Cruise, Sydney to Southampton – Pago Pago

Wednesday 18 March

This is the first one. A sea day as opposed to a trip to Apia which had to be cancelled because of Cyclone Pam.

Pago Pago Village
Pago Pago Village

Wednesday 18 March

No, not an error, we have crossed the international date line so we have two Wednesday 18 March’s. I get my pension on the 18th of each month so does that mean I have got paid twice?

We are moored against land, namely Pago Pago (pronounced Pango Pango because the original missionaries had run out of the letter “n” in their printing press when they sent the first dispatches back!).

Banana growing on Pago Pago
Banana growing on Pago Pago

We set out on a tour around the West of the Island along with about a hundred or so others crammed into 6 or so old busses with open windows for air conditioning and a guide who was not very communicative.

Standard coach transport on Pago Pago
Standard coach transport on Pago Pago

Some wonderful plants and fruit and some run down properties as well as some grand properties passed as we skirt along the coastline stopping a couple of times for photos before we turn off the main road and into the rainforest for a stop at a village to watch a ceremony reenactment.

A serious looking Princess
A serious looking Princess

One of the tour group selected to be chief for the day, two locals talking (debating?) in their language and a “princess” preparing a drink which Mick said tasted a bit like mud but did leave a tang on the tongue.

Had to sit on floor for ceremony which caused a few murmurs of disquiet amongst some of the 100 or so tour people as there were only about 20 seats and people tried to stand in front of those seated. Such is cruise life!

Back on the busses after a coconut drink offered, a walk around the gardens and watching a local climb a coconut tree and off to the golf course which had wonderful views across the island.

Coasting of Pago Pago
Coasting of Pago Pago

Returning to ship, we stopped at a couple of photo opportunities including one where we were able to past airport and prison but not before we were stopped by the local police.

Strange rocks in Pago Pago
Strange rocks in Pago Pago

Possibility driver was speeding or had more than one standing. Allowed to continue but police followed bus into dock area to hand out whatever punishment was required.

Housing, Pago Pago style
Housing, Pago Pago style

Go for a walk after lunch around the small town for a few photos but it was exceptionally hot and humid so not a lot of walking, we were glad to get back to the air conditioning of the ship.

Buy a local polo shirt from thriving market at port entrance and an internet code for $10 but internet is so slow I have to give up.

Pago Pago Customs
Pago Pago Customs

Still many e-mails still to be downloaded but I do manage to get report to the girls about us missing Cyclone Pam – virtually nothing else happens so I pass the skirted customs official and back onto the ship.

Singer unwell tonight, so show cancelled and we join in quiz, not disgracing ourselves, but not winning.

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