The first night we got to Savai'i, there was the worst storm they've had in years. Our fale was not quite equipped for such a storm; thus, we had some trouble sleeping through it. We thought it was an actual Tropical Storm and when we spoke with some locals the next morning, they told us they were even worried it was going to be a hurricane.....so it was a bad bad storm.
Before leaving for the trip, we had told people we would sleep in some huts that didn't have real walls and "if it rains, we'll get a little wet." And we said it almost as if that was cool or something. You know what though? The only thing cool about it was the wind coming through the mosquito net because those things can be stifling on a hot, humid, still night. So the "cool" part was actually welcomed. The wet part, however, was not. Nearly half the bed formed a puddle what felt like the size of Lake Michigan, but really it couldn't have had a diameter bigger than 18 inches or so, but still that's a formidable-sized puddle for a double bed. Needless to say, we've gotten better sleep at 39 west 69 and 2145 N. Cleveland, but damn that "breeze" (read: 20-30mph gusts) was nice!! I wish I had one now as I'm writing this entry!
The rest of Savai'i wasn't as impressive as we were anticipating, and we had a lot of rain for the 4 days we were there. Their famed waterfall, Afu'Aga wasn't falling when we went to visit, more like trickling. And it had just rained quite a bit for the few days prior. We did enjoy visiting with the turtles and feeding them papaya, but it's too bad they're trapped in that pond. What we did find remarkable was the Blowholes. We got a great video (Laurie's narrating makes the video better....and i'm getting a bit frustrated we can't figure out how to put it up for you guys.) of our host putting coconuts in the blowhole so we could watch them explode into the air from the natural force of the incoming waves. The black of the dried lava, combined with the somewhat sparse greenery that has grown in recent years lies in stark contrast with the blue of the sky and water along with the white of the clouds and the exploding water to create quite a visual experience. We hope some of the pictures can attempt to capture it.
An interesing and pleasing aspect of Savai'i that I noticed was that either people looked at us (tourists/travellers) either 1) with disdain (because of our assumed $$), 2) as money-making vehicles (ditto), 3) as welcomed guests, or 4) with indifference. Sometimes, it's been hard to tell the difference between 1, 2, and 3, but feeling the 4th was actually quite new and refreshing. They just didn't really care one way or the other. I interpret this as being genuine and that we are relatively unseen, which in turn means that we can see what's real and not just what's for show. This was unlike Fiji which is more built around its Tourism Industry, such as the tours that are advertised by claiming to show you the "Real Fiji," and the picture is a guy dressed in costume of a grass skirt leading a tour of 15 white people.
In some ways, Savai'i was quite enjoyable, in others unremarkable, but most of all, our time there was just wet.
Cheers all, Sydney's next!!