Every now and then a place hits such a cord with me that every aspect of it sticks in my mind in glorious vivid detail. Workdays crawl by and I think about places I would rather be and people I would rather be spending time with. So many adventures to be had that if money were no object I would be a permanent world wanderer, never to return to the day-to-day slog again. For now though it’s the sounds, smells, colours and smiles of Samoa that wedge themselves in my gypsy heart. Like Polaroid snapshots of a life lived for the moment with no set path and no real way of knowing what’s around the next bend. These experiences have become more precious then gold to me!

As the cooler weather creeps in back at home in Australia I find myself casting my mind back to tropical breezes, balmy nights and water of electric aquamarine. I crave the quieter pace and long to be back driving my little silver hatchback along deserted roads swept with sand, lined with palm trees & snaking along the ocean. Weaving my way through villages, I see women tending their crops, children happily playing and everyone chatting and catching up on the latest news, these communities are alive with togetherness and I want a piece of this.

Like a step back in time the island of Savaii is the largest of the Samoan Islands but is also sparsely populated in comparison to neighboring Upolu. Savaii has plenty of natural wonders to explore and is the perfect escape for those who want a quieter Samoan experience. Easily accessible from Upolu there are several ferry services a day running from Mulifanua Warf to Salelologa and reverse, on either the big ferry, the Lady Samoa III or the Barge, known as the MV Samoa Express. As I am known to turn a light shade of green when it comes to adventuring on the high seas, we opt for the larger of the two boats and pre-booked our tickets (including our car ticket) back at the booking office in Apia. The journey takes a little over an hour (double that on the barge) and if it’s a calm day I would recommend finding a seat on the upper deck and enjoying the fresh ocean breeze as you make your way past several other small islands.

As soon as the wheels of our tiny car make contact with the Savaiin road I realise we should have booked to stay longer, as even at this early stage I know I won’t want to leave! Our home for the next few days is the beautiful Amoa Resort, a picturesque 20-minute drive up the North Coast Road. During a quick tip-swapping session with some fellow travellers several days back we were told that the water on this part of the Savaiin coast is incredible and we happily discover that this was almost an understatement! Water here is clear & calm, with sandy white perfection to match. The colour of the water is indescribable and we are drawn to it like a moth to the flame as soon as we find a spot to pull over and cool off our feet momentarily. Amoa Resort just happens to be positioned right on the most beautiful lagoon and as there is really nobody much around we have this paradise all to ourselves.

The resort itself is small an intimate with only 11 luxury bungalows that are lovingly tended to and run by staff from the neighboring villages. The staff are so friendly and welcome us with a cool glass of the local juice, which tastes a bit like old-fashioned lemonade and they all go out of their way to learn our names straight away. Our bungalow is perfect and has room for a queen-size bed, 2 single beds, a kitchenette, lounge area, large bathroom and verandah, but what really makes it special is the outdoor shower room filled with tropical plants, making it feel like you are showering in a rainforest every time you go to wash your hair. We almost feel as if we are joining on big happy family here at Amoa and as soon as we’ve unpacked we head out of the comfort of the air conditioning for a better look around. What Amoa lacks in size it certainly makes up for in personal service and facilities and there is nothing that you can do or want at a mega-resort that you won’t find at Amoa. Think kayaking and snorkeling, not to mention the fantastic pool, complete with swim-up bar. The crew at Amoa also have a little souvenir shop and are more than happy to arrange tours and transport so you can get out and explore Savaii for yourself and perhaps even find out first-hand what life in a local village is like. In fact at the recent Samoa Tourism Awards Amoa Resort was the only resort on Savaii to come away with an award.

Delicious food is another thing that Amoa Resort is known for and I can confidently say this was the best food we had in 2 weeks of tripping around Samoa. Perfectly cooked steaks, fresh caught lobster and traditional French desserts are all executed faultlessly and with a hint of locally grown island flair thrown in for good measure. As you all know I am a bit of a cocktail fan and as usual enjoyed trying the different creations offered up to me by the very talented Joshua. My favourite was definitely the ‘Blue Lagoon’, quiet fitting really as I spent my afternoons floating around one of the most iridescent blue lagoons I’ve ever come across. Of course as much as I wanted to spend all my time relaxing at Amoa I couldn’t say I’d experienced the best of Savaii unless I dragged myself out of the pool and into the car to check out this peaceful island paradise for myself.

The next morning after a complimentary breakfast platter overlooking the pool we head back towards the ferry terminal and further around the other side of the island for an early morning swim at the Afu Aau falls. The water is clear and fresh, a deep emerald colour that wakes us up as we jump off the surrounding rocks. The falls themselves are impressive and we are glad for our early start as we have this natural wonderland all to ourselves. We enjoy most of the morning at Afu Aau before making our way back to Amoa for lunch and then off in the opposite direction we decide to check out the fascinating Saleaula Lava Fields. In 1905 Mount Matavanu erupted spewing lava all over the top half of the island, destroying many homes and swallowing up entire villages. The lava flow continued for an astonishing 6 years, causing many of the citizens of Savaii to move to the main island of Upolu. We had an interesting wander through the lava fields and witnessed the destruction left behind as the molten lava claimed everything around it, leaving a black asphalt coating on everything in its path.

Savaii certainly has a lot more to offer than we had first imagined and we didn’t feel like we had enough time to even make a dent in the surface of this gorgeous sleepy island. Swimming with turtles, looking for a giants footprints, exploring the markets and racing the incoming tide as you marvel at the Alofaaga Blowholes are all part of what wonderful Savaii has to offer, but that will just have to wait until next time around. I can say with 100% certainty that this won’t be my last chance to get to know Savaii and the friendly people who call this pretty island home. I have so much more exploring to do and plenty more adventures on the list just waiting till the time is right for me to tick them off. I look forward to the day I can once again wander along those sand-swept village roads and cool off in that perfect lagoon before enjoying a cool drink at Amoa as the Samoan sun disappears once more beyond the vast horizon.

 For more information about Amoa Resort click here

To read more about my time in beautiful Samoa click here

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