Connections to Samoans and positive word of mouth heightened Colin and Maren Bouttell’s interest to visit Samoa.
And today, all the way from the bitterly cold streets of windy Wellington, New Zealand, they are having a ball in warm Apia.
Colin, an I.T. professional and his wife, Maren, a team leader at Victoria University, are staying at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Resort at Mulifanua.
They are here for a week.
“The reason why we came is because we know some Samoan people back home,” said Colin.
“You know everyone we meet, even the people that we don’t know are from Samoa, are always friendly and nice people.
“They are always smiling at us and always happy - we felt like it’ would be a great place to visit. We also see on the news every night that the temperature is 31 degrees.”
With the warm weather, all they could imagine was swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. And they have done just that.
“Just to get away from the cold and the everyday stress is great,” Colin said.
“We are happy to explore and we also wanted to do some tramping because we love hiking and tramping so we want to walk to the bush and see if we can see some beautiful birds and geckos and little bit of wild life.”
Like most tourists, the To Sua Trench is on the list.
“We will be hiring a car for three days and we will be going around Upolu and visiting some of the places on the southern side.”
Savai’i is an equally exciting visit.
“It’s a whole day tour and it sounds amazing because they will pick us up from the hotel at 6am and take us across the ferry.
“They will be showing us some good places like the fall that goes into the sea, they will be showing us some of the blow holes.
“They will also take us to a hotel that has a swimming pool and we will have lunch there and then they will take us to the fruit market and they will also get us to make tapa cloth.
“So we are really looking forward to it. It is a nice way to look at Savai’i.”
For the Bouttells, the key this week is relaxation.
“For this trip we are hoping to just to relax and explore and have some beautiful local fresh food like the fresh fruits and sea food, such as the raw fish salads,” she said.
“I am also curious to see if I can find some German traditions, maybe like some bread or cake - some sort of food that comes with the tradition - because I’m part Germany so I’m hoping to get that and enjoy the trip.
“I’ve had a fruit called ‘Vi’ and it tastes delicious.”