Geocaching Around the World – Samoa

We endured a long travel day yesterday, arriving at the Aggie Grey Resort, Apia, Samoa well after 22:00, with a 5 hour time change making it seem more like 3 o’clock this morning! Our arrival was delayed by 2 hours when a random inspection during our technical stop in Tahiti identified a problem with the in floor emergency lighting. We were temporarily evicted from our seats in row 18 while the flight engineers worked to rectify the issue; everyone on the jet cheered when the lighting was repaired, the bags reloaded into the hold and we started rolling down the runway to depart Tahiti.

On arrival in Samoa, we were greeted with beautiful leis. Unfortunately, it turned out that youngest GeoKid was allergic to the flowers and he proceeded to sneeze for the next hour. At Aggie Grey’s Lagoon, Beach Resort & Spa for a traditional Samoan dinner, accompanied by singing, dancing and fire twirling. As soon as the fire dancers finished their performance, we headed off to bed, desperately seeking sleep!

This morning, we took a closer look at our tour program for the day. There is only one cache on the island and as luck would have it, an optional visit to the site was in the tour program. Mr. GeoK volunteered to head out with a small group to visit Robert Lewis Stevenson’s home in Vailima. Mr. GeoK passed on the kava cermony and tour of the home in order to search for the virtual cache. The local guide said it was a 45 minutes to 1 hour to the summit location of Stevenson’s gravesite and another 45 minutes to return. The tour group was scheduled to stay at the museum for 1 hour and forty five minutes, putting a bit of pressure on our intrepid geocacher. After taking a few wrong turns, Mr. GeoK finally found the right trail and was confronted with a creek crossing (one of 5 creeks on the property), which was too large to jump due to the heavy rains … the result, wet feet for the rest of the day.

The rain continued throughout the trip up the mountain, making for slippery conditions; however, Mr. Geok made it to the cache in 30 minutes. He made a quick survey of the site, snapped a few photos, paid his respects to RLS and returned to Vailima within 50 minutes. After a quick visit to the bathroom to wash out the mud in his trousers and wring out his shirt, Mr. GeoK even had time to catch a tour of the estate. The tour group didn’t even know he was gone although a few wondered why he was so wet!

Meanwhile, Mrs. GeoK and the GeoKids had adventures of their own. Just seconds after heading outside to walk along the beach at the Aggie Grey Resort, we were buffeted by strong winds and torrential rain. Mrs. GeoKs’ sunglasses went flying, and seemed lost in the storm. After retreating to the hotel room for a few minutes, Mrs. GeoK retrieved her full rain gear from her suitcase, suited up and headed outside to search for her shades. Half an hour later, she gave them up for lost and headed back inside, through 10-15 cm of accumulated rain on the walkways, to towel off her raingear and pack her carry-on bag.

Soon afterwards, with the rain letting up, we lugged our bags to the lobby and settled in to play a game of cribbage. We also undertook a brief search of the lobby furniture, just in case Mrs. GeoKs’ sunglasses fell off when we sat down to de-fog our camera lenses. With no success on that front either, Mrs. GeoK visited the reception desk to provide shipping information just in case her favourite sunglasses are turned in over the next few days. Meanwhile, Youngest GeoKid headed out into the light drizzle to make one last search. This time, success!!! Mrs. GeoK was delighted to have her Maui Jim sunglasses back in hand and we celebrated Youngest GeoKid’s success by purchasing a pair of locally-made necklaces in the lobby gift shop.

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