Posted by: monsonmadness | January 3, 2012

Coconut shooting blowholes, waterfalls in lagoon, and run over dog

Day 2 – Tues 27th Dec

Today we drove to the south coast of Savaii to explore a long list of many natural beauties of this country. We started off by driving to the Alofaaga Blowholes, made famous by the 19th season of the show “Survivor”.

We have lots of blowholes close to where we live in American Samoa, but none as big as these…these were Yellowstone geyser quality! We paid our entrance fee to the local villagers, and drove down the tiny lane. We arrived at a small fale where an old man pointed to where we should park, and then motioned for us to follow him. It had been raining all morning and we knew we only had a short break in the clouds before the storm would hit again. We hurried and got out of the car.

We followed the old man out onto the rocks where he showed us where to stand, and then proceeded to time the waves crashing underneath, and at just the right time, he would throw down a coconut which would then be propelled over a hundred feet up in the air by the huge jet of water. It was really fun to watch. When the rain was coming down pretty hard, we thanked him and headed back to the car, he told us, “Me…survivor…60 tala for the show”. Now I don’t mind paying entrance fees to places, or even for shows if I know it before, but when people try to make me pay for things that I didn’t agree to, I don’t like that very much. This guy was all smiles and friendly until he demanded his money for the show. If he’d said something before he did it, we would have been more willing to pay, but this seemed so rude, especially since we’d already paid to see the blowholes. We gave him a little money, and he stormed off in a huff. This was just a sign of things to come tomorrow…

Driving off again through the rain, we decided to stop at Black Sand Beach. It was just as it’s name says, an unusual beach made up of sand from all of the black volcanic rock on that side of the island. A stark contrast to the white sand found everywhere else in Samoa. The waves were large and crashing and the kids had a great time getting wet and running around after a long time in the car. We ate our daily bread, chips, and water, and then headed off to see what else we could find.

We had wanted to see the largest waterfall in Samoa, but the road to it ended abruptly with a barbed wire fence and since we couldn’t even see it at this point, we were not about to take 6 little ones hiking miles in an unknown direction. We abandoned that plan.

Next stop, Mu Pagoa waterfall. This is a rare natural feature, an impressive waterfall dropping five meters down into the surging sea. The falls were beautiful and we were glad we stopped. We also got a chance to see the local villagers and how they use this natural resource for their every day life activities, there was a group of men spear fishing, a woman collecting the black sand in a bag. The family that we had to pay to see the falls was lying naked in a fale when we arrived. The woman wrapped herself in a lava lava and then collected our money. They had a pipe in front of their house that they used for a shower. The kids laughed and waved at us as we walked past.

After this, we tried to find an ancient star mound, but got lost on a plantation, and almost got the car stuck on the dirt road. Plan abandoned.

Next and last stop of the day, Afu Aau falls. This is a great waterfall that drops from the rain forest deep into a fresh water swimming lagoon. The fall eventually flows into three other separate falls which were so pretty. The sign said strictly no alcohol allowed at the pool area, but this was blatantly disregarded by the three men who were there at the same time as us, who went through over 20 bottles of beer, and blocked our car in.

The lagoon was really deep, so we made our kids all wear floaties (much easier to supervise when we have so many kids). They didn’t mind, they have more confidence this way anyway, and so they had the time of their lives climbing up onto the rocks and jumping into the lagoon. Then they would swim across to the smaller falls and climb on the rocks there too. It was such a beautiful place. This is where the video camera fell into the water and died. I was devastated, but it turns out that three days later it dried itself out and worked again, so although we didn’t get footage of lots of the great things that we did on the trip, we got a little at the end, and we can still use it for the rest of our time here.

The road to the falls was a long single lane dirt road, and we ran into trouble as we drove away as three cars of Samoans were coming up. We had no way of passing and nowhere to turn into, and although several of them got out of their cars to show us where we could back into, there were no options, and all three of those cars had to reverse the half mile down the road to let us out. More unhappy Samoans. Five minutes later, it started to pour down again. Perfect timing for us, shame on the Samoans who had just arrived.

We started the long drive back to the hotel, the weather getting worse by the minute. It didn’t help that a random dog ran out in front of my car and I ran over it. I didn’t kill it, because we heard it scream and limp away, but the dirty looks we got from the locals…

Finally at home, the weather was crazy, the rain was coming down so hard and the wind was crazy. On the photo of the wind blowing the curtains inside the apartment, notice that the windows are closed, yet they are still being blown so hard. As I was putting the kids to bed, we heard a huge crash outside the bedroom window and palm tree had crashed down only about a foot away from the window. Turns out tropical cyclone Thane was passing though, and we heard the crazy wind all night long. Thank goodness for good shelter. We felt lucky to be safe inside, and hoped that this bad weather didn’t last too long on our vacation…

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Responses

  1. Most of your trip sounds awesome!! I’m glad your video camera dried out and works. Did you lose what was on there?

  2. I’m saddened that the locals were not friendly. Samoans there see foreigners as vulnerable and it’s good u didn’t give that “survivor” 60 tala. Shame on them…I’m glad I’m not like that Samoan. They are in the dark

  3. my mum wanted to know something about this, ill point them to your page, thank you


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