Peaceful Savaii, the larger of the two main Samoan islands, and far less populated than neighbouring
The island is the tip of a massive shield volcano, only three percent of which is above the
water, and which last erupted in the early 20th century. It is slightly larger than the
Isle of Skye, and slightly smaller than Mauritius.
I spent two nights on Savaii, as my first destination in Samoa, having crossed on the ferry by the airport
on Upolu. There is basically just one road ringing the whole island, so I spent a day exploring
one direction, and the next day exploring the next. The volcanic slopes are not steep, but access
to the centre of the island would have required much bush-whacking.
These ubiquitous colourful buses bounce all around Savaii. Although hot, no air conditioning is required
when there are no windows.
The coast of Savaii, where the sea and the sky match in brilliant blue.
Vaimoana Seaside Lodge, where I spent my two nights on Savaii in a little hut on stilts just over the
seashore. The hotel was half board, which was just as well as there was very little in the way of
Alofaaga blowholes on the south coast of the islands, where lava tubes and skylights are carved and
blasted through by the waves. My guide could perfectly time throwing in a coconut shell, so that it
would be launched out a hundred feet into the air.
The most recent lava flow on Savaii inundated this church at Saleaula, in around 1911. Tree roots now
spill out from on end, with the lava spilling in from the other.
exhibits pahoehoe lava - the distinctive ropey formations seen here, like thick custard skin.
Another lava formation, this one is dubbed the "House of Rock", and although it appears almost like
a lava tube, I reckon this was formed by deformation of the crispy top layer when it was still molten below.
A colourful church in Savaii, this one is not far from the ferry terminal at Salelologa.
I saw several examples of this beautiful bright orange tree across Samoa. I'm no botanist, unfortunately,
so I can't tell you what it is.
Towards the capes of the west of the island is a large forest canopy walkway, entered by this giant
Several large banyan trees are connected by rope bridges and walkways high up in the forest canopy.
Back at the lodge, there were many signs warning to watch for the coconut danger overhead. I was reminded
of the Roald Dahl short story, "The Boy Who Talked With Animals", and the perils of Jamaican
A fine spot to while away the rest of the afternoon, gazing over the south Pacific from this lounger.
I also kayaked over to the island one afternoon.
Where the island isn't protected by a reef, the full force of the Pacific is unleashed, and this was
on a fairly nice day.
The Yuhchang Number 7 came too close to Savaii for comfort, apparently quite recently as the vessel
appears to be in relatively good condition. Its home port is Port Vila in Vanuatu.
A hermit crab carries its home across the sand. At first glance the beaches appeared empty, but on
closer inspection many hundreds of hermit crabs could be easily spotted.
Cheerful and encouraging text on the rubbish collection racks, Samoa is also kept tidy by keeping trash
above ground level and out of the reach of local pigs.
A regular ferry service connects the islands of Savaii and Upolu, sailing once every couple of hours.
I drove my rental car onboard, and enjoyed the view from an upper deck on the journey of about an