Step, Step, Slide.

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! This is what I did on Monday to celebrate and enjoy my day off from work.

The past month Guam has been experiencing some heavy rain and thunderstorms so I haven’t been able to spend too much time outdoors. On Sunday the storm seemed to get worse with loud thunder and heavy rain again. I was hoping for some sun on Monday, but I had no idea what I would wake up to. When Monday arrived, the sun was shining through my blinds and it seemed as though the storm from the night before was just a dream…a bad dream. ¬†Immediately I dressed for hiking and knew exactly where I wanted to go. I packed some snacks, lunch, camera and bug spray and hopped on the scooter. We drove to the village of Mangilao, down a dead end residential road, passed between two large cement boulders, through some bushes and parked in a very secluded parking lot. Here we began our journey down the 256 steps to Tagu’an Point (also known as 1000 steps).

Much like the rest of Guam, this park looked like there was a lot of effort put into it to make it accessible but then forgotten about. There is a large parking lot, steps, trails, benches and picnic tables. The only thing missing…a road that leads to the parking lot.

We headed down the trail, under mystical looking canopies of palm trees and various shrubs and bushes. The heat from the sun was blocked out by all the trees in the jungle. There were so many lizards and crabs and probably monitor lizards hiding around us. We hit the first set of stairs which then turned into a slippery pavement (thus the name of this blog post). We walked slowly because of the slippery pavement and the massive cobwebs surrounding the path. Finally, we reached the last set of stairs which had the best view of the ocean and jungle. The hike was roughly 1.25 miles and the only hard part was the heat/humidity.

As soon as we took the last step, the entire landscape changed. It almost looked like we were back in Oregon, with what looked like pine needles scattered all over the ground. There were some really interesting leafy, green plants that I wish I knew the name of (if you know the names of any of the plants in the pictures, please let me know). In the middle of the path there was this oddly-shaped tree stump, which formed a perfect seat. After the last “pine tree,” we reached the large coral formations and found a nice, flat spot to sit on. On good days like Monday, you’re able to snorkel and swim around on the ledges that formed along the shore. I don’t know how to explain it, but it really is amazing and I wonder how these platforms are made. The water is very shallow, but there isn’t a reef to break the waves so swimming can be dangerous.

After awhile the sun became unbearable and we ended our hike. Of course the hike back up the 256 steps was hard!

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3 comments

  1. Hi Antonia and Peter. Nice story and pictures as usual. The “pine” tree is without a doubt a species in the genus Casuarina which in the Dominican Republic (when I was there in the Peace Corps) was commonly called in English “Australian pine”. Very common there, in fact we grew it in our seedling nursery for reforestation purposes. in one picture Peter is standing under what looks like a papaya tree, and in another couple pictures i might be seeing sea grape bushes/trees. Not sure though. There must be some resources on flora of Guam. It would be interesting to find out what is native, and what has been introduced intentionally or accidently. Sometimes that creates an ecological nightmare.

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