Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Reflections on Samoa

The only thing consistent about taxi fares in Apia is their inconsistency - wildly varying rates from point A to point B. On the night we left, We booked a taxi to take us to the Airport. Earlier in the week I had asked one of the taxi vans I used how much it was to go to the Airport from the hotel. He told me $52 and I took his card. I tried calling him several times during the day of departure and he did not respond, so I booked another taxi (who quoted $50). On the night the new guy I booked apparently mentioned to the him that he was taking a group to the Airport and straight away the first guy gets upset with the new guy saying he is supposed to be taking us. I told them to sort it out as I had booked the second guy as the first gave no response. Anyway they sorted themselves out and the first guy ended up taking us. At the Airport he wanted $62 - I told him to take a hike. After several minutes of arguing, he took the $52 and wished us a pleasant flight. Moral of the story - stand your ground!

Other than that Apia is a nice little town (actually one of the larger in the Pacific) to visit. The locals are generally friendly, though some come across as indifferent. If you are the religious type (of the Christian faith), then there are Churches galore for you. Food is expensive in the restaurants and my general impression is that hotels are also a bit on the expensive side. Well worth a visit though, and the beaches on the other side of Upolu are OK, even saw some decent waves off-shore so surfing may be possible as well (I did see many surfboards on top of cars). And there is a McDonalds in town if all else fails cuisine wise (and they are open later than most of the other restaurants). If visiting for R&R then head to one of the resorts outside of Apia. I went to Sinalei Resort and that is quite nice.

No comments: