroma of fried sausages and grilled onions. We walked past the BBQ area not sure if the special hot dogs were for sale or what the purpose was. We walked through the outside entertainment where the courtyard was completely empty except for the entertainment. Then inside the downstairs area we saw a handful of people. We asked for assistance on how to gamble and were offered a complimentary hot dog (I was cheering on the inside). Then when I lost all my $10 we went upstairs. The set up was much like downstairs. We were offered another hot dog each and I thought to myself no you didn't just waste $10 you just brought two $5 mini hot dogs. It did not have the glitz or the glam that I was expecting. It was a lot smaller too, but that is understandable given the clientele is not as big as it could be. All in all my trip to the casino was good, just don't ask me to comment on my dinner at the resort restaurant afterwards!
There are still some things on my Samoan bucket list but I will have to tick them off the next time I go. This post made me miss Samoa even more but I am still sitting at a computer sweating in 30 degree heat so I guess that is as close as I will get for now.