Kiwi visitors Jill and David Pearce chose Samoa as the ultimate destination to escape the cold weather back at home.
This trip to Samoa is also a late birthday present for Jill and a time to celebrate their wedding anniversary in a place they haven’t been to before.
They also decided to fly over because they were interested in the Samoan culture because of the large number of Samoans who live in New Zealand.
Travelling around the island, Jill said people from New Zealand would be in culture shock if they were to see a Samoan village for the first time.
“I like the different villages where they all have their own identification and the houses are open,” she said.
“It is up to the locals how much more they want to do in tourism to have more,” Jill said.
They highlighted some of the challenges they faced relating to locating certain attraction sites.
“The road signs are too hard to read, it would need something colored to stand out. We got lost a couple of times. On the road it is a bit difficult with a bus that takes the entire road up, it is just something different from what we know,” David explained.
He pointed out that another thing he’d like to see are signs with the names of the villages.
“You don’t know the name of the villages. In case of emergencies it can get difficult to describe where you are for example as a tourist,” Jill said.
They visited the To Sua Ocean Trench but they said they didn’t swim because they the ladder was “too scary.”
“I would have gone if the ladder had rounds I guess,” Jill said.
“I wouldn’t say it is safe. I think with rounds on the ladder and when it wouldn’t be such a steep angle it would be way safer to go down. We haven’t been in the pool but I can imagine having something like a noddle to hold on to in the water, it could improve safety in the water.”
David, who’s a farmer, said the communal setting and the way people looked after each other are important.
“I don’t know if there is a lot of land that you could expand on agriculture as they are all private. It amazes me that some people use their land to grow heaps of food for themselves and others they don’t do much with it.”
“To survive here, you’ve got to eat and look after yourself rather than not doing anything with the land I guess. It depends on how they see the land, it is a kind of tradition I guess,” he said.
They plan to return because they found this trip to be exciting.