On the fifth day there was travel. Like, a LOT of travel.
I've taken a nifty map (see above!) from Lonely Planet and drawn on it, just so it's clear to everyone watching: we went a Looooooong way.
Driving from the arrow (otherwise known as our hotel in Apia) to the first dot (otherwise known as the ferry terminal) took an hour. Four people rode in the back of the pick up truck, in sun AND rain. Lucky them!
Then we waited at the dot for an hour, while huge trucks drove into the belly of the boat and I took many photos. Not too many; just enough, don't you think?
Then we went across the sea for an hour. The boat went UP and DOWN and SIDE to SIDE. Some people in our party felt sick. They looked at the horizon and tried not to feel sick. My son lay down and slept, like many of the Samoans around him. My daughter just leant on my shoulder and felt terrible.
At the second dot (otherwise known as Saleologa), people who were and weren't sick on the boat got some icecream. My daughter didn't. (Did I mention she was sick?) I didn't get any either and wished—the moment we pulled away from the shop—that I had. It looked yummy; a little bit like this but a lot more drippy:
THEN…we drove for over an hour to the Alofaaga Blowholes. Which I forgot to put a dot on, but you can see the spot up there, on the map, if you like. (Pause…Consult map…Continue!).
At the blowholes this little old man came up and asked my mum and sister if, for a fee, they'd like to see him throw coconuts in the hole. He proudly told them (and me, later) that he was on Survivor: Samoa and that you could see him on the show, throwing coconuts! Very cool, said my family, and then they politely declined.
Five minutes later, the man sat next to my husband (who hadn't heard the earlier negotiation) and chatted for a while. My husband nodded and smiled and when the little old man got up and started ambling towards the blowhole, my husband turned to me and grinned. "That guy's going to throw a coconut into the blowhole! Cool, huh?"
I said, "He's going to charge you money for that, you know."
What? That guy? No!
Uh-huh. That guy. Yes!
Who would've thunk it?
So the man threw coconuts, one after the other, into the mouth of the biggest blowhole I'd ever seen. At least two coconuts totally shot up in the air, and all the other tourists Ooohed and Aaahed. Lots and lots of photos were taken. And when the dude ran out of coconuts, and everyone all around was thinking, "What a cool, free show!" he ambled on back up to us and said, "20 Tala please."
Of course. Here you go, sir. And thank you.
We, of course, teased my husband for being a Sucker. But it was a great show, and can you blame a little old guy who lives on one of the poorer islands of a poor country, for making a bit of money throwing coconuts? I know I couldn't.
We still had more driving to do!
We drove for another hour or so, past one gorgeous village after another. Past a place called "Lovers Leap," which was majorly high above the sea and isn't on the map (Sorry!). Past the turn-off to Falealupo, where we would go in three days to spread my father's ashes. Past the hospital where we would take my daughter in two days. And finally, to a tiny village called Vaisala, where we were staying.
When we got out of the truck, 8 hours after leaving our hotel in Apia, my girl threw up all over the driveway.
That's when we realised she was actually, really, not well. Burning with fever, she went to bed for the next three days. One of us stayed in the room with her for most of that time. So my girl didn't see this view, for ages.
It is a beautiful view.
Don't you think?