Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 32

Day 32: (14 June 2011 (-1 in time zone)):
- Breakfast: overhear then join conversation with old tattoo artist who claims he did Mike Tyson and some other Hollywood people. Here often: Last year: 3mo. This yr: 3 mo. Next fear: 6 mo. He has many tattoos on his face.
- Talk about plans. Rental car check. Notice Tanu Beach Fales sign with high chief.
- Decide go to Dwarf's Cave with Jarra, the Aus. He went to the mysterious "the wedding" many people apparently knew about.
- Ask about lava field, told to go ask for Tama - high chief. Happened to others too! Palangi [sic] breaking fa'a Samoa, inside joke for them?
- Get taxi with Jarra. Wait at open fale at entrance. Talk to tattoo artist about flights.
- Rough road to cave. 30 taxi. 20 entrance. Long walk down rocky road covered by horse poop.
- Guide saying 5 min or 1 min: much longer! No hills around, wonder if this is a joke! Get to patch of grass with depression. Hole inside.
- I get immediately lost in cave. Side entrance: steep slope to join a large tunnel.
- Walk down to pool. Steep to get down in. Climb. Good handholds. See cave continue other side.
- Bats or swiftlets overhead, making noise. Climb out. 10 for photos, go back.
- Told that there are 5 pools. Can go all the way to ocean. One day trek each way. (Info may be inaccurate due to poor English). 10 for each pool.
- Walk back: teach Samoan words. Joined part way by kid on horse.
- Walked to main road & store. Use breadfruit leaf for shade.
- Shasta orange. He buy hot good bread. Kids returning beer bottles for instant noodle. Ask for money. Jarra buy noodles & give money. He try talk to many, but kids have poor English. Michael Jackson, they did not know. I try not to give money.
- Missed bus (before he try buy for kids). Walk, more kids ask for money. Good church.
- Waved taxi down to go back. He buy bread first. 15 tala. Talk about village. Schools are government-run, but still charge 20 / term for kids.
- Short snorkel on return. Coral OK, but very strong thermocline, so con't see clearly. Fish are skiddish.
- Go with Germans to lava field. Call taxi, same driver. 20 each way + 10 waiting. Realised did not settle with Germans at Lalomanu when writing.
- 5 each admission at "information fale." Really is just the two items. Church: just walls remaining, lava flow patterns around & in doors. Virgin's grave: deep hole in lave, leave "grave" untouched. Cool flow patterns around. Trees growing through. Two ladies showing us around ask if we single. Then joke the virgin is also single. Driver eating red berries from pod (maybe this was actually poumere?)
- Return: offer to stop at swimming turtles. Decide to skip, after reading about it in LP.
- Return: walk along coast & long swim in ocean. Wash shirt, shower, all clean.
- Dinner included oka! Tasty & fresh. Arrange ride to Lalomanu with Brits.
- Big hermit crab.
- Couple from wedding there.
- "Streetlamp" by fale was also kind of ugly.

Photos available at: http://mandarinmanmarktravelbriefs.blogspot.com/