By Jade Johnston
“Do you need any help?”
“Um maybe, can you tell me a nice place to go on Savai’i?”
This was how I met Lolani at the ferry terminal. He proceeded to tell me about the beach fale accommodation that was owned by his aunt on Lano beach. He promised it would be cheap and that the views were beautiful. I was convinced at the word ‘cheap’.
Later, as I read through the Jason’s brochure to Samoa, I found an advertisement for the fale he recommended. Joelan’s beach fale’s promised all meals to be included, and plenty of coconuts.
Plenty of coconuts. Done and done.
To get to Lano you can take any bus that is heading in that direction, the most frequent being the Puapua bus. The journey takes about 30 – 45 minutes, and you can ask the driver to let you off just outside of the fale.
The beach fale’s and the views are magnificent. The fale’s are so close to the water’s edge, that at high tide, the water comes right up to the door. Even more impressive than the views, was the hospitality of Falesoa and Sione.
As I walked onto the property, I was immediately given breakfast (my second breakfast of the day… can’t complain), as my fale was prepared. I soon decided to spend two nights there instead of my anticipated one.
The atmosphere at Joelan was very much like staying with a family. The grandchildren were always running about shouting “hellos” at us, and we were included in all meals. We even got to watch Samoan television programming in the evening. (Some of the best commercial advertisements are in Samoa, believe me!)
At 50 tale per night, these fales are a real bargain. Combined with the three massive meals you will be fed each day, it is definitely the most budget accommodation I have found so far in Samoa. The town is also less developed for tourists, which means the pace of life here is laid back almost until the horizontal.
To leave Lano, you can either head north to Manase, or south back to Salelologa and the ferry terminal. More busses head south, but it is possible to find one heading north if you have the patience. There is only one road, so all you need to do is wait on the appropriate side of the road, and hail the bus that you need. The fare to either destination is about 3 tale on the bus.
I am not usually the type of traveler who seeks out beautiful beaches to laze about on, but I think I could definitely get used to the life style at Lano beach.
Eat, sleep, read, eat, sleep, swim, eat…. Paradise.