Hiking near Vatia ~ American Samoa

All day Sunday on AS is considered ‘sa’. It is a day for church and family, and the villagers are not supposed to work, swim, hike, play, etc.  Mostly they go to church, eat, nap, then repeat. Even though we palagis (haole, gringo, foreigners) don’t have to participate in the religion, we do need to be respectful.  Which means that we can’t use a beach or do anything in a village on Sunday. What is really nice is to go on one of the hikes that start at a pass (so not in a village) and listen to the church music along the way!

This Sunday, Kat and I hiked part of the Vatia Adventure trail.  You can make a loop from the village on other days of the week or hike up to the top of the ridge at Mt Alava.  It is maintained by the National Park of American Samoa. We were SO hot and sweaty that we only hiked a part of the way,  to a nice lookout. Hiking here is really best saved for cooler months, or in summer sticking to the waterfall hikes. I’ve lost all my acclimatization since I’ve been away for 6 months! So I can’t go too far without thinking I might have heat stroke…

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Fish Poison Tree flower (‘futu’ locally)

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Trail in the tropical rainforest

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Hiking partner Katrina

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The village of Vatia

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These must be from a different sub-species of Barringtonia. Much smaller flowers but very similar.

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