Savai’i, Samoa

The Great Samoa

Lady Samoa III
Life by the Sea
Assorted Cattle
grated coconuts
Blessed Faithful
road owner
The Afu Aau Lagoon
Volcanic Coastline
End of Mass in Safotu
Vacancies vs Lavas
communal volleyball
Tropical Savoy
lava destruction
In possession
Christianity of Safotu
fan believers
savannah-samoa-island-polynesia-palm grove
Upolu is home to the capital and much of the tourist attention. On the other side of the Apolima strait, the also volcanic Savai'i is the largest and highest island in the archipelago of Samoa and the sixth in the immense Polynesia. Samoans praise her authenticity so much that they consider her the soul of the nation.

An hour and a half elapsed since the departure of Mulifanua, the ferry “Lady Samoa III” docks at Salelologa, near the southeastern end of Savai'i.

Convenient because it shortened the navigation, the destination forced us to take an additional land route, towards the north coast of the island.

The usual precautions taken by guide Anthony McCarthy mean that we arrive at the hotel with sunset already set to the west of Matautu Bay. It proved to be only part of the reward.

The Samoan reception team that Anthony was part of, had gone to great lengths again.

Accordingly, we hurriedly installed ourselves in a speak (traditional hut) almost on the beach.

We left her and plunged into the warm Pacific Ocean. We bathed and refreshed ourselves while the firmament that enveloped Savaii gilded, rosy, became fiery.

We come out of the water, into an environment that is still hot and humid, with Venus, as always, in the lead and several other stars joining her.

As night falls, Savaii surrenders to a silence that only one or two unsynchronized roosters dare to break. Worn out by the turns and walks in Upolu, we leave office work undone.

We slept like rocks until 7:30 the next morning, on a Friday.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. south pacific, bus

By that time, several old and colorful Samoan buses were already driving along the North Coast Road, full of children on their way to school.

Aware of how much he had to show and teach us around Savaii, Anthony hurries us to breakfast by the sea.

“Boys, we should be leaving by now, let’s get on with it!” she shoots, in joke mode, in the deep voice that matched her Polynesian solidity.

It so happened that the beauty and functionality of one of the places he wanted to take us to, the blowholes of Alofaaga depended on a certain tide.

Savai'i: North Coast Road Below

So we traveled south almost antipode, circling the island, the only way to reach it. Inland, the great mountain and volcano Silisili (1858m) rose above lush slopes that made any intersection and shortcut impossible.

The Silisili is just a zenith. All of Savaii forms a vast shield volcano, the largest in the South Pacific, with craters, fumaroles, lava tunnels and other formations scattered across the island.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, volcanic coast

The craters in particular extend from Tuasivi on the east coast to the western end of Cape Mulinu'u.

As we would see, some have proven to be more destructive than others.

We crossed successive districts with names of complex pronunciation: Gaga'em Auga, Fa'asal'el'e' Aga, Palauli and Satupa'itea.

On the east side of Palauli, Anthony gives us an invigorating break at the Afu Aau waterfalls, which supply a lagoon with cold, crystalline water, somewhat hidden at the edge of the rainforest and protected by Tafua.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, Afu Aau Lagoon

For some time now on the South Coast Road, we pass the black sand beach of Nuu.

The Blowing Holes of Alofaaga

In the heart of the village of Taga, a detour to Cape Auisui takes us to a rough coastline, made of solidified lava, porous and pitted.

A local guide welcomes us there. Anthony salutes him, thanks him for coming. Make a payment to talas, the national currency of the island.

After completing the transaction, the host takes us to the blowing holes of Alofaaga. “I will then go into action. Prepare the machines!” So we do.

The man grabs two coconuts. At a time when the waves receded, he throws them into one of the blow holes.

When the waves fill the lava bottom and the orifice again, they make the coconuts shoot skywards, higher than the explosive gushing of the water.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, blowholes

When the coconuts land, close to us, practically grated, we take one or two pictures of the final product.

We say goodbye and head back to South Coast Road. Shortly after, the three of us agree that we are starving. “It was a good place to finish it.”, reassures us Anthony.

“There is a humble family a few kilometers away that serves Samoan food, more or less traditional. Whenever I can, I like to stop there”.

Anthony orders us roast chicken, served with boiled plantain and taro, all artfully wrapped in banana leaves.

The Prolific and Vertiginous Tree Climbing of Falealupo

In a semi-forced way, due to lack of time, food on board, we continued towards the western tip of Savaii, Cape Mulinuu. Before reaching it, we cut to Falealupo.

In a patch of local forest, we experience a walk over wobbly walkways and rope bridges, elevated among the trees.

Anthony confesses to us that he suffers from vertigo. Still, he strives to complete the course, at his cautious speed.

When it ends, it's time to take the South Coast Road again towards the Manase area, where we would spend the night.

Friday Afternoon and the Excited Return of Schools

On the way, we stopped at a school.

At that time, an official wearing a lava lava (typical skirt) was picking up a Samoan flag from the pole. Children left the classrooms for a rugby pitch.

From there, they walked to homes or boarded providential vehicles.

We followed a pick up loaded with teachers and school staff. And a small truck with a box full of students. Happy that the teaching week is over, everyone waves and greets the outsiders with rejoicing.

In the middle of Asau Bay, the South Road becomes the North Road again. This one bends into the lush interior of Savaii, here and there, dotted with banana groves and taro plantations. It only returns to the coast, over Sasina.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. south pacific, cattle

Shortly after, we enter Manase. Driving us since 7:30 in the morning, Anthony claims his rest period.

Another late-afternoon downpour washes our minds of conscience problems for not going out again to discover, on our own.

After all, we had another day and a half allocated to Savaii. Starting the next one early and refreshed seemed like another good idea.

As almost always, the aurora gives us good weather.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. south pacific, cove

Savai'i and Intense Samoan Rugby

He is also a practitioner, Anthony takes us to a regional rugby tournament, Samoa's main sporting passion.

Taking place in a field walled by basaltic stones, surrounded by coconut trees, taro plants and other tropical vegetation.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. south pacific, rugby

The tournament is worth what, above all, the warrior honor of the players and the towns they represent is worth. The players take it with such determination that one of them is seriously injured and is evacuated by ambulance.

It doesn't happen to everyone, but, however they apply, some Samoan players find themselves recruited for the best professional teams, especially in Australia and New Zealand.

Photographing rugby with that competitive and frantic pace, ends up tiring us out. Luckily, the next stop was at a marine lagoon in Sato'Alepai.

We share it with green turtles, who are more than used to human presence, stimulated by the gifts of papaya that visitors usually make them.

Nearby, a community of family and friends played a clumsy volleyball over a grassy garden.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, communal volleyball

That Saturday, the communal time for sports and leisure, over grass and around banquets, seemed to last forever.

Just like the circumnavigation of the island which, being the largest in the Samoan archipelago, began to seem endless.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, tropical coast

The Church destroyed by the lava of the Matavanu Volcano

We advanced to Sale'aula. Its immense lava field extends for a few more kilometers.

It was formed in 1905 by the eruption of another of Savaii's volcanoes, Mount Matavanu.

On its way out to sea, a thick torrent of lava entered the doorway of a church which the London Missionary Society had erected in 1865, just thirty-five years after the society landed in Samoa.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, lava ruins

Lava built up inside. It caused the collapse of the roof and the impression of beams and pieces of iron on the ground, which later solidified.

In its destruction, we find an unusual and unmistakable monument to the supremacy of Nature over faith and human will. And yet we soon found how the proselytizing determination of the London Missionary Society prevailed.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. south pacific, believers

So much so that, under the action of John Williams, one of his missionaries, Samoa became predominantly and officially Christian.

Safotu and his Colorful Christian Life

We arrived on Sunday morning. Functional churches on the island claim the presence of believers.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, Safotu ChurchWe are impressed by its architectural exuberance, the white and blue temple of Safotu, with its twin towers and a cut pediment above an L-shaped nave.

We photographed him when, after Mass, a colorful crowd of faithful dressed in their best dresses and combinations of lava lavas and shirts rush down the stairs.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, Safotu Church

They form a Samoan posse that stretches out North Coast Road.

We follow them towards Manase, where we return to the southeastern tip of Savaii, in time to catch the ferry back to Upolu.

Savai'i, Samoa, Polynesian island. South Pacific, Lady Samoa III

From Upolu, we also visit Manono, the third island of Samoa, not counting “Americana”.

This one is a whole other Samoa apart.

Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.

In Search of the Lost Time

For 121 years, it was the last nation on Earth to change the day. But Samoa realized that his finances were behind him and, in late 2012, he decided to move back west on the LID - International Date Line.
Apia, Western Samoa

Fia Fia - High Rotation Polynesian Folklore

From New Zealand to Easter Island and from here to Hawaii, there are many variations of Polynesian dances. Fia Fia's Samoan nights, in particular, are enlivened by one of the more fast-paced styles.
Tonga, Western Samoa, Polynesia

XXL Pacific

For centuries, the natives of the Polynesian islands subsisted on land and sea. Until the intrusion of colonial powers and the subsequent introduction of fatty pieces of meat, fast food and sugary drinks have spawned a plague of diabetes and obesity. Today, while much of Tonga's national GDP, Western Samoa and neighbors is wasted on these “western poisons”, fishermen barely manage to sell their fish.
Upolu, Samoa  

The Broken Heart of Polynesia

The imagery of the paradisiacal South Pacific is unquestionable in Samoa, but its tropical beauty does not pay the bills for either the nation or the inhabitants. Anyone who visits this archipelago finds a people divided between subjecting themselves to tradition and the financial stagnation or uprooting themselves in countries with broader horizons.
Tongatapu, Tonga

The Last Polynesian Monarchy

From New Zealand to Easter Island and Hawaii, no other monarchy has resisted the arrival of European discoverers and modernity. For Tonga, for several decades, the challenge was to resist the monarchy.
North Island, New Zealand

Journey along the Path of Maority

New Zealand is one of the countries where the descendants of settlers and natives most respect each other. As we explored its northern island, we became aware of the interethnic maturation of this very old nation. Commonwealth as Maori and Polynesia.
bay of islands, New Zealand

New Zealand's Civilization Core

Waitangi is the key place for independence and the long-standing coexistence of native Maori and British settlers. In the surrounding Bay of Islands, the idyllic marine beauty of the New Zealand antipodes is celebrated, but also the complex and fascinating kiwi nation.
Tongariro, New Zealand

The Volcanoes of All Discords

In the late XNUMXth century, an indigenous chief ceded the PN Tongariro volcanoes to the British crown. Today, a significant part of the Maori people claim their mountains of fire from European settlers.
Maui, Hawaii

Maui: The Divine Hawaii That Succumbed to Fire

Maui is a former chief and hero of Hawaiian religious and traditional imagery. In the mythology of this archipelago, the demigod lassos the sun, raises the sky and performs a series of other feats on behalf of humans. Its namesake island, which the natives believe they created in the North Pacific, is itself prodigious.
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Engravings, Karnak Temple, Luxor, Egypt
Architecture & Design
luxor, Egypt

From Luxor to Thebes: Journey to Ancient Egypt

Thebes was raised as the new supreme capital of the Egyptian Empire, the seat of Amon, the God of Gods. Modern Luxor inherited the Temple of Karnak and its sumptuousness. Between one and the other flow the sacred Nile and millennia of dazzling history.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Bertie in jalopy, Napier, New Zealand
Ceremonies and Festivities
Napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s

Devastated by an earthquake, Napier was rebuilt in an almost ground-floor Art Deco and lives pretending to stop in the Thirties. Its visitors surrender to the Great Gatsby atmosphere that the city enacts.
Chihuahua, Mexico City, pedigree, Deza y Ulloa
chihuahua, Mexico

¡Ay Chihuahua !

Mexicans have adapted this expression as one of their favorite manifestations of surprise. While we wander through the capital of the homonymous state of the Northwest, we often exclaim it.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, gold
Kumasi to Kpetoe, Ghana

A Celebration-Trip of the Ghanian Fashion

After some time in the great Ghanaian capital ashanti we crossed the country to the border with Togo. The reasons for this long journey were the kente, a fabric so revered in Ghana that several tribal chiefs dedicate a sumptuous festival to it every year.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
cheap flights, buy cheap flights, cheap airline tickets,
Travel does not cost

Buy Flights Before Prices Take Off

Getting cheap flights has become almost a science. Stay on top of the basics why the airline fares market governs and avoid the financial discomfort of buying at a bad time.
small browser
Honiara e Gizo, Solomon Islands

The Profaned Temple of the Solomon Islands

A Spanish navigator baptized them, eager for riches like those of the biblical king. Ravaged by World War II, conflicts and natural disasters, the Solomon Islands are far from prosperity.
sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Registration Square, Silk Road, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Samarkand, Uzbequistan

A Monumental Legacy of the Silk Road

In Samarkand, cotton is the most traded commodity and Ladas and Chevrolets have replaced camels. Today, instead of caravans, Marco Polo would find Uzbekistan's worst drivers.
Bather, The Baths, Devil's Bay (The Baths) National Park, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine “Caribbaths”

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
José Saramago in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, Glorieta de Saramago
Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

José Saramago's Basalt Raft

In 1993, frustrated by the Portuguese government's disregard for his work “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ”, Saramago moved with his wife Pilar del Río to Lanzarote. Back on this somewhat extraterrestrial Canary Island, we visited his home. And the refuge from the portuguese censorship that haunted the writer.
Hikers below Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California, United States of America
Death Valley, USA

The Hottest Place Resurrection

Since 1921, Al Aziziyah, in Libya, was considered the hottest place on the planet. But the controversy surrounding the 58th measured there meant that, 99 years later, the title was returned to Death Valley.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Hammock in Palmeiras, Praia de Uricao-Mar des caraibas, Venezuela
Natural Parks
Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

In 1917, botanist Henri Pittier became fond of the jungle of Venezuela's sea mountains. Visitors to the national park that this Swiss created there are, today, more than they ever wanted
UNESCO World Heritage

icy blue planet

They form at high latitudes and/or altitudes. In Alaska or New Zealand, Argentina or Chile, rivers of ice are always stunning visions of an Earth as frigid as it is inhospitable.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Executives sleep subway seat, sleep, sleep, subway, train, Tokyo, Japan
On Rails
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's Hypno-Passengers

Japan is served by millions of executives slaughtered with infernal work rates and sparse vacations. Every minute of respite on the way to work or home serves them for their inemuri, napping in public.
Ijen Volcano, Slaves of Sulfur, Java, Indonesia
Ijen volcano, Indonesia

The Ijen Volcano Sulphur Slaves

Hundreds of Javanese surrender to the Ijen volcano where they are consumed by poisonous gases and loads that deform their shoulders. Each turn earns them less than €30 but everyone is grateful for their martyrdom.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, streymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Jeep crosses Damaraland, Namibia
Damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Swakopmund's iconic dunes Sossuvlei, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with hills of reddish rock, the highest mountain and ancient rock art of the young nation. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.