Monday, September 2, 2013

Having fun being tourists!

And we are.  Upolu is a big island and has so many wonderful things to see and do and we are trying to hit them all - why not?

Mel, Elaine, me and Doug - enjoying the waterfall
We joined in with Mel and Elaine (s/v Mazu) and hired a taxi to drive us around the island and show us the sites.  Here are some of the highlights:

The Baha'i House of Worship - Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands.  This temple is one of only 8 Baha'i temples in the world - all nine sided and each very different. 

Baha'i Temple
What a peaceful setting surrounded by beautiful landscaping - we enjoyed wandering through the gardens and the temple.  

Next stop, the Papapapai-Tai Falls - very dramatic - just don't get too close to the edge!

Papapapai-Tai Falls
Then we headed to the southern coast and checked out a couple of the fancy resorts.  Definitely out of our budget, but fun to visit.

Coconuts Resort
For lunch, we visited the Beach Fales at Cape Tapaga. 

One of the best beaches we have been to anywhere - so soft and with a great view of the islands. 

It would be a great place to spend the day relaxing in the Fales and snorkeling. 

Beautiful sandy beach
Lunch was a very slow process, plus not great, but we stilled enjoyed the stop. 

Next, our driver took us to the Piula Cave Pool - a beautiful fresh water pool where you can explore the cave.  Very refreshing!

Piula Cave Pool
As we passed through all of the villages along the way, we were amazed at how each village was beautifully landscaped and rocks and trash cans painted with the village colors. 

You could easily tell you were in a new village when the colors changed. 

Flowers - not sure what it is
They also share a community nursery where villagers can pick up plants and trees for their yards. 

The Samoan families live a very simple life, but are very proud of their homes and their villages. 

Wonderful to see and a very busy day - we were pooped!

We have also been touring around Apia.

Robert Louis Stevenson's home - Villa Vailima
The author, Robert Louis Stevenson, and his family lived on Upolu for 5 years before he died.

Posing in the Drawing Room
His home is now a museum and just beautiful. 

We enjoyed seeing how and where he and his family lived, plus our tour guide was quite a character!

The whole island is gearing up for the Tweila Festival that started Monday, so there is lots of activity. 

Fire Dancer - very fast!
We spent two nights at the Samoan Culture Village watching the Fire Dance (Siva Afi) Junior and Senior competitions. 

The competitors are judged by creativity, performance, speed, and other factors.  And, of course, how often they drop the battans.

The top 5 from each group will compete at the Tweila Festival Tuesday night.

We are looking forward to seeing them, plus all of the other events. 

It is going to be a very busy week.

Enjoy the rest of the pictures!

Enjoying the Yacht Club

Statue - End of Cannibalism in Samoa


More Fire Dancers

Beach Fales for rent

Garden at Baha'i Temple

Volleyball match- tough ladies in long dresses!

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