Eco-friendly accommodation a hit with Australian tourists

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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the show must go on: Annette and Michael making the most of sightseeing while waiting for the rest of the family to arrive.

the show must go on: Annette and Michael making the most of sightseeing while waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. (Photo: Elizabeth Ah-Hi)

Annette Kermes and Michael Forsyth were down two people in their entourage.

But were trucking along anyway while they wait for Michael’s wife and daughter to arrive this Friday. 

Speaking to Dear Tourist, Michael explained that on the day his family was scheduled to fly to Samoa, there was some airport drama. They discovered his daughter’s passport had expired.

However the show must go on and relative Annette came to support and discover Samoa for herself. 

She was more than satisfied with their accommodation as she told Dear Tourist about their stay at the David Parker’s Eco-lodge at Tanumapua.

 “Oh it’s just beautiful, it’s up in the mountains and you get this great view of Apia and the coast line and it’s beautiful,” she said. 

“I think we came across it on Lonely Planet and it gets very good reviews on the internet, so if you go in and go into people blogs they talk about it. 

“The accommodation is quite basic. We didn’t want to come to Samoa to stay at the Sheraton because you can get Sheraton in most places in the world and it’s the same where ever you go.

 “But Dave’s Eco Lodge is beautiful, you go out and about and you are surrounded by vegetation and the birdlife is great. You go by and you see breadfruit and I’ve never seen it before and there it is growing in front of you. 

It’s just lovely and I just look at all the lights. And in the morning I get woken up by the back colony down in the gulley and it’s just brilliant. The food has been really good too. I love the tapioca and coconut milk. The cocoa rice was delicious and I had heard about it before - it was really good. Plus there’s always dogs and cats around there so I feel like I’m at home.”

Michael on the other hand is no stranger to Samoa because he has been here before and for a family reunion no less.

”This is Annette’s first time here but I came here five years ago for a family reunion. It was for the decendants of Jonas Coe.

“We just loved it when we were here then so we came back for a holiday. It’s been great so far, we hired a car it’s so much better because we get lost and you see things and people help you out and everything. Everyone is pretty helpful here.”

It was the Annette Kermes show from here on in as she took the mic back from Michael to tell Dear Tourist more on her thoughts about her time here so far in Samoa. 

Annette is a teacher back in Australia and has a soft spot for Samoa because of her students back home.

“It’s been really good and it’s surpassed what I thought of Samoa,” she said. 

“I thought I knew a lot of Samoa before I came. I’m a teacher and I teach a lot of Samoan kids who always tell me a lot of things and they have said, do this and this. So I’ve been ticking off the list of things I must do. “Scoops” ice-cream is on there. So I definitely have to go around there later and have some ice-cream and take a picture for them,” she laughs. 

Annette loves the ease of the low-key style of Samoa and is already thinking about who she was going to recommend Samoa to. 

“I was just thinking a while back that my son who is 22 and his girlfriend quite often go away and I said they would love it here. They just need a car to get around and it’ll be really good for them. 

“I thought, I must tell them to come here. It’s quite cheap too. I’m not spending huge amounts of money because I don’t do any of the fancy stuff.

“I love the basics. I love not having a T.V. in my room and not having to much internet access so no one can contact me.”

 “So that’s why we really like it so looking forward to going to Savai’i.”

 “We’re also moving on to Taufua Beach fales and we want to do a couple of interesting things out that way so we looked for accommodation close to those places we want to visit.”

Both Annette and Michael commented on how easy it was to fly here directly.

While there are other cheaper destinations to travel to, they preferred what Samoa had to offer.

 “The direct flights from Sydney are brilliant, it’s really good, I mean we were here before we knew it and I thought, I’d do this again this is easy.” said Annette.

 “ You get to a lot of other places cheaper. From Sydney they are always advertising cheap holiday specials to Fiji and Bali and all those places, but I don’t want to go to those places they’re too touristy.”

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