Samoa 2003

page 5 of 8

On Savai'i's South coast there is no coral reef. The surf crashes untamed onto the black lava rocks.
In certain places the lava flow solidified in steep cliffs, where the giant ocean waves exhaust themselves with a mighty sigh through the cavities that are known as the Taga blowholes. The enormous fountains spurt the water up to 70 meters high (depending on the size of the waves). If you throw a coconut into the hole at the right time it will be catapulted out and burst on the ground.
The blowholes are a very impressing play of nature's primeval forces.
What looks like the perfect landing spot for UFO's in this shot is a coconut plantation in southern Savai'i. From here it takes only 20 minutes to the stone pyramids (the biggest is 50x50m at the base and 12 m height) the only ones in the Pacific region. They are in the middle of the forest and pretty much overgrown, they are not easy to capture on a photo.
Instead we have a photo of the Ole Moe waterfall nearby. This is a truly magnificent spot. The cool and refreshing water is rushing out of the jungle into a picturesque pool that invites for a swim.
On the way back we were once again followed by a tremendous thunderstorm that decided to pour buckets of water down on us. However, in the tropical hot air this was a very welcoming event.
In 1905 the north east of the island was buried by a lava stream that followed an eruption of the islands volcano. The inhabitants of this area had to quickly leave their villages and flee towards the sea, where they were rescued from the glowing lava flow by fishermen. You can still see the remains of this catastrophe in the photo above. The lava crept in through the back windows of the church. The cemetery, that lies between the volcano and the church was miraculously spared by the lava flow.
The layer of lava is 4-5 meters thick and it takes nature a good 100 years to recover the fertile grounds.
This is the canopy walk in the northwest of Savai'i. Members of a conservation trust erected a hanging bridge between the treetops of some old Banyan trees, so you can take a walk above the forest. On top of a giant Banyan in about 50 meters height, they even built a viewing platform that opens up a nice view towards the centre of the island.

Will the wanderer in the blue skirt be able to untangle the jumble of the Banyan tree? This you will find out on the following page.

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