Not the best view out the plane window on the way and the idea that I landed the day before I left after crossing the date line was a bit strange.
On the bus into Apia
the first impression of Samoa was just like Sumatra but very clean. Despite the primitive looking villages everywhere was very neat and tidy. A lot of countries in South East Asia could learn from Samoa.........
Apia was the only place in the country that could be called a town. I don't think I had ever seen so many churches in such a small area on my life. There must have been at least 40 between the airport and my accommodation
Samoa got off to a bad start as it did nothing but rain for the first 2 days. A couple in my accommodation actually changed their flight so they could leave the country earlier. Despite this I still booked a sightseeing tour for the following day.
There were only a few of us being taken round Upolu, we were in luck as it only seemed to rain while we were in the minibus.
Unlike in plenty of other parts of the world, the sights were not full of other camera clicking tourists.
Our guide (pictured above in the bright shirt) invited us to meet him at a bar for his birthday. While getting ready to go out that night there was a powercut and I couldn't see a thing. As a result I was about 90 minutes late and they had obviously left. I was a bit nervy about being the only westerner in a bar full of massive Samoans but they turned out to be very friendly. The band that was on gave "a special welcome to Matthew Stanford from England" that I thought was good.
I went into a couple of the bars on Apia seafront the following evening and had an equally good welcome. Being English they expected rugby to be a good topic of conversation......not my subject I'm afraid!!!!
Being highly religious the whole country seems to shut down and everyone seems to be going church. I had never seen anything like that before.
I spent split my time in Samoa between the 2 main islands. On returning to Apia for the last couple of nights I headed to the hilltop at Vailima