Thursday, 16 February 2017

Sink hole on Savai'i


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 appearing to be a sink hole in the surrounding lava. .

 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.

Image found at


  1. Just when I thought I'd seen pretty well all the places in the world I wanted to see, you throw this into the ring! I'll send you a postcard!

    Click to read my six!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes. This is a true account and the locals were very welcoming although laid back. Deceased relatives were often buried in the back yard and visitors being shown the grave.

  3. in the words of Jules Winfield*, " I am going. Thats all there is to it" paraphrased and edited.
    I have been finding the far, lower left of the globe to be an increasingly interesting place to be.

    *Pulp Fiction

  4. Very interesting travelogue. I'm glad these cues allow you to share memories with us.

  5. Like Val, I love the memories you share. You have led quite the life, Old Egg, and isn't it amazing how much the world has changed in our lifetimes?! This is fascinating, a place I would love to see. I hope you are making a collection of your memories for your children, it would be a very precious gift!

  6. What a very intriguing place this would be to visit. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  7. I love to visit places where authors lived and wrote - always interesting. Thanks for sharing this one!