Apia, Samoa

We arrived in Apia to pouring rain,  the first rain since our first port in Russia 8 weeks ago.  The rain did not deter the local welcoming committee. (photo)  I was here 3 years ago on my way to New Zealand, and at that time visited Robert Louis Stephenson’s house where he died and is buried.  Today I took a tour that went around the island to a resort where we had a traditional lunch and some traditional entertainment. (photos) The fire dancer in the picture  seemed close to setting the entire place on fire. We were also supposed to swim but while some did, I could not see the point in the rain.  Our guide explained a lot about local history and life.  He pointed out the traditional houses which are completely open and today accompany a western style home where the family, which is usually a very extended family, can have some privacy.  The traditional homes are used for family gatherings. (photos)  You will also notice some graves in front of the houses.  The families like to bury their dead at home so they continue to be close to them.  There are some cemeteries in Samoa, but home burial predominates.   We stopped at the local airport to use the facilities.  There are very few flights here.  Once a week, there are flights from Hawaii and LA.  The latter is going to be cancelled next year.  Most flights go to New Zealand which acted as a protector to Samoa until its independence, and still seems to have an influence. Many Samoans go there and to Australia to school and for work. This led last year to a decision to change the island from left hand drive to right hand drive.  It was simply too expensive to ship cars in from the U.S.  They now bring them in from New Zealand and a few car dealerships have recently opened.  However, 80% of the cars are still left hand drive.  They have instituted speed bumps on all the roads and highways as a traffic calming measure to prevent accidents.  It seems to work as they have not had one arising from the changeover.  We have had a watercolour class on the ship which I have been taking.  Last week we had a silent auction of the better pieces of our work and raised over $1300 for a charity which provides an after school arts program to children and youth.  There were some additional donations and HAL added $3000 so we donated a total of $4413 to them.  The group came on board and provided a nice programme of song and dance to end our day in Samoa. (photos) We now head almost due north to Hawaii.  It is 2260 nm and will take 5 days sailing to get there.  We lost our live TV ( CNN and ESPN) several days ago.  So far the internet is working, but we may lose that too as there is absolutely no land between Samoa and Hawaii on which a satellite might want to focus.  On a last note, the technical IT help on board lent me a card reader so I have added a picture of the flower market in Fiji to this post at the end of the pictures.

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One Response to Apia, Samoa

  1. Pingback: Apia, Upolo, Samoa | Leslie's Travel Blog

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