Your vacations usually include a lot of sleep. You’re out for a full eight or nine hours at night. You laze around in your comfortable bed and enjoy the beautiful scenery even after you wake up. Then, sometime in the afternoon, you take a nap in a hammock or under a shady umbrella. Some would call you lazy, though you prefer relaxed. Either way, why is such a lazy/relaxed person wide awake shortly after sunrise?
The reason is simple. It’s time to go surfing. From the four-poster bed in your fale, you have an uninterrupted view of crystal clear water. Though the lagoon right in front of your bungalow is calm, waves are crashing just beyond the coral reef. With the tide coming in, Aganoa Right, a premiere wave just a quick paddle from the beach, is breaking consistently. A gorgeous barrel is forming along Aganoa Left. While a little farther away, higher waves, some reaching nearly 10 feet, are in K-Land.
These amazing waves are in the South Pacific country of Samoa. After landing in Apia, the island nation’s capital and largest city, you were greeted by a surf guide, who drove you to the ferry dock on Upolu’s west coast. The ferry, crossing the Apolima Strait, gave you your first glimpse of the famous swells in the distance. By the time you reached Savai’i, a larger but quieter island, you were itching to get in the water. But the swells died down due to low tide. Surfing would have to wait.
Aganoa Lodge Samoa, on the south coast, is the perfect place to hang out while you wait. The Tafua Rainforest Preserve, home to rare Samoa flying foxes, is to the east. The Afu Aau Falls, a 60-foot waterfall, is slightly inland. While the small lodge sits on Aganoa Beach, a perfect stretch of white-sand ringed by that coral reef. A lounge, a bar, and surf-observation areas fill the open-air common area. Sun loungers and red umbrellas are spread across the sun deck. A yoga pavilion is nestled at the edge of the jungle. Plus eight standalone fales, made of reclaimed timber and lava rocks, stand at the edge of the sand.
You spent the rest of the afternoon sipping coconut water, lounging in a hammock, and staring at the small waves. You saw sea turtles when you snorkeled in the lagoon and a pod of spinner dolphins when you paddled a kayak farther offshore. You threw a coconut into the Alofaaga Blowhole and watched it shoot 30 feet into the air. You hiked to the waterfall to leap off the surrounding rocks and swim in the cool water. Then you ate freshly caught sashimi and organic vegetables, grown in the lodge’s hydroponic facility, for dinner. Other guests excitedly filled you in on the surfing spots and conditions. The tide was finally rolling in again, but darkness had beat it.
That’s why you’re now wide awake shortly after sunrise. As you put on your rash guard and slather yourself with sunscreen, you listen to the waves outside of your fale. They’re already at least a couple of feet high and sure to get even bigger around high tide at 10:15 am. It’s finally time to surf. And, later, it will be time for a nap in one of those hammocks.