Our destination today was the Papasaea Rock Slides which are exactly what they sound like – natural rock slides made out of the rock and waterfalls. We walked 20 minutes into town with Bob, one of our hiking companions from Pago, Pago, and found the bus station, which was a really interesting place. There were tons of little busses, all fun colors with different sayings painted on them like the ones in American Samoa and Tanzania and Kenya. We found a local waiting to go to our destination, and we sat and waited and watched. Almost an hour passed and no bus, so we started asking around. Finally a different local suggested we take a different bus most of the distance to the slides, and then walk or take a taxi the rest of the way.
On the bus Bob sat next to a nice talkative local, and Elliott ended up next to a talkative and helpful local police woman! I was next to a quiet guy, lol. But the other ladies gave us lots of good info. Once the bus let us out there was a sign for the place we wanted to go so we just started walking. It was hot and uphill but the surroundings were beautiful and picture worthy, so we stopped and took photos a lot. There were several of the “open houses” that the island is famous for (they are houses with no enclosing walls) but I didn’t want to photograph them because there were always people in them. (I got a photo later when we were driving on a different road.) It turned out to be much longer than the ten minute walk we were told to expect, so when we were offered our second free ride, we took it.
The Papasaea Rock Slides tuned out to be in a beautiful setting – you walked down tons of steps among all kinds of tropical plants, like Hawaiian Ginger and Birds of Paradise. And they were lots of fun. When we arrived Emily (another one of our hiking companions in Pago, Pago) showed us all of the good slides, and which ones not to do. We went on two different slides, a small one and a big one. The small one actually led to the big one. We went down four times, and each time poor Elliott had some little injury or another. Bob was awesome, taking photos of us in mid-air on his camera, and we took some of him. Here are some videos of us!
There was another pool with a waterfall that had been determined as NOT safe to slide down, so people just hung out in the pool below and relaxed. We went in with Bob and had lots of fun standing right under the falls and taking photos again. We ate a picnic lunch on the rocks, relaxed a bit and then headed out.
There’s a Baha’i temple on Samoa and Elliott got it in his head that it would be fun to go there. There are a total of eight Baha’i temples in the world. We have already been to the temples in Israel and India, and we thought they were both beautiful. We found a taxi driver who was waiting for someone else outside of Papasaea Rock Slides, and although she started out with a price of $60 to take us to the temple and then to the ship, we eventually got her down to 34 talas ($15.45)! She was just going to be sitting around until 3pm anyway waiting for her other people, so it was worth her while. She was really nice, telling us about the island as we passed by different things such as the big Catholic Church, the US Embassy and the prior home of Robert Louis Stevenson. Once we reached the temple high in the mountains on the east side of the island, we got out and went into the information center and talked to a Baha’i representative before paying a quick visit to the temple itself. Such a beautiful setting! This temple looked like a closed lotus to me, which is neat since the one in India looks like an open Lotus.