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Pictures of our Samoa trip
(Part 4: Island of Savaii)
Part 1: Island of  Upolu: Part 1
Part 2: Island of  Upolu: Part 2
Part 3: Apia/Upolu: 47th Independence Day - June 1st, 2009
 
 
 
 
 
     
        Samoa Map                 Map of Savaii    
 
 
                  
 
         
                             Map of
                           the Pacific
 
 
 
 
 
 
latest picture: June 12, 2009
  • click a picture to see details
 
 
 
 
 
 
148  On June 9th, 2009, Emil is driving
our LandCruiser onto the ferry „Fotu-o-
Samoa II“ that will sail in 1 hours to
the Samoan sister island of Savaii
 149  The two girls make themselves
comfortable on the bridge of their
pick-up for the choppy sea journey
150  Upolu – the main island –
is bidding farewell
 
Exactly one week later, at 2pm, we are boarding the ferry to the island of Savaii. With the ‘Giant African Snail’ spread on the island of Upolu but not yet on Savaii, our LandCruiser is sprayed by the quarantine before embarking. The crossing is short and bumpy: After 1 hours, we already approach the port of Salelolaga in the Southeast of the island.
 
 
 
 
 
 
151  Two of the traditional, mostly very
simple “Beach Fale“ that can be rented all
around the island for approximately 60 Tala
per person (= US$ 23), including breakfast
and dinner. Here on the East coast in Lano
152  Peaceful tropical scenery
along the East coast near Lano
153  “Beach Fales“ – here near
Faga on the East coast –
guarantee an authentic Samoan
accommodation experience
 
It is mid afternoon, when we slowly drive along the palm fringed East coast to the North. It looks more rural than in Upolu, less populated and wilder. Now and then, a small community pops up with an impressive church – like everywhere – towering at its center and some breezy beach fales lining the shore. Arriving at the Northern tip, we drive past a vast field of old lava flow, reminder of the eruptions of Mt. Matavanu between 1905 and 1911, where fresh green plants started to grow again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
154  Coconut palm trees fringe a
stretch of the East coast near Faga
155  The shrine in Puapua at the
East coast with Maria and child Jesus
is protected by a “fale”-shaped roof
156  On the Northeastern corner
lies a lava field between Mauga and
Saleaula, scattered with green plants.
It is witness of the Mt. Matavanu
eruptions between 1905 and 1911
 
We check in at the Boutique-style Beach Resort “Le Lagoto”, situated at one of the Northerly sandy beaches, once more at a reduced rate, arranged by the Ministry of Tourism. Our traditionally built bungalow is spacious, but facing the street, which shows to be not entirely lifeless during the night. Additionally, each morning at 4am we are woken up by the honking local bus that lets passengers know that it is arriving.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
157  Another of the impressive
churches is in the village of Salelologa
on the East coast, where the ferry
landing is close by. Mostly there
are several churches in each village
 158  At the evening prayers, the
empty propane tank has the function
of a church bell. The tank is hit with
a stick. At the first strucks of the “bell”,
all activities cease. At the second ones
each family gathers for evening prayer
and at the third time the vesper is over
159  “Fale”-style villages are the
most characteristic feature in Samoa
(North coast near Safai - Fagamalo)
 
At our tropical fruit breakfast at the open air beach restaurant, we meet Andrea and Frank with their two children Sarah and Roger – Germans, who migrated to New Zealand’s South Island three years ago. We connect immediately and it feels good to be able to talk animatedly about things of mutual interest. Emil is absorbed in such an extent in the conversation, that at 9am I have to remind him that actually we want to surround the only 659 sq.mi. small island today as the day looks promising with blue skies and sun.
 
 
 
 
 
 
160  A rainbow appears over the
restaurant of „Le Lagoto Beach Resort”
in Fagamalo on the North coast,
where we spend three nights .....
161  ..... and enjoy every morning
a tropical breakfast consisting of fruits .....
162  ..... and the sunset in the
evening at the swimming pool
 
We head west along a lovely coast with beautiful outlooks to the sea. Grazing horses – still a mean of transport in Savaii – undermine the peaceful rural scene. Then, we approach Cape Mulinuu, the most westerly point of Savaii. Samoan like to promote the idea that this is the most westerly location of the globe where today ends – everything after that being already tomorrow. It’s not exactly like that: The American Midway Islands as well as also the Howland & Baker Islands lay a bit more to the West, apart from the most westerly Aleutian Islands in Alaska that are actually situated already west of the 180 meridian, but have the same time zone as Hawaii – everything sounds pretty complicated!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
163  A grave of a departed is
lovingly built in the shape of a
house at the North coast. Graves –
sometimes monumental structures –
are often to be found near the homes
 164  The weathered church
in Safotu at the North coast
has still an original character
165  We are driving through a taro
plantation with huge leaves towards
Cape Mulinuu, the most westerly
point of Savaii. Taro is the main
diet of the Samoan people
 
Emil’s eyes are now fixed more and more to the odometer. Exactly at 655'127.6 km he stops. Why? This funny number is marking our 400’000th driven mile on our around-the-world-journey since October 16th, 1984 (1 mile = 1.609344 km minus 11’390km driven before leaving on October 16th, 1984). Of course, we want to capture this special milestone with a picture and give it a toast. It is wonderful that it happened coincidentally just at this beautiful and famous spot.
 
 
 
 
 
 
166  The North coast direction West
is lush green and very beautiful
167  Natural swimming pools along the
shore are the special feature of Savaii
– partly fresh water, partly sea water
168  „Forgotten” palm covered
islands along the North coast
 
As soon as we head south, the weather changes abruptly and heavy rain starts to fall, hiding every view for many miles. Why do we not stop for a lunch break? The weather might approve in the meantime. But only at the ‘Nuu Black Sand Beach’ in the South we find a place to pull out and eat our picnic: bread, cheese, boiled eggs, ham und fruits, and – as always – accompanied by a big bottle of the local Samoan Vailima beer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
169  We reach Cape Mulinuu,
the most westerly point of Savaii .....
170  ..... where the odometer of our
LandCruiser reaches 655'127.6 km,
what means we accomplished exactly
the 400'000th driven mile of our
journey around the world since
Oct. 16, 1984 (1 mile = 1.609344 km
minus 11'390 km driven before starting)
171  A nostalgic weather beaten
church sits on a beautiful spot near
Falealupo at Cape Mulinuu
 
Our speculation works out even: Soon the skies clear and the sun returns. But time is too short now to backtrack to Cape Suisui to see the famous Alofaaga blowhole at the Southwest corner. It is also too short to visit the Afu Aau waterfall in Palauli in front of us, if we want to be back at our Beach Resort before dusk.
 
 
 
 
 
 
172  The Southwest coast is rough.
Huge waves crash against the
shore at Samata-i-Tai
173  On their way back home,
three curious school
girls stop at our car
174  A traditional thatched house
is nestled between black lava and
tropical green at the Southwest coast
 
However, two days later, we enjoy these two impressive tourist attractions. When we approach the blowhole, the ocean is raging from a close storm; the waves are crashing against the black lava shoreline with a ferocious force, showering our LandCruiser constantly with saltwater. Water fountains skyrocket in the air, falling then like fireworks in cascades back to the sea.
 
 
 
 
 
 
175  The Afu Aau Waterfalls at
Palauli in Southern Savaii are surrounded
by jungle foliage. The biggest fall plunges
into a three meter deep refreshing pool .....
176  ..... that is also fed
by delicate “falls”
177  Two small cascades of the
Afu Aau Falls, which tumble
into the Falealila stream
 
The most exciting performance, however, presents the Alofaaga blowhole itself: With an incredible power, it tosses a jet of water about 200ft into the blue sky – a beautiful spectacle! From this incredible force of nature we head to the peaceful Afu Aau waterfall, nestled in lush tropical foliage.
 
 
 
 
 
 
178  Some remnants of a distant
storm are raging at the rough lava
coast in the South of the island
179  With an incredible power, the
Alofaaga blowhole at Cape Asuisui
near Taga in the South tosses a jet
of water about 200ft. into the air
180  The huge waves crashing
onto the lava coast in the South
produce beautiful water fountains
 
It is a perfect place to say good bye to laid-back Savaii. Two hours later, we are already sailing back to Upolu. The sea is pretty rough; we are sailing also against the waves and are glad when we reach land safely.
 
 
 
 
 
 
181  Two girls doing laundry
where the river drops straight
into the stormy ocean
182  Wind and waves have cut
an arch into the black lava
rocks on the South coast
183  Some remnants of a distant
storm has whipped up the ocean on the
South coast – where are the surfers?
 
The remaining days until our departure spin away: We are sorting out pictures, updating our website and dissolve our temporary household. The closer the 1st of July moves, the sadder we become. Samoa has been three months home away from home. It was a peaceful and happy time on this very beautiful and relaxed island, where on May 8th, we were also able to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and on June 7th our 9’000th day on the road around the world.
 
 
 
 
 
 
184  A young boy carries his
heavy coconut load on a
pole over his shoulder
185  Children are always ready
to pose for a picture
186  There is nothing to hide. The
whole household is visible for
everybody at the traditional “Fale”
 
This small dot in the Pacific Ocean with its welcoming people has enriched our lives. When at midnight “MV Lady Naomi” leaves for Pago Pago in American Samoa, we both know that Samoa has captured a very special place in our hearts.
 
 
 
 
 
 
187  We bid farewell to the palm
fringed coastline of Savaii with its
slowly weathering white
church of Salelologa .....
188  ..... where not far away a
new house of God with a red
roof waits to be finished
189  Another white and impressive
church is greeting from the island of
Upolu, while we approaching it in
the West at Mulifanua, close to
the international airport of Faleolo
 
 
More websites from Samoa:
 
Articles in newspapers about us in Samoa:
Article: "Switzerland couple have travelled to 163 countries", Daily Newspaper "Samoa Observer" - April 5, 2009
Article: "World travellers take fond memories", Daily Newspaper "Samoa Observer" - July 1, 2009