Samoan holiday scores a perfect ten

By Katie Gregory

After running like mad fools through duty free we got to the gate in the nick of time. Apparently they'd been waiting for us.

One of us joked that we were "waiting for our names to be called", but the boarding lady didn't see the funny side and quickly gave us our passes.

Our flight attendant was the best part of the flight. He cracked jokes about "Louis Vuitton" lifejackets and reminded us to fasten our seat belts over our "sexy hips". What a gem! Pacific Blue are very lucky to get this free comedy act who, we bet, deliberately dressed in an undersized shirt to show off his muscles.

He informed us that the food, movies and pretty much everything apart from the magazine we were reading were charged for - so take some cash or you'll get peckish.

After what seemed like the longest flight in the world, a mini-bottle of Lindauer and roughly ten minutes shut-eye we arrived.

We flew over part the island and saw enough palm trees to make rainforests jealous and a sea so clear I could detect four different shades of coral.

My mouth had dropped open and I may have dribbled a little in excitement.

We stepped off the plane on to the runway and into sweltering humidity. Jeans are really not required for this holiday.

The one thing you will notice when you cross over into arrivals is the abundance of taxi drivers. $50 tala got us from the airport to our accommodation at Outrigger in Apia. We had to roll our Rs for the driver to understand where we were staying exactly, but we got there.

Our garden fales were cute and comfortable. Recommendation: take mosquito repellent and put your mosquito nets down. We learned the hard way.

After many hours in the pool my mermaid friends surfaced and we went into town. Hold out your hand and five taxis appear instantly. $2 tala to town and straight to the best pizza joint - Georgie's, where $30 tala buys you the biggest pizza you have ever seen, but easily consumed by four hungry girls.

After a lovely day of snorkelling over coral at Palolo Deep marine reserve, where the fish seem fearless, we moved to Lalomanu on the other side of the island.

After a $80 tala taxi ride we came to the most idyllic setting. The glowing white sand beach met with the calm turquoise sea where palm trees basked in the sunshine. We had two fales on the sand right on the beachfront with a little balcony overlooking the beach. This was heaven.

In our seven-day stay we experienced a two-hour thunder storm closely followed by sunshine, but we were well protected in the cocktail bar and watched from undercover with a drink in hand.

We enjoyed amazing buffet meals and fantastic service from the friendly staff at Taufau Beach Fales.

As the trip was nearing a close we all wished to stay longer and camp out in a fale somewhere - we'd quickly grown fond of the relaxed lifestyle. Samoa gets a ten out of ten in our books.

- NZ Herald

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