It's been a while but I've actually stayed in the one place for more than a fortnight. A whole two weeks in my own bed with about 10 days to go till I jump on another plane. It's looking likely that I'll be topping last years number of plane trips by about August.
So with an extended stay I've decided to do some exploring around Samoa. Not the typical exploring where you've got a short period to cram in as much as you can. I've got 4 years possibly here so I'm not rushing anything. But I am getting a feel for my island home. Yesterday I drove around half of Upolu; the smaller island, and bumped into three people I know. One was about 40km from home, the other was on a nearly empty beach 120km from home. I'm practically a local now.
There is so much incredible nature to visit it's hard to know where to start. You have the additional challenge of picking your spots as not every village is comfortable with tourists (they don't know I'm practically a local 😀) training a camera on their town and their traditional lands. Waterfalls are a good place to start as they are seen as more of a community, open access attraction than many of the beaches & towns.
Togitogiga Falls is probably the closest and I thought easiest to photograph waterfall to my little house. It's in two stages, nestled amongst the incredible greenery that dominates the interior of the island. The bottom half was an easy shot, as was above the top half from above. It was getting below the top half but above the bottom half where I ran into trouble.
Access was via a 2m cliff crawl straight into the water. This would not be a problem if my goal was to go for a dip. My goal was unfortunately not to drop a couple thousand dollars worth of camera gear over the waterfall. I've fallen in a waterfall before and I've still got a shoulder problem as a result. If I had a partner in crime I could have got them climb down first, got through the water to the dry land opposite the base of the falls and thrown them the bag...or vice versa. Try as I might I couldnt find a route down the cliff that didn't result in a very wet Tim and some destroyed camera equipment.
I trudged back to car with a few good shots but not the one I wanted. Looks like Togitogiga Falls and I have a meeting in the future. With at least one person to help keep the gear dry.