Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sweating in Samoa

Yep, that's what I've been up to for several days. Sorry I haven't been able to blog from Samoa - did you miss me?

The thing about tropical islands is - man, they're hot! It's been a while since I spent any time in that climate. Not condusive to much physical activity I have to say. But despite that, we did manage to go on one short hike while we were staying in Apia, Western Samoa.

It seems that Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of such classics as Treasure Island and Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, spent his final few years living in Samoa, in the late 1800s. His former house is now a museum dedicated to him, a few kilometres outside of central Apia (uphill, of course!)

He was buried, per his request, on top of a small mountain beside his home. The hike up to his grave is one of the few bushwalks near Apia, and takes 30-45 minutes each way. Here's me, already sweating at the start of the walk.

On the way up we saw some lovely birds, and an interesting array of tropical plants. It's hard to get any scale in the photos, but the plant in the photo below stood about six feet high.

When you make it to the grave you can see why he chose the spot. It overlooks the town with a view to the ocean beyond. Very nice and scenic, although I'm sure being dead and encased in stone blocks the view a bit.

Turning 90 degrees, you get a view over the valley towards more mountains. As you can see, there are houses and other buildings in the valley. Most of the population in Samoa lives right along the coastline, but Apia being the biggest "city" has spread inland farther than most villages.

That's about the most walking we did on our trip. It was enough to give me a heat rash on my legs, and put my clothing from that day into a plastic bag so that it couldn't contaminate the rest of my luggage!


Neil Cuthbert said...

That's an interesting entry. I have never seen a picture of the grave of RLS before. I understand the locals in Samoa knew him as 'tusitala' - story teller.

Maple Kiwi said...

That's right! "Teller of tales" I believe is the direct translation. Apparently he also ran a pineapple plantation on his property!