I had heard raves about cycling around Samoa from a few friends so by June I’d had enough and started to seriously research it. For me, winter in Christchurch can be pretty grim so a chance to escape is pretty exciting. The end result of my research was that 10 of our extended family of 5 adults and 5 grandchildren, ranging from 10 to 14 arrived into Apia from Auckland. It is great to see a friendly face waiting at the arrivals so the transfer to our accommodation, the next days meet and greet, the trip briefing and bike fitting all pretty much went exactly as you would expect it and set the relaxing tone for the next 9 days.
Ross & Francis have been working in Samoa for the past 5 years and have the outfitter role well sorted out. Cycling around Samoa was actually 7 days of riding approx 200 kms around the second island of Savaii with one day off midway. The accommodation was largely Fales (small huts on poles with thatched roof and walls) which provided a relaxed ‘close to the water’ feel with a gentle breeze blowing through the walls and our mosquito netting while we slept under a sheet. Two nights were in the Vaisala Hotel on the beach and our last night was a homestay with Kelvin and Ruth – which remains a trip highlight. So how did our family rate the trip? “Sick Grandad, Awesome, Cool, Neat, Amazing!!! “ ( Why don’t kids speak english? )
The trip was exactly what we wanted – some physical exercise and a new culture to experience and long hot afternoons to chill in the Fales and hotel. While the cycling was seemingly pretty easy with a couple of 20 km days and a few 38 – 45 kms days, the heat meant that it wasn’t as easy as we had anticipated. Getting onto the bikes early was important so we reached the next spot by lunchtime. The roads were beautifully sealed with enough climbing to keep us honest. Our youngest granddaughter took advantage of the luggage van on two occasions so that back up was invaluable. The swimming was a delight so take a set of fins and a mask if you can. Overall the trip was seamless and it ran like clockwork – something we appreciated as we watched DIY cyclists struggling with a variety of issues.
Air travel into Samoa next year looks to be growing by at least 20% which will force prices down I hope. Having a 8-9 day break was such a great way to break the winter blues and by the time we got back, the weather seemed to have got so much better. Cycle Journeys is now delighted to partner with Ross and Francis, so drop us an email for further details.