These are eight, random "Daily Photographs" from my personal Flickr collection.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Wednesday, October 11. 2017

Day 18 - It was really nice to sit at breakfast with land on both sides of our ship. Pago Pago (pronounced Pango Pango) has a fabulous harbour, well sheltered from the sea. The steep mountains surrounding our ship were verdant green. I do so love vegetation of the tropics!

Wednesday, October 11. 2017

It was a pleasure to stop in American Samoa for the day. I am not sure I knew much about this place before I noticed it on our itinerary. When we first visited Hawaii in the 1990's, it seemed out of place to see an American flag flying over Hawaii. I have spent a fair share of time in the tropics but visiting a jungle in US territory felt odd. Today, the feeling returned, more so because we are now south of the equator.

We could see that Pago Pago is not much of a town and luckily the ship was able to dock right in town. The MS Noordam was a bit large for the space, but we only needed front and mid-ship exits on the dock proper. We exited out into town on a rather regular schedule.

The grassy main square area had several dozen canopies selling local crafts. Some folks were obviously pleased a ship had come to town. We first headed towards the McDonalds under the promise of free Internet, but I didn't see free access. It was strangely familiar to be in a moist tropical environment where all the fruits typical of Sri Lanka grow.

Wednesday, October 11. 2017

We happened by the bus stand and enquired about taking one. We had a very friendly driver whose bus was about empty at the departure schedule time. It read 'Leone', so we decided that was as good a place as any to visit. He said that it'd take at least an hour to go and come. The buses are a varied assortment of customized, colourful, homemade vehicles. Many are built on a truck chassis with unique bodies made of metal or wood. Many had logos or paint jobs that were one of a kind. All were an attempt at a self-run business.

Wednesday, October 11. 2017

American Samoa is a bit poor and the way that land is communally held means that there is absolutely no rampant commercial development. In fact, the only real source of revenue on the island is a tuna processing factory. It employs around 2,900 Somoans. On our way out of town, we were able to see ordinary houses, markets, and churches. There were surely a lot of places of worship, most probably because of the competition of missionary outreach. The coastal highway had a speed limit below 25 mph but the sections looked new. A tsunami in 2009 killed quite a number of people and parts of the highway were obviously remade.

Wednesday, October 11. 2017

Our bus driver was very helpful in pointing out sights. For example, we passed the island's only community college. The driver's sister in law also boarded and she was friendly in explaining anything we asked about. It was really a very nice way to spend some time, although the wooden benches were a little hard. We saw how, on many properties, elders are buried right next to the house. The above-ground tombs took up a lot of valuable space in the yard. Jay scanned all the vegetation for familiar flora.

We returned in around an hour and a half and leisurely returned to the McDonalds. Even after purchasing drinks, we were unable to log on to their Internet connection. It required entering ADMINMCD17 as a password but failed because of too many simultaneous users, I fear. We took a leisurely path, several streets in back of the front area of town. The cats were too afraid for contact. Lots of places looked abandoned as owners often go to the States and leave the land to be cared for by relatives. We had to spend several minutes under a building's overhang during a quick shower.

As we were getting back toward the ship we could see a bigger rain coming. It wasn't a short little shower because after we had a late lunch aboard our ship, the downpour continued for a number of hours. That is what keeps the tropics tropical. The wet and strong sun make for an explosion of vegetation.

We sailed out of the harbour at 6:00 and watched the scenery from the back pool area for much more than an hour. As we got closer to the open sea, the sky cleared over us. Rainbows needn't be accompanied by unicorns in this part of the world.

Wednesday, October 11. 2017

Wednesday, October 11. 2017


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