Yesterday morning when Shalote (Fijian version of Charlotte) stopped by to clean the house I asked her to tell me about her favorite place on the island.
When she described the Savusavu Hot Springs I nearly jumped for joy anxious to visit the site as soon as possible. She explained that the locals bring vegetables to cook in the boiling water of the springs, placing them into bags that can withstand the boiling water. This fascinated us!
|The sign at the entrance to the Savusavu Hot Springs area.|
As soon as driver Ratnesh arrived at noon to take us into town, we asked him to take us directly to the hot springs to see what this was all about. I was tempted to bring along some carrots to try our hand at cooking in the springs!
With little geological information online other than this technical PDF document posted from the Geothermal Institute at the University of Auckland, NZ, we only found a few short blurbs.
|The main area of the hot springs didn’t occupy a large space. Please see the above video for more detail.|
We were stymied over why so little has been written about this natural phenomenon and its unique use by residents of the village with its population near 5000. No doubt, in centuries past, locals took advantage of this ready source of cooking their root vegetables when no other resources but the fire was used in cooking.
While focusing on the uniqueness of the hot springs, a hotel was built opposite the area often attracting visitors from all over the world:
“Savusavu is famous for its hot springs located mostly opposite the Hot Springs Hotel – although at low tide you can see the steam from numerous smaller outlets all along the foreshore. In the late 19th century, these hot springs for a period of two months turned into 12 – 18 m tall geysers.”
|This is a separate miniature boiling hot spring. The boiling water is hard to see in these photos.|
Ratnesh, having lived on this island all of his life, didn’t hesitate when we mentioned we wanted to see the Savusavu Hot Springs. A 15-minute drive to the village with a few turns brought us directly to the designated spot, a relatively small area with the above-shown signs upon entrance to the area which was no larger than a good-sized vacant lot suitable for building a house.
We drove to what appeared to be somewhat of a residential area where the hot springs are located which is walking distance to the center of town and Savusavu Bay. A short distance from the car we followed an unpaved pebbly path to an open area where the active hot springs are located.
Obviously, there’s no bathing in these hot springs. The water is definitely boiling, literally bubbling and steaming, comparable to a roaring boil one would have in a pot on the stove. Contemplating what lies beneath the surface, we found ourselves in awe of the unusual scene.
|The above video will give a clearer perspective of the boiling water from the hot springs.|
Throughout our travels, we’ve seen many geysers and hot springs, especially a year ago in Iceland, known for being a “geothermal hotbed.” Driving along the mountainous roads in Iceland, there was spout after spout of steam spewing from the earth.
The fascinating aspect of this type of geothermal activity indicates a tremendous amount of geological activity below the surface. Other than the above-mentioned highly technical report we haven’t been able to find much more on this topic for the hot springs in Savusavu.
Taking the above-posted video was a concern. With the weak wifi signal to the house with the hotspot/SIM card signal slower yet, we wondered if we’d be able to upload the video on YouTube to share with our readers. Hopefully, what we’ve posted today will be watchable to readers throughout the world.
|At the top of this hill is the Hot Springs Hotel, a popular spot for tourists.|
After our time at the hot springs, Ratnesh drove us to see one of the most magnificent views we’ve ever seen which we’ll share over the next few days with many breathtaking photos (No braggadocio intended. The photo taking wasn’t created “breathtaking.” It was the scenery)!
Later, we spent a few hours in the village, taking more photos while we wandered up and down the main boulevard, also walking along what appeared to be an “esplanade” comparable to those we walked in Australia. We investigated shop after shop looking for items could use.
|The sky cleared for a while while we were in the village. Today, it’s pouring rain again.|
So far, we can’t find a metal “turner” used for flipping eggs or other foods cooking in a pan. Nor, can we find a “scraper” for scraping a bowl to remove food around the edges. Hopefully, soon the package will arrive from Australia. I think I may have included those items in the box of supplies.
Perhaps, one day over these remaining 81 days, we’ll find an appropriate bag or container and cook some vegetables in the hot springs!
|Our last day at sea, we arrived in Boston for a three-day stay to visit my 95-year-old uncle and a cousin. For more details, please click here.|