Survivor Samoa


Survivor Samoa Or How did I fall on my Head and other survivor stories at Virgin Cove.treasure Island Leaving Los Angeles for a summer of sun in Samoa and the South Pacific, I had no idea of the Survivor Stories that would unfold so quickly. It took us nearly 3 days just to get there as we had a 15 hour layover in Fiji and after landing, I could tell George was exhausted. We’d left Los Angeles Wednesday near midnight and flew 10 hours to arrive on Friday July 1st in Nadi, Fiji.For our all-day Fiji layover, we took a thirty-minute ride on the Tiger IV Catamaran and spent the day at Treasure Island. The weather did not cooperate but we relaxed by the pool and ate the Mongolian buffet (clearly none of the cooks had ever seen Mongolia). After that day of adventure, we narrowly made our bus back to the airport for our flight to Samoa.We finally arrived Thursday night. Our driver from the airport tried to chat with us on the hour ride but we could not keep our eyes open.

Right away we were told that they were filming Survivor, the television show, to the west of our fale in Virgin Cove. “Don’t go that way,” the security guard said. It is never good to tell George what not to do as he immediately only wants to do that one thing. After hearing that the local village would be fined if we showed up, we promised to follow directions. We didn’t realize that the next evening I would have my own Survivor moment, waking up outside the communal toilet with my chin in the dirt. But let’s not get too far ahead.

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Virgin Cove is a lovely spot but arriving at night after days of travel, our fale looked as it was a large empty oval with a piece of foam on the floor and a mosquito net and palm-frond sides. I decided we could think more about the room after sleeping and we were too tired and jet-lagged to do anything but sleep that night.

Upon completing a journey of 100 steps to the bathroom, we could see the gorgeous azure seas and could not wait to explore the calm waters for snorkeling. There were palm trees lining the dirt path and we could see the other fales. George thought they were closer to the water but we were closer to the bathroom. After a breakfast with eggs (included in our 144T a night price, $70USD—although now you do have to pay extra for the eggs), we were ready to snorkel. Our new Aussie friends thought the snorkeling was great; our vote—fair.

eatingFollowing our day by the sea, we indulged in a buffet dinner of many nasty inedible delicacies like baby octopus, squid ink pasta, baby suckling pig roasted, and things I can eat but would have far too much of over the summer – like taro root and fresh fish (my favorite), and chicken with rice, a combo that came back to haunt me. With dinner consumed we attended a fiafia (traditional dancing and fire show) and later went to sleep on our mat.
Around 1:30am I started my first of my journeys to the common bathroom. Over an hour of painful cramps and diarrhea was in store for me but I was shocked when I woke up on the ground. I had fainted at the edge of the steps and so I regained consciousness, scraped and bruised on both arms and chin. I guess when I needed to go to the bathroom again and again I should have woken George, especially after falling down but I was so stunned that I ended up face-planted on the ground, I wasn’t thinking clearly. Back in our room I lay on the mat, moaning. George woke up and asked what was wrong. After my telling my tale of woe, he offered to help. Because of his concern and despite the many explosions earlier on, I was finally able to go rest.

samoaThe next day, after noticing more war wounds from my experience, I said, “I need Horatio,” which inspired a long discussion of CSI with another group of new Aussie friends. It turned out that many who had the chicken at dinner had a long and difficult night!
But I survived and was well enough to eat breakfast. I was surprised that I could eat at all after my night of adventure. I did enjoy the eggs, hot toast, and fresh fruit. Finally, sleeping on the ground wasn’t too bad and hotel’s location in Upulo was lovely. We had many geat walks and fresh fish meals. Our Samoan summer had begun with a good start of surviving and thriving.

Video of Virgin Cove Traditional Dancing FiaFia 

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This article first published as Samoa Survivor on Technorati.

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

4 responses to “Survivor Samoa

  1. From S in Hungary:
    "Hello Lisa and George,

    I find your blog some time ago and the funny is, people use to say the first blink on someone is the most important as that gives you your full opinion about that person. In Hungary we use to say the first blink always has to land on the shoes first 🙂 Anyway make it shorter J I find your travel blog and when I opened I found your first sentence about the hesitation of giving up everything and go and travel and you still doing it and I just felt, oh my got maybe I need to do the same as it is full with emotion and courage. I hope I don’t bother you with my email but I just wonder if you have ever been in Hungary or do your trips to Europe? and if so did you writte anything about it. It is nothing like Afrika or USJ but I can only suggest it. Once you interested in just give me a quick reply and I send you some great links about what is it all about J

    Please keep blogging!


  2. From I in Az "Love readiing your storis! Glad you made it OK! Food poissononig sucks!

    Thank you for reading and commenting! We love to hear from you!
    L & G

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