Just before Christmas I decided to head to the other side of Upolu (the smaller but more populated of Samoa's two main Islands) & get a feel for my current home. I'd been over that side a bunch of times, but normally on day trips or to visit a beach club with a few others. This trip I wanted to see the more classical tropical island beach area that runs along the eastern end of the island.
I spent the night in a traditional beach Falé in a village called Saleapaga. There were a couple of similar set ups which included accommodation dinner and breakfast. The view in every direction was unbelievably beautiful. The beach is a much thinner strip of golden sand than it used to be, as a large percentage of it was picked up by the 2009 tsunami and deposited in the ocean, having a devastating impact on the coral reef that sits about 100 metres off the beach. Despite the reduced sand the ocean, the palms, the mountains behind and the beach are in a perfect kind of symbiosis together.
After dinner and talking to a few of the other guests I headed to my Falé. One set of waves gently lapped the beach, while a second set positively roared as it broke over the coral reef. It was a still night, no ocean breeze to go with the harmony of the waves. It was hot and sleep was challenging. My bed was inside a mosquito net and it wasn't too wide. When slumber finally came my way I must have fallen asleep with my fingers resting hard against the thin, flexible white netting. I awoke before the sun with multiple mosquito bites on the tips of two of my fingers. By multiple I'd say I had at least 10 bites on each digit. I couldn't tell you how much blood the little winged vampires had hoisted from me but it's the most itchy ive ever felt. I've gotten used to mosquitoes in the last few months but they went a little over the top that night.
Despite the blood loss & inconvenient itch that was too easy to scratch, my stay on the far side of the island was stunning. The greenery was the greenest, the sky the bluest and the water the clearest. Palms hungover the beach as you always dream they will on a tropical island. The sunset was blocked by cloud but I'll be back, and with a little local knowledge will help me on my next visit.
I'll probably take some mosquito spray with me as well next time.