Monday, January 17, 2011

From Being Hit by a Car to Flying Off Bikes, It Was an Adventure

Biking on the North Shore of Upolu

Biking around Falefa. (This was after Jenny got hit by a car)

View from the road

Taking a picture break in Solosolo

A sinking boat at Mulifanua

From Being Hit by a Car to Flying Off Bikes, It Was an Adventure

Jenny had decided to go conquer Upolu with me, and I was looking forward to it. Based on plans, we decided to leave on a Monday, spend the night in Apia, then bike a little further so we could have a fresh start on Le Mafa Pass during the morning, before spending time at a few beach fales to finish up the island.
For two weeks prior to our trip, we had been getting text messages warning us about flooding, but neither of us had seen any floods, so we decided we should be safe.
I woke up at 1:30, ready for the 2:00 bus, and was surprised when my bus showed up early. It is a good thing that where I live, I know I can count on the bus passing a few times through my village, because by 2 am I was on the crowded bus headed for Salelologa.
The bus ride was faster than most early morning busses in which we normally feel like we are moving the same speed as a snail. The bus also got really crowded really quickly. In most seats, including mine there were three people sitting on each of the little benches, however towards the back, there were 4 in most of them. If that didn’t feel crowded enough, there were at least 30 people standing, some of whom were hanging outside the door of the bus.
When I arrived in Salealologa, I was happy that I could now relax and stretch my legs out. However, I decided to relax for a little while too long, for when I took my bike over to the boat, there were no seats. The boat was as crowded as I’ve ever seen it. Both levels had every seat taken, and in the outside hallway, floor room to sit or stand on was quickly becoming sparse. A woman offered to move a little bit over for me, and I sat down to try and enjoy the long crowded boat.
When I got to Upolou, I knew I had to wait since Jenny had quite a bit of riding to get to me. I enjoyed breakfast, I talked on the phone, I sat and read, and I just had a good time trying to convince my body it was not as exhausted as it was.
After waiting for over an hour, Jenny appeared ready for action. We hopped on our bikes and began pedaling. After riding the previous week by myself, it was nice to have the company, as Jenny and I kept each other pretty entertained.
When we had reached about our halfway mark (Which was only an hour in), we were reminded of why most people do not do all of this riding during the wet season. A storm blew in out of nowhere. We ran to take cover, finding a family waving us inside quickly. We spent time with that family eating cookies and chatting until the storm went away. After about 45 minutes, the storm finally tapered off into a drizzle, and we were off again. We took a few breaks to visit turtles, have a snack, and attempt to go to the bank (the power was off, so there was no way they would let you do business at the bank).
Finally, about 3 hours after we started, we made it to Apia, and were ready to run our errands and relax to prepare for the ling bike ride the following day.

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