I left Pago on December 26. I had to overnight in Apia, as my flight to Syndey left at 6:30 am. I think they do it on purpose, for more tourist dollars. There are 2 airports in Samoa. One is Polynesian Airlines, which basically flies back and forth from Apia town to Pago airport, with one daily trip to Manu’a. The other airport is the International one, which is what all other flights fly from. They of course are not near each other…. which requires a taxi ride between them for about $60. And you generally have to stay overnight on the outbound trip, if not both.
My flight to Apia is delayed a few hours as one plane is down. (They have 3 planes). But we get there by dusk, and I collect my things and head over to get a taxi to Aggie’s resort, which is near Faleolo International Airport.
So I get into a cab. The cab driver has a friend riding along. I’ve been along here quite a few times, so no surprises to me. OR so I thought. The driver pulls off into a street that quickly turns to mud. No warning or mention of what he is doing. We’re now between a small gathering of one room houses. He hops out, I’m guessing to go to the loo since he didn’t come back with anything. I’m sure I would have been pretty scared if I didn’t know better! Anyway, back into the car and off… to the petrol station. Eventually we did make it to the hotel. And I had a pleasant dinner and off to sleep since I had to get up at 3 am.
Smooth flight to Sydney, then a short layover to change terminals and check back in for my flight to Hobart. The airports are swamped since it is the holiday season. Not so fun, but pretty efficient. I haven’t seen that many people in quite a while…
Into Hobart, shuttle to downtown, and a few blocks walk to the hostel.
Hobart is hopping. This is high season, with a hugely popular yacht race from Sydney to Hobart taking place as well as a big festival – The Taste of Tasmania. All the sailboats make it in by New Year’s Eve and have a huge party. I walked down to the festival, got my tasting glass, and thoroughly enjoyed tasting ciders, listening to live music, and gorging myself on Indian food and fresh berries! Periodically a sailboat comes in, and a huge cheer from the crowd erupts. Fun.
The rest of my friends arrive the next day, and we repeat the festivities!