Samoa – The last home of Robert Stevenson


Samoa - ApiaRobert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) lived here the last years of his life, in a mansion on a hill just outside Apia, the Capital. The locals used to call him Tusitala (teller of tales).

Samoa (the independent state of Samoa, not the American Samoa, which is further east) is composed of two big islands: Sava’i and Upolu plus a number of other small islets. It is a place where time passes slowly , there are few cars (recently they were able to switch from driving right to left as in England for economical reasons simply by saying: ”Tomorrow at 12 o’clock every car has to stop right where it is, wait 5 minute, then go to the other side of the road, wait for the signal on the radio and proceed that way). Imagine doing that in any western country – TOTAL CHAOS for weeks!

The Samoans are funny: they are like big, fat smiling children; their only dress is a pareo (a wraparound skirt) and a couple of flip-flops, nothing more. Life in Samoa is apparently easy: fishing, farming and fruits collection. No traffic, no smog. The only drawback is that every January some hurricanes hit the islands: when this happens, Samoans leave their homes (which are wooden made and have no walls!) and head to the mountains to get safe. Then they return (most of them have to rebuild their homes) and start again the usual activities, which includes having every sunday a big barbecue Samoan style.

Here’s an example :

Barbecued Salmon Fillet with Taro, Spinach Palusami and a Chillied Sweetcorn Salsa

  • 4 slices of pre-cooked taro
  • 2 x 200gm salmon fillet
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 red chilli chopped coarsely
  • 1 precooked corn on the cob
  • 2 x small onions or shallots chopped finely
  • 2 x cloves of garlic crushed and chopped coarsely
  • 8 medium spinach leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt (sea salt is best)
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Italian parsley for garnish
  • 1 cup of coconut cream (freshly grated and squeezed is best but you can substitute tinned)
  • YUM!




mappa di Samoa

6 september 2003 – around Apia

7 september 2003 – around Apia, Papapapai-tai Waterfall – flight to Sava’i island, Anganoa Bay

8 september 2003 – from Anganoa Bay to Salelologa – south coast – Olemoe Waterfall –  Alofaaga Blowholes – Falealupo peninsula – Cape Mulinuu – Vaisala (by car)

9 september 2003 – from Vaisala to Manase – trekking on Mount Matavanu

10 september 2003 – around Manase – turtles lagoon (swim with turtles!)

11 september 2003 – back to Salelologa – then from Sava’i to Upolu by boat

12 september 2003 – from Upolu to Manono island by boat

13 september 2003 – trekking around Manono

14 september 2003 – back to Upolu by boat – then back to Apia by car

15 september 2003 –around Apia

16 september 2003 – to the south coast by rented 4×4 car – Paradise Beach – Saleapaga

17 september 2003 –  Sa’anapu Village – back towoards Apia to visit Stevenson last home – back to Saleapaga

18 september 2003 –  O Le Pupu-Pu’e National Park – Togitogiga Waterfall – Le Mafa pass -back to Saleapaga

19 september 2003 – relax on Saleapaga beach!

20 september 2003 – crazy tour to Fagaloa Bay with our 4×4 and back 

21 september 2003 – from Saleapaga to Apia by car

22 september 2003 – trekking to Lake Lanoto’o (volcanic lake)

23 september 2003 – around Apia – last Vailima beers  – flight back to Los Angeles – Frankfurt – Milan

24 september 2003 – back in Italy