Leeroy the legend, his friends and us
The biggest island in Samoa is called Savaii and according to everyone we have met so far it is also the most beautiful and real Samoa culturally. Me and my Irish co-traveled Frankie got to experience that for both the better and the worse.
When we arrived at the island from the hour long ferry ride from Opulu, there were plenty of buses waiting to take the passengers along the one and only road that lead around the island. After an hour drive we got off at our first point of interest, the…. Blowholes. These blowholes easily beat those of Tonga, Hawaii etc as they were much more powerful! We threw some coconuts into them to watch them get shot 30 meters up in the air. Quite fun watching them fly far over our heads and then get smashed when they landed on the ground. We hitchhiked from there to the main road and started walking towards the other attractions on the island.
As we walked we were waived down by a guy called Leroy who was sitting and drinking morning beers with his friends. He shared both his beer and his stories from back in the days when he was a professional surfer touring the World. He was then sponsored to sleep in expensive hotels and to join parties with fancy cocktails, but Leroy said that he was more happy with his life here. Sleeping on a floor mattress and drinking beer with his mates. I both envied his big mustache and his ability to enjoy the simplest life.
After another hitchhike ride we got to… where we walked some sketchy hanging bridges on top of some huge trees and had some good views over the hills and forests that the island is made up of.
Our last hitchhiking ride was a man who asked for money to take us with him. We were fine with that, but when we had just been driving for five minutes he said he did not want to drive any more and demanded the money we had agreed on which was not cool so we just gave him a a couple of cigarettes and some pocket money for his troubles. He then got angry, rushed out of his car revealing a half empty liquor bottle that he had been hiding in his driver seat. He grabbed Frankie and pulled his fist for a punch when I jumped in with the money and the guy took off again. We ran to the police just five mins away and reported his licence number. The police then apologized for the trouble and asked the hotel next door for us if they could give us a good deal for a night. We then got half price on a nice beach “fale” (bungalow) and a free dinner. The whole day was quite a lesson in the Samoan island life where there is trouble with alcohol and abuse but mainly just friendliness from the many good hearted people living here.