Tag Archives: Tanu Beach Fales

There’s nowhere safer than a large Samoan man’s knee

IMG_8593I was worried about my portly admirer coming back for more action, so I decided to move on from Tanu Beach. After a quick snorkel and a wander through the village, I stopped off at Henry’s place to say goodbye. We ended up chatting for an hour so, with the topics ranging from the women at his retirement village constantly begging him for sex, to his opinions on the breasts of Samoan women, to Henry’s distaste for pineapples. He’s a weird dude, but one thing can’t be argued – unlike most people, he is truly a free man. He does and thinks what he wants, and feels no need to buy into all the bullshit society tries to feed him. The world would be a better place if there were more tattooed freaks like Henry.

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Plenty of places to build a treehouse

With the car packed, I headed west, through the jungle. My first stop was for a canopy walk, an attraction that seems to pop up in every guide to Savaii. It should also appear in every guide for people looking to die in the most brutal way possible, because the whole thing is incredibly dangerous. After a short walk into the middle of the jungle, I climbed a massive tower, and was faced with a bridge through the trees that was basically a bunch of ladders tied together. That was it. Not wanting to waste my $10 entry fee, I did a little wee in my shorts and headed across. Every step caused the shoddily-made contraption to shudder and groan and almost fall apart, and I was stoked to make it back to the ground without having to fall there.

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If you look closely, you can see me absolutely shitting myself

It was a beaut experience, though, and the view from the top of the tower was magical. This land is still so primitive and unspoilt, and it truly is a joy to simply take the time to enjoy it.

The second stop was at a local rugby union game. It doesn’t matter where in the world it’s played, union is still a stop-start-stand-around-for-five-minutes piece of shit. The penalties and line-outs were endless, but so were the hits. The boys were smacking the crap out of each other, and I couldn’t help wondering why they were playing kick ‘n’ clap when they’d be so much better suited to a proper game. The potential is there for rugby league to take Samoa by storm, if only a little bit of effort is put in.

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Run it at me, bro!

I started off watching the game from a quiet spot up one end, but after a few minutes a very large gentleman sauntered over and said hello. At first I thought he was going to rip my arms off – he could’ve done it without breaking a sweat – but then he introduced himself as Albert, offered me a glass of juice and asked if I wanted to watch the game with him. Not wanting to say no to such a frightening gentleman, I followed him to a group of comfortable-looking chairs under a large umbrella, but was confused to see that all the chairs were occupied.

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It still looks better than Brookvale Oval

Ken pointed to one of his huge, brown knees and said, “You sit here.” Now, I don’t often sit on men who I’ve just met, but he had bought me a drink, so I figured it was safe. And that’s how I watched the rest of the match, held in the warm embrace of a large Samoan man and preparing myself to run if I felt even the slightest hint of a boner poking into my back.

Once the game was over, I hugged Albert goodbye and left. His English wasn’t good, but my best guess is that he’s the chief of the village, and it was a great honour for me to ride his knee for an hour or so. I’ll have to use that line on a lady sometime.

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it’s just a little bit quieter than Bondi Beach

From there I kept rolling round the underside of Savai’i, before making it to Satuituti Beach Fales in the Latearvo. It’s a gorgeous place; right on the water, peaceful and incredibly cheap. My fale is a bit weird – really big, with four beds inside, making it feel like some sort of third world hospital. There are no hefty Samoan women attempting to mouth rape me, though, which is a real relief.

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It looks like a hospital, so I was self-medicating with beer

I had a good snorkel, a great feed, and then settled back with a beer and some music while the elderly couple in the next shack played naked Twister all night. I kept waiting for an invitation to join them, but it never came, so I just played pocket Boggle by myself and went to sleep while the waves lapped at my fale.

And that’s how my final night in Samoa panned out. Next stop – Fiji!

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Going down in Samoa

IMG_8468I wanted to do something for the first time and, since that chick from The Big Bang Theory hasn’t be answering my emails, I decided on scuba diving. A happy-go-lucky Austrian named Olaf, from Dive Savai’i, picked me up at 8am, and in no time I was being strapped to a scuba tank.

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I look pretty hungover here

After a short practice run in shallow water, we scrambled into a boat and headed a few kilometres into the crystal clear water, before dropping anchor. It was beautiful out there, with the emerald mountains looming large over the azure ocean. A few minutes later I flopped off the boat, put my mouthpiece in place and started making the long descent underwater.

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It’s a boat! A fucking boat!

It was freaky at first, and my instincts told me to swim back to the safety of the surface. But I kept swimming down into the blue, towards swarms of colourful fish, and after a few minutes I wasn’t even thinking about my breathing anymore. An intense feeling of freedom washed over me as I swam this way and that, chasing fish and gazing in wonder at the beautiful coral. I zoomed through a cave and came face-to-face with a giant sea turtle. It was utterly brilliant.

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Under the sea, Under the sea, Darling it’s better, Down where it’s wetter, Take it from me!

That first dive lasted an hour but really, time didn’t mean anything down there. I just enjoyed the weightlessness, the great view and the serenity. Of course, it didn’t hurt that my instructor was a spunky 18-year-old New Zealander. I thought about showing her my sea cucumber, but decided that being slapped senseless while 12 metres below the surface didn’t sound fun at all.

We eventually resurfaced, and I took a few moments to readjust to life above the waves. Lunch was paw-paw and some sort of weird Samoan donuts, served with good conversation from the diving instructors and the young Kiwi couple who were also out there with us. I tried to put the moves on the Kiwi instructor, but she found my jokes about as funny as a urinary tract infection. And I’m telling ya, urinary tract infections aren’t fun at all.

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T.U.R.T.L.E. power!

Our second dive took us down the the wreck of the Juno, a boat that sank back in… some year. I dunno, if you care that much then look it up on the interwebs. It was even better than the first site, with more turtles, fish and bizarre colour-changing coral. I took some time out just to relax at the bottom of the ocean, enjoying the atmosphere.

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Yep, that’ll do

And before I knew it my day of diving was over, and Olaf was dropping me back at Tanu Beach. After a nice little bludge on the sand, I hopped in the Rav and took off to check out the nearby lava fields. Basically, a volcano erupted back in the early 1900s and the lava wiped out heaps of Savai’i. I stopped off and had a peek at a church that was smashed to bits by the lava, helped all the way by a handsome Samoan lady who must’ve taken a shine to me, bacause she didn’t leave my side for the whole 15 minutes I was there. Must’ve been the fact I hadn’t changed my clothes for four days.

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Sorry, God, your house is stuffed!

The rest of the day and night was a lazy blur of beer, honey-flavoured chips, great food, Samoan kiddies dancing, and a chat with Henry. Who needs to actually take drugs, when you’ve got Henry? At the end of a night, one of the local ladies asked if I could give her a lift home. I was eight beers in but thought it would be rude to say no, so I picked up my keys and off we went. If I thought driving during the day was tough, the night was even worse. There were pigs, dogs, cows, horses and drunk blokes everywhere, and it took me 20 minutes to make the 2km trip. The fat woman was licking her lips the whole way, and I was nervous – she either wanted to eat me or suck me off, and either way I wasn’t keen on ending up in her mouth.

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Sucking them back quicker than George Michael in a sausage factory

She told me to pull into a driveway, and a bunch of massive Samoan fellas were standing there grinning.

“Now, I’ll give you payment for the trip, taxi driver,” she said, and the blokes roared with approval. I tried to fight back but was overpowered by the woman, who outweighed me by a good 40kg. She was gunna blow me whether I wanted it or not, and her mates were chanting what I assume is the Samoan equivalent of ‘mouth rape’.

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Two of the tough guys who laughed at me

My pants were yanked off and she was moving in for the kill. With tears running down my cheeks, I slammed the Rav into reverse and rolled backwards. It took the woman by surprise, and she was tossed from the passenger seat with a thud. I didn’t stop, burning away into the night while the Samoans chased after me.

I ran over a chicken on the way home, and eventually stepped out of the Rav without my trousers on, then crawled into my fale for a sleep that was prickled by dreams of being sucked off by Fui Fui Moi Moi’s fatter, uglier sister. Inexplicably, I woke up with a boner.

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Yep, that’s her

I’m a Savai’i-ver!

P1050046Last night, I had the best sleep of my life. Alright, second best, after that time I tried heroin. I woke up to brilliant sunshine and swaying palm trees, then matched it with a giant breakfast of cereal, fruit, eggs and toast. I can tell you, the morning after my experience with heroin wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant.

With storm clouds on the horizon, I grabbed my snorkel – no, that’s not a euphemism, bloody hell, grow up! -– and hit the bay out the front of Le Valasi’s. And it was an incredible swim! A lot of fish, some delightful coral, and I even saw a turtle bludging around! The best bit was the giant clams, which Ross planted out there a few years back. I knew they were out there somewhere, but it still took me an hour to find them. I must be retarded because they’re absolutely huge and there’s about 50 of them, so they were as easy to miss as an elephant in a preschool.

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The less said about this the better

I spent ages taking photos of the clams, then poking sticks into their open mouths so they would snap shut. I almost pissed myself with fright a few times when one would latch onto my fin. Then, with the rain beating down and my hands looking like prunes, I paddled in to pack up my stuff and move on with my adventure. Savaia is a wonderful village and my hosts were great, so I felt a genuine sadness as I drove away.

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I’m crying on the inside

I was heading towards the Manafuse Wharf, on the west coast of Upolu, where I would take a ferry to Samoa’s other island, Savai’i. Although bigger than Upolu, it has only a fraction the population, and most people reckon it’s a lot wilder and less developed. Seeing as the biggest building in Upolu is the local pay phone box, that’s saying something.

The trip to the wharf was pretty, but difficult. The road took me up a steep mountain, giving me a mind-melting view back towards Lalomanu, providing a chance to reflect on the past two days. Unfortunately, the Rav didn’t enjoy the drive nearly as much as I did, and a few times I thought it was going to roll into the abyss below. Erm, it didn’t, though, and I eventually made it to the wharf.

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Beautiful one day, fucked the next

Which is when a cyclone decided to roll in. My time in Samoa had been punctuated by constant weather changes, but this was something else. One minute I was parked in the line to board the crowded ferry, the next it was absolutely belting down and I was unsure whether I’d even get to Savai’i. And even if I got on the ferry, what were the chances of it crossing islands without sinking?

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I’m sure this is safe…

After a major delay we were led onto the rickety vessel, and soon I was surrounded by Samoans and their dogs and pigs and chickens. It was quite a sight, and things got even weirder when we took off and the boat was rocked by massive waves and started tipping in every direction. A few of the locals were chundering, one poor bastard fell off the side and had to be rescued, and a chicken got thrown into the side of a car and killed. Somehow, I managed to keep my lunch down.

Once on Savai’i, it was a quick run up to Manase, at the top of the island. The big island is a lot easier to traverse, with– less people and dogs to dodge, but there are plenty of pigs. The beaches go on forever, with the villages few and far between. When I got to Tanu Beach Fales, it was nice, too, even though I arrived around sunset and it was almost deserted. Despite having accommodation for, I dunno, 200, I was one of only four people called to the dinner table.

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Yep…

Two of the others were a young German couple, and the other was an elderly gentleman with a full-face tattoo. At first I thought he might try to stab and eat me, but I soon realised that Henry is a lovely old bloke with a few stories to tell. Unsurprisingly, he’s a tattooist. He had a successful ink studio in LA for years and scribbled on Pamela Anderson and… well, Henry’s dabbled in the drugs from time to time so he can’t remember who else he’s worked with.

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The one and only HENRY!

He also told me his partner was a former Miss Universe, which impressed me greatly and led to me talking about how much I’d like to do sex with Jennifer Hawkins. He had to stop me because I’d misheard him –- his partner is a former MISTER Universe called Steve, a musclehead who has apparently gone mad on steroids.

Henry spends half the year in Palm Springs, California and the other half at Tanu Beach, where he possessed nothing more than two t-shirts and the ability to sit in the same spot for hours at a time, amused by whatever it was that was going on inside his mind. And from the look of him, what goes on inside Henry’s head is fantastic.

The entertainment for the night was provided by some of the local children, who danced traditional dances while we ate. On a side note, who new that the Macarena was a tradional Samoan dance?

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Let’s twist like we did last Samoa!

I’m now sitting in my fale drinking a beer, looking out over an ocean painted silver by a full moon. I’m going scuba diving in the morning, so I guess I’d better get some sleep. Yeah, I may not be getting chased around by weirdos, or shitting myself on trains, but I could get used to this life.