You don’t have to be a literary groupie to enjoy the scenic walk through lush rainforest up to the top of Mt Vaea where the famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson rests in peace – the views over Apia and bay are simply stunning. You have the choice of two routes – there’s a 45-minute track or, if you’re feeling less energetic, take the shorter half-hour trail. Whichever way you chose, go early in the morning or late afternoon, as the mid-day heat can be stifling, especially in the height of summer. This is the kind of place you won’t want to leave in a hurry, so pack a picnic and don’t forget your insect repellent.
In the village of Vailima, at the bottom of the track, you’ll find the beautifully restored colonial homestead the TB-ridden Stevenson and his family lived in for the five years prior to his death. Known to the Samoans as Tusitala or teller of tales, the author of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island fame became intensely involved in the lives of the local folk and their plight to retain their cultural identity. The informative one-hour guided tour of the mansion and Tusitala’s many authentic personal belongings comes highly recommended, especially of the library where he penned 14 tomes in just four years.
Robert Louis Stevensons Museum - http://samoa.travel/sightseeing/x44/Robert-Louis-Stevenson-Museum
Vailima Botanical Gardens - http://samoa.travel/sightseeing/x57/Vailima-Botanical-Gardens