Pago Pago Travel Blog› entry 19 of 19 › view all entries
Pago Pago, pronounced Pango Pango by the locals, is the capital of American Samao. It was also unfortunately my last port of the world cruise before my disembarkation in Auckland. Currently I am in Alaska and I am struggling to recreate the ambience of this lush Pacific island while watching glaciers greet me through the port holes in the medical centre.
If you google Pago Pago, the 6th entry is a website selling “plus size ladies clothing”. Now I am not quite sure whether this is a coincidence or not, but one of the things that became apparent to me in American Samoa is that the locals are of a quite sturdy build. Even the school girs looked bigger than our national rugby team and by the way things have been going lately, probably even play better…
A crew BBQ (American word for braai) had been organized for us and it was with great enthusiasm that we were rapidly packaged into multicoloured Caribbean style buses.
The buses took us along a coastal road that presented numerous photo opportunities of palms, beaches, vegetation and well built locals. Local advertising was sparse, but there was plenty of signage encouraging youth to stay away from alcohol and warnings about teen pregnancies: Considering this island has a population of under 15 000, hardly any entertainment and that a significant portion of infrastructure was destroyed by a tsunami recently, sex and alcohol might be some of the only few (remaining) vices.
We passed many idyllic spots hoping to be dropped off every time. So it was with some apprehension when we took the turnoff to the airport, drove through an outdoor mechanical workshop and were dropped off at a rock pool and bar, where 3 geriatric locals were belting out Elvis over the over-amplified outdoor speakers.
However, what seemed like an unlikely venue for a crew BBQ transpired into an afternoon of great laughs and entertainment. Chris taught us how to throw a football (American), Hector participated in rockpool photography and all of us sampled some of the interesting food that came from the grill.
We decided to head back to the port after a few hours and engaged in some obligatory tourist curio shopping at the stalls erected in front of the ship. Seeing that our visit increased the population size by 20%, it’s easy to understand why we (the Dawn Princess and cruise liners in general for that matter) present great commercial value to the ports of call and attract so many vendors.
It was back on the ship and in a blink of an eye, I found myself flying to join the Coral Princess up in Alaksa, where we are currently headed for Whittier.
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