After departing Pago Pago, we travelled overnight, arriving at Apia in Western Samoa the following morning.
There are a lot of photos here, but the album should give anyone thinking of a holiday in Samoa, a good idea of what to expect.
Westen Samoa, together with Fiji, reminded us the most of Papua New Guinea.
The difference between American Samoa and Western Samoa is remarkable. American Samoa is really run down and urgently needing an injection of funds and initiative, whereas Western Samoa is quite tidy and the civic pride is obvious where ever you look. The villages are all relatively neat with lots of flowering shrubs lining the properties and the roads.
The people were welcoming and proud and we were positively impressed all round.
Arriving in Apia with the wharf where we were to dock on the left hand side of the photo.
Looking across the harbour to the town. The Cathedral is to the left of the photo.
A friendly welcome waiting on the wharf.
This was the shuttle bus to town, organised by the ship for those who were organising their own program.
The friendly hostesses.
We headed to town, expecting to see the cultural show, but it was postponed till later in the day due to bad weather.
We decided to take a taxi trip around the eastern end of the island and this driver was happy to oblige.
Heading east from Apia along the northern coastal road.
I didn't get much chance to take photos and some of the following are just taken through the window.
Passing through a typical village.
We stopped at this small beach,
for a few photos,
but were disappointed to see the rubbish that had been washed up on the beach.
Frangipannis, always photogenic.
A pair of elderly tourists.
One of many churches.
They are usually in quite good condition.
This was a line up of buses from the ship. I'd hate to see how many there would be from a large ship.
We only had 580 passengers on board, but some ships have around 3000.
This was a small private park with waterfall and gardens.
Hibiscus come in many forms,
but are always attractive.
These flowers were also common.
There were many types of flowering shrubs.
Another double hibiscus.
Heading south and inland there were always flower lined roads.
Here we are approaching Le Mafa Pass and lookout.
The view from the lookout was great, despite the rainy weather. This is looking north to the ocean.
This was a freshwater storage lake.
A horse at the end of his tether!
The country here really reminded us of some areas around Madang, PNG.
School children heading home for lunch.
This was either another church or a school.
Here we are arriving at a tourist resort on the south east corner.
This is sensitive weed. When you touch it it closes up, as you can see in the photo below.
Another double or is it a triple hibiscus.
The beach resort.
The resort was composed of lots of small huts around the central dining room and bar.
All was located directly on the beach.
Looking east towards the island.
The restaurant, with an ocean view.
Some huts had walls and windows, but some just had railings.
Elisabeth with another lady from the Regatta. We shared the taxi with them.
The south coast road heading west.
Passing another beach with a fringing reef and lagoon.
Looking back towards to resort.
This was a more upscale resort, but we dd not go down to it.
I googled this and it looks quite nice.
Another home made bus, but it seemed to be in better shape than the one we had in Pago Pago.
This lad didn't seem to be wearing a seat belt!
We crossed the island in the middle travelling north on the Cross Island Road, then visited the Robert Louis Stevenson museum.
Villa Vailima, Stevenson's original home in Samoa.
It is now a museum.
The fireplaces were never lit, they were just to make the family feel at home.
This may have been from Robinson Crusoe.
The gardens are extensive and well kept.
We had a whirlwind private guided tour of the villa.
The house appeared to be quite comfortable. It is a shame that he was so sick and couldn't really enjoy it for long.
The misic room.
After the R.L.S. museum, we returned to Apia and visited the cultural centre.
This was quite an impressive building.
A display of various tapa cloths.
They had already had their performance, much earlier than they had told us, but when we showed our dismay they agreed to do it again for us.
We then rounded up a few other peaple for our private show.
It had been pouring rain and the floor was wet, but they didn't seem to mind.
Note the tattoos on this fellow.
This was quite special, but we didn't try it out.
This fellow was having his leg tattooed.
Trees in the garden at the cultural centre.
The wood carver's hut.
These fellows were carving Kava Bowls.
Looking back on the hall where the dance performance was held.
An unusual palm in seed.
Here are a few nice posters in the visitors centre.
Here you can trace our round trip, starting in Apia heading east and crossing the Le Mafa Pass, then east around the point passing the islands to the Beach Resort.
We then followed the south coast road to the west before crossing on the Cross Island Road back to Apia.
We were on Upolu Island, but Savai'i Island also looks interesting.
This is the cathedral in Apia.
The inside was rather spectacular with the mosaic timber ceilings,
the stained glass windows
and an impressive dome.
The red stone floor.
Looking back across the harbour towards the Regatta.
Down town Apia.
The harbour foreshore.
Flowering trees again.
This is the rebuilt "Aggie Grey Hotel"
Pert of the older section.
Looking out the back towards the pool and the small huts.
Part of the dining room near the pool.
The pool with bar and some of the new buildings.
A photo of the original hotel, taken quite a while ago. The original hotel was sold after it was severely damaged in a hurricane.
Part of the new yacht marina.
The harbourside restaurant. "The Edge"
The Edge, Marina View Restaurant.
Heading back to the Regatta.
Looking down from the upper deck as we depart Apia.
The cathedral with the cultural centre on our side of it.
Ursula and Elisabeth found each other again on the upper deck.
The pilot boat and tug accompanying us out of the harbour
and then heading out to the next customer who was waiting.