Lalomanu, Samoa

This June, it will be three years since we were in Samoa, lounging about on Lalomanu beach staying at the simple and beautiful Litia Sini beach resort.

It still has to be the most relaxing week of our lives (Okay, admittedly I was secretly freaking out about tsunamis every night – but aside from that!!)  Lalomanu is the prettiest beach in Apia (and reportedly the whole of Samoa). It takes about two hours to make it to Lalomanu from the airport, and it’s absolutely worth the trek. I’ll let the pictures do the talking for now

DSCF1810The beach right out the front of Litia Sini

DSCF1488Warm waters

DSCF1560View from our Fale

DSCF1664DSCF1909DSCF1897The coral reef was just beginning to grow back after being mostly destroyed in the tsunami – I’d never been anywhere tropical before, so I thought the snorkelling was great and there were plenty of tropical fish hanging around to say hello

DSCF1682Abandoned fales on our walks, good for a rest and some shade

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DSCF1647More abandoned fales further up the beach, after a tsunami struck in 2009,

We stayed at Litia Sini after it was recommended to us by a friend who was working as a travel agent. Litia Sini is basic but really beautiful. There is no pool (but why would you want to be in a pool when you are ON the beach anyway), and your fale style accommodation is just that, a simple fale room, your bed with mosquito net, a fan, and your own little deck with chair and table in front. The bathroom is shared amongst all guests, and there was no hot water.

Our fale was a second-row garden fale, but as you can see, we still had a spectacular ocean view! As soon as we stepped down the stairs we were on the sand and we could just walk either to either side of the fales in front and down a path to the beach.

Each morning a tropical breakfast was provided for all guests in the dining area, which of course also, is right on the beachfront, and one of the friendly staff would come around to wake you up if it was getting a bit later for breakfast, the same thing happened at dinner, there is no a la carte menu, just a few buffet choices, always including a fresh seafood option of course!

DSCF1805Litia Sini’s fishing boat, where the fresh fish is caught and brought in

DSCF1804Deserted private beach (there was hardly ever anyone else on it!) we often took our cocktails down here and sat right at the water’s edge

Lunch wasn’t included, but you could order lunch a la carte from the menu. I don’t think we actually ever ordered lunch at Litia Sini, we were there for breakfast and dinner every day anyway and wanted to explore, so ended up spending quite a bit of time at the neighbouring Ta’fua, which had a really upbeat friendly welcoming atmosphere, they were totally okay with guests from next door crashing their party (in fact I think it was actively encouraged)! Which we all did, on the night of their Fiafia show! Which was loads of fun!

DSCF1687Hanging out at Ta’fua

We were there for seven days, and we only had two days away from Lalomanu, most days we sunbathed, swam, snorkelled, walked the beach, read on the beach, ate and drank. We had no internet, and our phones were off as well for the full seven days – amazing! We had very tropical warm weather, at least 30 degrees each day with the odd afternoon rainfall for about 10-15 minutes then the sunshine would be back again.

I spotted a fallen coconut, still in its case under an abandoned fale on one of our walks further up the beach, I convinced Michael to ‘husk’ it from its coconut skin (which is surprisingly thick!), and then made a little hole in the top,  popped in a straw and used it as my cup for the rest of the trip.

We did so much lounging and reading on the sand that I ended up with a sore back after a couple of days!! So I asked Lydia the owner of Litia Sini about massage, a few hours later I was being driven by Lydia’s husband up the road about ten minutes to the expert caring hands of Letiu, at her then-new ‘wellness retreat’ in the village of Saleaaumua. I fantasise about returning to Samoa, just to see Letiu. It was remarkable. The wellness centre is a purpose-built fale, surrounded by gorgeous luscious tropical vegetation, and looking out at the ocean. Letiu is a special person with such warmth and depth and is an expert.

We went on three adventures away from the beach, on Sunday, we dressed up and walked about ten minutes up the road to Church, we were blown away by the magnificent singing, guests were very welcome, if you are in the Pacific Islands, make the trip to church.

We spent one afternoon exploring the Tosua Ocean Trench. This is a must in Samoa! DSCF1597DSCF1594

The ladder into the trench is much longer and steeper than it looks!

All around the trench is a tropical garden/park, and views from the cliff down to the pacific ocean, in contrast to the calm waters in front of Litia Sini, we were looking down upon huge breaking waves.

Attached to the platform, is a rope (which you can see people hanging onto), which helps when the ocean pulls the water back out under through the cave. You can duck under and out the other side, but no one was brave enough to do so while we were there. I think the sea conditions were not right on the other side with the enormous breaking waves.

On one of our last days in Samoa, we decided to jump on the local bus and ride into Apia to head to the market. The main event of this was the bus ride itself! The bus is wooden, with no windows, but open sides instead and took us through lots of little villages, which was great as we saw daily rural life on Samoa. People were often playing games on the road, and wouldn’t move away in any hurry for the bus – I was terrified so many times that someone was going to be run over! The road didn’t really seem to be viewed as a road, more a communal space.

The bus stopped to pick up vegetables, chickens, and toddlers (who were all dropped off by someone at the stop, watched by those riding on the bus until they made it to their destination, where they were unloaded and collected by someone else!)

The locals were super friendly and happy to chat with us, all the way back, a very friendly local wouldn’t leave me alone and wanted to join me for dinner and kept insisting Michael was my brother, (not fiance), I think if I had made a fuss about this some others may have stepped in to tell him to leave me alone, but I was young and didn’t quite know how to handle the situation so kept being polite, (and Michael wasn’t able to hear what was being said as he was sitting on a chair across the aisle) I should have felt confident enough to tell him to leave me alone or perhaps to ask to switch seats so I could sit next to Michael…remember even if you’re in a different country, if you feel uneasy it is harassment!

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One night, as we were relaxing on our deck, sipping our cocktails, we were surprised by the arrival of Michaels godmother (who was staying with her sisters in the fale next door!) It was so fun having them join us for a few days!

DSCF1781DSCF1759Michaels godmother giving us a wave

DSCF1524Standing just on the road above the beach looking back down to Litia Sini – we met a Mummy Pig and her piglets just a few more metres up the road from this spot

DSCF1566Our little deck and ocean view

DSCF1493DSCF1479DSCF1507DSCF1810Amazingly clear water!

 

 

 

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