By now you can probably guess that we went to a beach over the weekend, but at least we have a new one to report on this time. About a month ago we had heard rumors of a new public beach out past Amouli, but we weren't too enthusiastic because it's about 90 minute drive from our house. Last Sunday we decided to test Noah's car seat patience and check it out.
As you can see in the panorama above, this beach has 3 fale's and lots of sand. The sand is deep, soft and there is a lot of washed up coral and shells. In the picture below you can see Aunu'u Island behind Mom and Noah.
On top of being a long drive this beach is also expensive if you want to use a fale. They cost $25, $35 and $75 from smallest to biggest, it's $5 a person to just use the bathroom and shower which is located across the street, but it is free if you just want to hang out on the beach.
When we arrived there was no proprietor in sight and when we went to look for one we were met by two very angry dogs running in my direction. We quickly retreated to the beach after which the owner came down to tell us the dogs don't bite and it would be $10 to use the bathrooms/showers. We have been on this island long enough to know there are very few dogs here that don't bite and these two were definitely not among them. So instead of spending the day watching our backs, we jumped back in the car and headed to Two Dollar Beach.... again.
Our time at this beach was short but it's the furthest East we have been as a family. Dad, however, has been all the way to the eastern tip of the island, Tula, to help a family with some new construction.
The picture below is of the little finger of land on the map just above the arrow. Notice the antenna on top of that peak? It's a NOAA antenna. This village was hit in the tsunami of 2009 and a lot of villagers took refuge up near the antenna and set up make shift homes. A year or so later some people were still living there when a NOAA employee came by to do whatever it is he did. Upon arriving he told the people still living up there that it was NOAA property and they had to leave. He then learned a hard lesson on how incredibly sensitive the Samoan culture is when it comes to land ownership. An elder villager promptly attacked him with a machete, luckily he was restrained by others and the NOAA employee only lost the fingers on one hand. While the violence is less common, it is still common place for conflict in Villages and families over land. For example, we were discussing a hike on the North side of the island, but were told by friends that that trail was off limits because there was a land dispute and the roads had been blocked.
So... back to our beach hopping. After checking out the new beach, we snapped a quick picture of the bay off the shores of Amouli and continued to Two Dollar Beach were we had to hide out in a fale for a bit while some rain showers passed. Then is was fun in the sun!
We ventured a little West of the beach to and area we haven't swum yet and ran into a local fisherman....
And of course we did some snorkeling...
The Jaskowiak Family
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