There’s a lot to say about the similarities between small coastal towns in New Zealand and the coastal villages here in Samoa.
That’s according to Mike and Erin Cotter from Cooks Beach Coromandel in New Zealand.
Dear Tourist meets Mike and Erin perusing the markets at a leisurely pace, not fussed or intimidated by the vendors holding things up to them to sell.
We congregate with the couple around a table of ripe misilukis for a chat.
“We have about, I’d say 300 people in our little “village” in Cooks Beach so it’s a quiet little town and it only gets busy around summertime with all the tourists. So it feels like we’re home,” Mike jokes.
Being just three days into their week long stay, they are staying at Salamumu at the Samoana Resort.
“Friends of ours that stayed there recommended it so we followed up and it’s been ok, yeah we like it. We’ve been to Vanuatu and Fiji and we just wanted to come somewhere different, we’ve never been here before and the main thing is its warm.
“It’s good to get out of New Zealand, it’s the end of the winter but it feels like its been going on for so long. It’s good to come somewhere warm and get ready for the next season.”
The couple looks so laid back and relaxed that the Dear Tourist wanted to know if they came across anything peculiar and challenging.
Mike thinks for a minute and says: “Well I’d say trying to get from A to B. So we rented a car and a lot of the roads on the other side of the island have no names on them or directions or signposts so that’s been interesting. You ask someone where such and such road is and they don’t know.”
But even with their misadventures on the road and lost in translation moments with the locals didn’t really damper their spirits as the cruisey couple took it all in their stride.
“Yeah you just go back and backtrack where you came from and get back on the road again and the roads are good to drive on. You got a nice safe speed limit so its cruisy driving.”
Erin agrees with Mike.
“We’ve practically gone around the whole island. The scenery is beautiful, it’s similar to Vanuatu and Fiji to Rarotonga, it’s fantastic, it’s fresh,” Erin said.
Mike and Erin really relate to the relaxed lifestyle of Samoa and they are happy to go with its flow.
If they were anymore laid back they’d be napping under one of those vendor tables at Fugalei Markets.
Mike finishes off by saying, “It’s easy and relaxing, that’s the thing about it. You can come out here and everyone is just cruising around and you go at the same pace. You do slow down.”