GUEST ARTICLE: Talofa! (that’s hello in Samoan) Samoa is by far the best island we’ve been to so far with beautiful warm weather, brilliant coloured water, white sandy beaches, excellent reefs and delicious food! The people are super friendly and like the other islands have the most beautiful voices.
We were lucky to see a local Samoan performance one night at a local hotel called Aggie Grays. The show was great – filled with lots of harmonic singing, body slapping, foot stomping and hoots of joy, it was probably the best island show I’ve seen and at the end they topped it off with a dazzling fire show. The fashion here is pretty basic and almost everyone wears a lavalava or what we know as a sarong.
The staple foods here are of course Taro, Bananas, Coconuts and lots of fresh fish.
We rented ourselves a little RAV and everyday we toured a bit of the island. The roads are excellent and it was pretty easy to get around but be prepared to have a ‘slow’ trip, Samoa is very laid back, Island time is what they call it. You also have to keep your eyes open for the heaps of stray dogs around and the pigs and chickens too.
On our first day we found one of the most spectacular beaches we’ve ever seen with the most amazing blue water, bright white sand and palm trees, it really was paradise. The water was also deliciously warm and the colourful fish abundant amongst the delicate coral. We rented a Fale (hut) for the day and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.
One day we went to visit the famous Robert Louis Stevenson house, for those of you who don’t recognize the famous author he wrote a few little novels including Dr.Jekyll & Mr.Hyde and Treasure Island.
The 100 year old house is still in good nick thanks to a wealthy American who took over the place in 1994 and invested a heap of money into it. The Samoan people loved and still hold great respect for Mr.Stevenson. Whilst he was alive he did many good things for the Samoan people and encouraged their independence. They buried him on a hill adjacent to the property and stories are still told of his greatness.
One day as we were driving around the island we stopped by a couple of locals selling coconuts. We chatted with them for a while to find out more about their way of life.
Rachel and La lived across the road in a tiny Fale things looked pretty bleak for them. They were pretty poor and were just getting by trying to sell the coconuts they collected everyday ($1AUD/each). Seeing how dire their situation was we couldn’t help but stock them up with some food essentials on our next time around.
Samoa is the cleanest and most picturesque island we’ve been to and some of the yard work (foliage) is really incredible. There are so many things to explore there, you definitely need at least a week and when that’s over you’ll probably want to stay on for a few more (like us!). We had such a good time and look forward to returning!
Postscript – A month after we left this beautiful island paradise it was hit by a now infamous tsunami. The immediate tragedy of the situation is well documented. The long term tragedy would be if tourists don’t go back to Samoa.
The people of Samoa really depend on tourism. It is a major source of income for the small island nation. The vast majority of the island was physically untouched by the tsunami so remains a wonderful place for a vacation. Go to Samoa!
This travel diary has been written by Rob Gower, a friend who enjoys taking roads less traveled!