Sunday in Samoa
A lot of people say that there is not much to do in Samoa on a Sunday. Well, we found quite the opposite. We not only checked out Apia’s fish market for an early breakfast, we slipped in a bit of worship, a stunning swim in one of the most beautiful beaches on Upolo, more food than we could possibly eat at a great umu restaurant and we even managed a sneaky afternoon siesta. You’ve got to love this place.
As Apia has grown and become more commercial, town people don’t have the kind of time needed to prepare an umu. Umu are still really common on a Sunday in the villages but the townies will often go down to the fish market where you can find delicious pre-prepared umu food.
We skipped breakfast and got there early and were very happy to find that you can also get a great breakfast of coco-rice, coco esi, which is a coconut and tapioca drink and vaisalo which is a kind of porridge made from young coconut flesh and juice. I headed straight for the pulini- steamed pudding- which you can have with custard. Pretty rich but really good.
There is a huge assortment of fish and it is very reasonably priced. If you are extremely daring, which I’m not, try the se’a. It is the innards of sea slugs fermented in seawater. Not for the fainthearted!
We were keen to catch some of the stunning Samoan singing that happens every Sunday all over the country. We were welcomed into one of the many Churches along Apia’s waterfront. They caught me by surprise when I had to introduce myself and Adam to the whole congregation. The result was that we were welcomed like we were long lost family.
We’d arranged to catch up with friends for a lunch at one of Samoa’s best-kept secrets. Lupez is an umu restaurant on the South Coast in between the luxurious Sinalei and Coconuts Resorts. Not many restaurants do a dedicated umu. The umu is often part of a hotel’s Fia Fia or cultural night that is open to the public. Lupez puts on an incredible umu. Tables full of suckling pig, crab, mahi mahi, crayfish, palusami, salads you name it! And it sits right on one of the most beautiful beaches in Samoa and I mean right on it. You have sand under your feet as you listen to the house band and chat to your friends around large tables shaded with palm trees.
It’s only about 20 metres to the sea so before, after, and even during your lunch you can tumble into warm, crystal clear water. That is precisely what we did. Lupez is the ultimate chill out.
As I lay under the shade of a tree and drifted off to sleep I really only had one thought running through my mind. Life is sweet!
Blog by Anna Marbrook
Video Director: Anna Marbrook
Photography: Adam Jones
Editor: Phil Brown
Presenters: Dana Rasmussen & Robert Oliver