Saturday, 24 September 2016

Treasure Island

                                The virgins grave

The island of Savai'i is part of the independent state of Samoa (formerly Western Samoa) in the south Pacific Ocean where there is an extensive lava field  caused by a lava flow following a series of earthquakes  beytween 1905-1911.

In those days the Samoan Islands were colonies (or dependencies) of Germany and the United States although a number of European nations traded there. Robert Louis Stevenson the renowned author "Kidnapped, Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde" amongst other writings took his extended family there thinking that it would be a good place to live as he suffered from tuberculosis eventually dying there in 1894.

When the lava flow resulting from the earthquakes had solidified it was discovered that in one devastated area near Saleaula that the lava had avoided but surrounded one grave of a young girl from the village. It is now a tourist attraction to walk on that same lava field probably quaking in your shoes to see it for yourself.

My wife and I visited the islands in 1985 and considered it to be one of the best holidays we ever had also visiting Robert Louis Stevenson's former home there on the more populated island of Upulu just a few kilometres from the capital Apia.

                             Vailima, just outside Apia on Upolu

Image 1 found at
Image 2 found at


  1. Wonderful anecdote Robin. This info might not readily be available unless one has been there or by chance seen the travel brochure. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Finding treasures is a real gift.. in so many ways..the grave is pretty in a way..looks like the flowers and some memories are tucked in there too