Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 - NZ To SF - Day 29

Day 29: (11 June 2011 (-1 in time zone)):
- Wake up, breakfast - lucky charms. Ride into town. Drop off Tau first. Nick has nice commute on road along ocean. Some waves look nice to surf. Show me his USDA office. In Pago Plaza, along with many other US Gov. orgs. Used to be shopping centre before tsunami. Showed me tsunami damage, boat in destroyed bld. next door. Say co-worker's jar wedged in 2nd floor.
- Wait far bus. Nick call: $1.50 -> $2.00. First one didn't see me wave (I started a bit late?). Got 2nd bus. Total wait ~1hr (more?).
- Same pop songs. A truck (pick up truck") stripped, with wooden carriage built. Intricate, windows, carvings, lights, stereo system. Can see road between wooden boards. Knock to stop. Wooden seats nailed to weed beams on floor.
- Past the two tuna factories. Workers in white robes & hats. Large factory complex.
- Beautiful beaches & coves along the way. Some quite busy. Small islands & steep islets.
- Look for, but didn't see, Tisa's. Must be well hidden. Impressed at accuracy of map.
- At ferry wharf, talk to kids (who had a tattoo - non traditional (lion)).
- Small boat slowly makes its way into the wharf.
- Surprisingly rocky trip. Ask $3 (kid) then I say should be $1 - kid says special boat, as only me. Driver ask $2, not $1, so I pay $2.
- Crystal clear blue harbour.
- No guide at wharf. One guy try get me pay $6 for his two kids to walk me around, says they speak good English, but they don't answer when I ask if they speak English. With coaxing in Samoan from dad, they say some poor English, so I turn them down & walk.
- Asked directions, but stopped when see volleyball net across road. Dive tanks as bells: many villages like this. For tsunami, according to Peter. Also for saa? Nice village - with chruch, many houses set in grass if not on road.
- Peter greet me from house. Good English, offer show me around. Claims to be rescue diver, was in army & in States for a few years.
- I ask how much, he says "Give whatever you want." I offer $10, he says long way, etc. But I say I hear 6-8 is good. Still not sure if he was offering to show me around as friend or as business. One of his dogs, Whiskey, follow.
- Quicksand area looks like bog. Any ideas of putting my foot in are cancelled. Step on roots for better view. Peter says he fishes for tilapia here. Only him fishes here.
- Small beach with sea arch & waves. Peter says he sets up camping trips sometimes.
- Walk up overgrown area. He points out his old gardens.Trail not as good as LP indicates.
- Up to "new village" & tsunami evacuation area. Some houses, new water tower.
- See lake with eels. Apparently very deep. Did not get closer, Peter says overgrown. Say can see Manu'a islands from there on a good day.
- Down through new evac road: blocking water flow, destroying taro fields. One side flooded, one side dry.
- Lead through taro fields to avoid stray dogs. Sugar cane. Point out different taros & plants.
- Well.
- Very nice garden grass road leads back to village.
- Ice tea, gave lemongrass. Nice views from his house. Blue water, island. Large house. Inventive dive flag & mystery "taro" in pile (very special, takes long time to grow under pile).
- $10: his response "some pop for the kids."
- Wait at ferry. Pictures of beautiful blue harbour.
- Peter tell is $1 for boat.
- Peter has traditional Samoan tattoos. Say set record with only 3 days.
- Back on ferry with people building water tank. Wait for gas.
- Confusion + ask: somehow I didn't pay (so $2 r.t.). Get off through other boat.
- Bus to Tisa's. Knock to stop bus. $1. No one around. Eventually someone (Tisa?) shows up. Vailima $4. Nick says he has to stay @ work longer: to 4-4:30. No more hike to waterfall.
- Nice bar complex. Accommodations too? Patios overlooking beautiful bay. Although beach is very small & wavy, although there are active & jumping / chasing fish in water. Can see from bar.
- Small lizards / guppies(?) on rock, washed by waves & rising tide.
- Birds with long tails flying around.
- Meet American doing (cultural) survey work for fiber optic line. Private cultural sensativity company. Have lived here before. Gave ride back to Pago. Say saw sleeping dog get run over (someone backing out of driveway and obviously saw it there - think it was OK). She carries rocks in pockets for dogs. Was bitten once before. Tell me kids test boundaries in Samoa.
- Just as we arrive in town, Nick calls. 3x good timing with Nick.
- Pick up Tau. Go to shop. Then Cost-U-Less, which people call Cost-U-More. Big Costco-like place. Hope we won't be "Saa'ed."
- Buy beer from local store. 1 of each.
- Dinner party: 3 from Brown. Apparently a famous researcher in Am. Samoa.
- Learn to open coconut, grate coconut & squeeze out the milk with fibres. Pulasami [sic] in pot. Not as good as baked.
- Tau leave for bowling alley, which is apparently like a club in Pago.
- Lots of palangi. Uli dog (watch so not attack kid). Thing thrown at house (noise?). Bed @ 12.

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