Day 342, Year 1: A Climb to Mt. Vaea
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2006
Weather: Overcast in Apia
Location: Apia Harbor, Upolu Island, Samoa

Today we took our obligatory pilgrimage up Mount Vaea to the tomb of Robert Louis Stevenson. We took the steep climb up which was supposed to take 30-40 minutes. We made it in 25 minutes. But the trip down the longer, less steep path was a whole different story. It should have taken us 45-55 minutes, but it took us an hour and half. It was wet and slippery and rocky. We’ll never know if it would have been easier to go back down the way we came. In 1894 when Robert Louis Stevenson died here, the Samoans cut the path up the mountain to take his body to rest. From the tomb site, you can look down on the red roof of his home, Vailima, and you can also see all of Apia and the harbor area. The vegetation on the mountainside is beautiful, and even though it was a hard climb, I think all of us were glad we had done it. Here in Samoa, Stevenson had the name of Tusitala. This means storyteller, and that he was.

Early in the day, Mark, Lynn, and I went into town to try and find a church service with traditional singing to attend. We never found the church we were looking for, but we did hear singing in the churches. The most interesting thing we saw were all of the people dressed in while. This was not true at the Catholic Church, but it was at the other places of worship. Mark and I met Doug and Sylvie after church and walked back to the dock together. We then all went to Windbird to have a late breakfast and catch up on news of Windcastle’s explorations in the past couple of months. It was great to be together again and we look forward to spending more time together this week before we all leave Apia.

After we returned from our climb of Mount Vaea, Brian of Thistledown dropped by for a visit. He evidently arrived here yesterday although we didn’t see him. He had his new crew member, Jill, with him and we had a great visit. Brain was our neighbor in American Samoa and it was really good to see him again.

Lynn and Justin are planning what they would like to do on their last day before returning home. Their time here flew by and we look forward to spending quality time together tomorrow. We have really enjoyed our time together, but after they leave, we have to start seriously planning our final stops for this sailing season. We must get to New Zealand by November, but there are still so many, many places we want to visit here in the South Pacific. We’ll spend the remainder of our week making these plans

060924 Day 342 Samoa–Morning Walk in Apia; Afternoon on Mount Vaea
Day 343, Year 1: Saying Goodbye to Justin and Lynn
Day 341, Year 1: Rainy Day in Apia