We both love this place. Having walked up and down the island road, and up and down Manase beach, we realised that we made the right choice in staying at Jane’s Fales. Aside from any consideration of price (ours being the cheapest of the lot), ours is the only place with fales right on the beach and the only operation with such a beautiful grassy compound. Also, not unimportantly, it’s the only property with such a lively and friendly atmosphere. The breakfast and evening meals are taken communally at long tables in the large open air dining fale. For after-dinner entertainment the options are cocktails and/or a game of pool at the beach bar and star-gazing. Because of the lack of artificial light at night here, the sky is incredible – the multitude of stars hang low and brilliant above our hut. This is the first time that I’ve seen the constellations of the southern hemisphere.
A few observations and some items I forgot to mention earlier:
1) On Sunday night at 11 pm, while we were still in Apia, there was an earthquake here. Although we slept right through it, apparently conch shells were blown in the village and from some hotels, people ran for the hills.
2) At Jane’s the chickens, roosters, baby chicks and tiny black cats have the run of the place. But there are no dogs. One of the local women explained that dogs are not allowed in this village because they attack the tourists. (When Ty and I were purchasing a bottle of water at a small store in one of the villages south of here, several dogs came running up to us menacingly, growling and baring their fangs – thankfully, they did not attack).
3) And speaking (or writing) of stores, there are none other than the very small village corner stores which sell chips, pop, bottles of water, and a small selection of canned goods: no bakeries, no coffee shops, no malls, no cinemas, no clothing stores. The dress here is island-wear, long colourful floral dresses or skirts for the women and floral shirts and kilt-like sarongs (called lava-lava) for the men.
4) There seems to be little in the way of crafts practiced in the villages here but one handicraft that we’ve seen is palm frond basket-weaving. We have two such baskets, picked up on the side of the road, on our porch.
5) A coral reef circles the island and from our porch, we see the waves breaking on it and hear the constant whoosh of the ocean. Local men head out from the beach here with spears to fish along the reef.
6) Although the church is an important part of life on this island, there are far fewer of them here than on Upolu.