Winter break turns into something more for New Zealand couple
For the Harper Couple from New Zealand, Tracy and Mark, a trip to Samoa was intended as a break from the winter.
But it's also been a chance for them to be exposed to an entirely new culture, cuisine - and road system!
Speaking to the Samoa Observer at the Apia Waterfront, Tracy said the Samoa Tourism Authority's Cultural Centre was a brilliant showcase of the Samoan way of life.
"We tried some of the foods [and] there were some [we liked]: the taro and breadfruit!," she said.
Watching the application of a traditional tattoo was also a point of high interest for the couple and an area in which they did not have any prior experience.
"The umu, the traditional way of cooking, [is so] different from the Maori way of cooking which was also very interesting [to see]," she added.
Mr. Harper is an IT manager and Mrs. Harper is an Operations Manager for a Finance Company.
Mark Harper said the couple arrived in Samoa on Sunday night which they spent at Lalomanu Beach Fale.
He described the long journey as well worth it.
"it was a long drive and it was night time [when we arrived] but it was good and we have been relaxing," he said
Mr. Harper said the most interesting thing the couple saw was the To Sua ocean trench.
He also added the couple had a bike ride and a chance to see some traditional villages which they described as so beautiful.
Tracy said the reason they came here to Samoa was a break from the New Zealand winter and a summer in Samoa.
Mrs. Harper told this newspaper that navigation proved difficult as some of the locations they sought to visit were not included on official maps.
"There are gew accurate maps and some guides that tell you where you are [...] things in it are not located to the right place," she said.
Mrs and Mr. Harper found the roads difficult to navigate due to pot holes and a lack of street signs.
"It would be great if we know Samoan roads rules because we have a hire car we need to know the speed limits," she added