Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hiking in Am Samoa

I spent a day catching up with Andy and Jake and then what do you know, I left them again.  Several ladies were planning a hike in the National Forest, up to the highest point here in American Samoa and I really wanted to go.  It's one of those hikes where we wouldn't get to do it together because it would be way too much for Jake.  It's 3 miles one way and then depending on which way you go when you get to the top, it can be even longer down (as we soon found out).

Seven of us met on the dock early in the morning and caught a bus to the head of the trail.  We had a nice time walking up the fairly well kept trail, chatting each other up like women do.  There were some steep hills and muddy patches but nothing we couldn't all do fairly easily.  When we got to the top, it was truly breathtaking.  A few of the women had brought the handheld radios and called down to the hubbies to tell  them we were waving.  By this time, we had been gone about 2 hours so we told them not to worry, we would be another couple of hours as we weren't going back the way we came, we were going to keep walking down the other side.

Karen on s/v "Gigi"
The trail down was considerably harder.  There were ladders with ropes and contrary to what we figured, it was not all downhill!  There were ladders to go up as well.  Some of them were sturdy, some were a bit wobbly, but none were really dangerous.  Of the 7 of us, I'm pretty sure I was the youngest and about half way through was quite a bit embarrassed as I realized how out of shape I actually am.  These women were kicking my butt!  One of the ladies I was with towards the back kept apologizing to me for lagging behind and I finally told her that I really didn't think this was easy for anyone!  After 4 hours, we were all tired!  About hour 5 we started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Or rather the ocean at the end of the trail.  We finished the hike on the other side of the island a full 5 1/2 hours after we started.  We had turned our two hour hike into a full day.

This was one of the longer ladders, and
the most shaky.

My friend Mary Lee, told us to wake her up when the bus came.

After relaxing (and rehydrating) for a few minutes we caught a bus and headed back to the dock.  I kept telling Andy how much fun I had and I think it was because we rarely all get together like that as women. We're usually as couples or family or one or two of us get together to go grocery shopping or do laundry.  But this group was a lot of fun as everyone was laid back, no one was overbearing or a know it all (something I have a really hard time with), and through the whole day, no one complained....not one bit.  As a matter of fact, we were all pretty upbeat...happy to be off the boat after all the wind and rain and enjoying the day with each other.

We've got another week or so here waiting on packages to come in, so there's a bit more exploring we get to do.  Andy has been diving and getting some more pictures of Nemo so I'll post those soon.

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