Hiking

DSCN5176

Exploring at the War in the Pacific Historical Park

DSC_0058p

The park is one of Guam’s well known attractions. Lined with palm trees along Asan beach and wide open spaces that are great for kite flying, there’s more to it than what meets the eye. To think that some of the bloodiest battles on Guam happened here; it is now a peaceful, breezy park where I enjoy watching the sunset. When the sun and temperature go down, locals begin walking around the large grassy space for exercise and fisherman end their day by packing up their fishing equipment and heading home.

One afternoon I decided to explore the park beyond the usual area where the picnic tables are. We ended up finding this whole other area of wartime history and gorgeous views. It was a little hard to see through the overgrown shrubs, but up a steep hill near the park entrance we found Asan Cave. It was a small and VERY dark space.

DSC_0061DSC_0064

Further down the paved road to the park, there is another small sign on the left that indicates a trail. From the road you might not be able to see it, but if you walk toward the restroom then you will see it better. This is where the good stuff is!

The path is dark and intimidating because of all the trees and bushes that enclose it, but this makes for a nice shield from the sun. The trail splits into three directions, on my first trip we chose to go left which led to the area that is above the cave.

DSC_0103

On the way, we spotted a pillbox! The small windows look out toward the Piti Bomb Holes. We stopped here for a little picnic and imagined what is was like during the war. The pillbox was built into the cliff and looks out over the ocean. The space inside the pillbox is narrow and dark.

At the end of this trail, the views were incredible! In one direction the view looked out toward the road and hills, another toward the Fish Eye Marine Park, and another over the park, bay and the Governor’s Office.

DSC_0099DSCN5138

On another trip to the park, we took the path that goes down the stairs.

DSC_0068

Here we found another WWII remnant and a very secluded beach. I was amazed and surprised to find this shelter on the other side of the park. Does anyone else know that it’s here? It still amazes me that these historical structures are all over the island without any sort of protection. We should feel lucky that we get to learn about our history AND see it.

DSC_0073

From here you can either go left, to a beach with some really cool rock structures, or to the right where the water has carved out a shelf that allows you to cross to an even more secluded beach. (another great area to watch the sunset)

DSC_0079

Finally, back to the path that leads three different directions. Taking the path to the right took us down a grassy path that had colorful hibiscus, butterflies everywhere, trees, and breadfruit. This trail leads to the main area of the park and Asan beach.

DSCN5176

This was a great, easy walk for me to get out and enjoy Guam’s nature. I love exploring and finding new, to me, places. I feel like Guam is full of secrets and whenever I do something like this, it’s like I’m slowly learning what those secrets are.

DSCN5341

Asan Falls

I’ve been trying to do one to two small hikes/walks a week just to get some fresh air and see something new. We’ve been getting good use out of our trail book, so I guess the money was well spent. Some of these trails have no trailhead so it would be impossible to find, if not for the book.

Yes, we found ANOTHER waterfall. I had no clue there were this many on Guam. I guess I can check that off my bucket list for Guam (if I had one). This time our adventures led us to Asan. The trail started behind some newly constructed homes, which I was worried that they would someday restrict access to the falls. The book said the hike would be very difficult, but to the top of the waterfall it was very easy. It looked as though the way to get down to the larger falls would be difficult.

DSCN5341

We again didn’t come prepared to swim so we just sat at the top of the falls and looked down. Another peaceful retreat away from our day-to-day life in Tumon. From here I couldn’t hear anything but the water falling and frogs. From the top of the road I would never have guessed that this beauty was here. More Guamanian mysteries.

I felt that this was the perfect spot for a doughnut break (everywhere is a great place for doughnuts).

DSC_0011

The other, larger waterfall further down, which we were unable to locate a way to get to, has a 25 foot drop. I’m sure we will go back and try to find it. We found this rope that Peter used to climb down and check things out. The swimming hole looked very deep, but probably not deep enough to dive.

DSC_0021

After that we drove to a little viewpoint on Nimitz Hill and watched the sunset. That’s our Guam life!

DSCN5363

DSCN5327

A Couple Days of My Life

This time last year I was on my way to the Pacific Northwest for my first trip back home since moving to Guam. I remember we left on an absolutely beautiful day. The rest of the week consisted of rain, cold, and my skin turning grey. I was miserable, but so happy to see family again.

This year we’re not going home, but instead enjoying our Guam dry season before the rainy season begins. I don’t know why every morning I wake up and am surprised by the blue sky! I hope that I never stop appreciating it. I hope that I don’t turn into one of those people who just goes about their day without seeing the ocean, being happy when the sky is clear, or being too busy to realize that I live in MY paradise!

Thursday: After work we decided to go to Tanguisson beach and walk to Hilaan beach. We were trying to figure out how far the walk is. Maybe one or two miles. It felt really long because we hadn’t been there for over a year. It was also very hot but we walked in the water to cool off. We set down our pack, got attacked by mosquitoes, and then jumped in the water. This is a very rough area to swim in so we just waded in the water for a bit. After that, we ate our sandwiches that I packed and then began exploring. We found these huge rock formations and noticed that fresh water was seeping out and into the ocean. We also found some really cool shells, a baby praying mantis about the size of my thumbnail, crabs, and watched as a group of people raised a cross in remembrance of a young man who died in the water recently. We headed back just before sunset and watched the sun fall as we sat on the crushed coral on Tanguission beach. At the end of the day I felt exhausted, but it was good to stretch my legs.

DSCN5305

Friday: Peter asked if I wanted to go for a ride on the bike and I thought it would be a nice and relaxing time after the previous day’s long walk. When he came home I chucked my mosquito repellant and left all my hiking gear because I didn’t think we’d need it. On our way to Nimitz Hill he called his friend and invited him to ride.  What started out as a nice ride on the bike, turned into a hike! At first I was annoyed because I wasn’t prepared. It was hot, I didn’t have sunscreen or a hat, and I left my bug spray. I was also scared because the trail was really bumpy and steep so I wasn’t sure how Peter would do packing me on the back. We decided to park and walk the rest of the way, which was a good idea. I had no clue where we were or where we were going. We kept walking through a valley and finally stopped in front of a cliff and a rope. Peter went down first and came back up to tell me that it wasn’t so bad and I could do it. After some convincing and pretty much no choice, I grabbed his motorcycle gloves and propelled myself down.

DSCN5318

Oh but it was SO worth it to see the Lonfit waterfall and river. Tons of tadpoles and even a freshwater eel swam around us. It was serene, lovely, and unexpected.

DSCN5312

Pulling myself up the steep hill was much easier. I was so proud of myself! We all hopped on our bikes and decided to explore more of the roads.

We found the memorial for the Korean airplane crash that happened in 1997.

DSCN5327

Then we followed the fuel pipeline down until we reached a very steep slope that was too dangerous for Peter to drive down. We rested for a bit while taking notice that we could see both the east and west sides of the island. It was so cool!

DSCN5334

Signature

DSC_0165

Fonte Dam

A few months ago I purchased The Best Tracks on Guam: A Guide to the Hiking Trails from Bestseller bookstore. I contemplated buying the book for awhile because it was $25 and I thought that I could just go online and look up these hikes for free. Though, every time I’d go to the bookstore I’d sneak peaks at the book to get more detailed directions for hikes I was interested in. Since most of the hikes on Guam lack trails and can be impossible to find on one’s own, I bit the bullet and bought the book. I wouldn’t say that it’s a great book, but the directions are helpful. After I bought it, I went through and marked all the hikes I wanted to do, one of those was Fonte Dam.

In February, Peter and I hiked to Fonte Dam; although, it’s more like a walk than a hike. If you go to the Nimitz Hill area across from the Japanese communications bunker at Fonte Plateau, there is a blue sign that says something about a historical trail. Down the hill past the 7th or 8th concrete pole, you will find the small rock that says, “Fonte Dam” on the lefthand side. From there, you can take the trail through the jungle and to the dam. We walked down the trail and just as I was about to ask if we were there yet, I saw the concrete structure to my right. At first it looked like a sidewalk, then I noticed the dam. It was much bigger than I had anticipated. We walked along the top of the dam to the very edge. After about two weeks of rainy weather, the water was flowing over the dam and the Fonte river was full. We sat down on the edge and took in the beautiful surroundings. Other than the sound of the water pouring through the dam, it was absolutely quiet. The sun was peeking through the tops of the palm trees and the air was thick from humidity. I looked over the edge and noticed the rope, which I’m not sure if it’s for climbing up or down the dam when the water isn’t as deep. We walked back and continued on the trail that led down a slope. Someone attached a rope to the trees leading down the slope for holding onto during slippery/muddy times. We didn’t need it. When we reached the bottom, we then realized how glorious the dam is. There were black butterflies everywhere! We found a couple rocks to sit on and just listened to the water. It was so nice and we were happy that we found this pleasant surprise. We decided to keep walking down the river until we couldn’t walk anymore. It was so peaceful and we were the only ones there. This is an extremely easy hike. The tough part, as with most hikes I’ve done, is the humidity. Definitely a hike I will be doing again!

 

DSCN0239

Flying a Kite on Mt. Lamlam

It’s not often that Guam has a very windy day. Peter bought a kite and was eager to fly it, but every time we went to the park there was absolutely no wind. We decided to hike up Mt. Lamlam, once again, and give kite flying a try! Knowing what to expect this time, I went prepared. That doesn’t mean that the burning hot sun and thick air didn’t make me feel like I was going to melt away; I just brought extra water, better hiking pants and more snacks! This time it was different, many of the crosses that led up to the top were broken and cut in half. I hope that this was due to natural weather conditions and not some disrespectful fool. Anyway, it was another perfect Guam day. We could see from one side of the island to the other. Perfect views of Coco’s Island, Sella Bay, Cetti Bay and a large freshwater lake that I hadn’t noticed before.  At the top of Mt. Lamlam we sat down in the grass and took a moment to enjoy the scenery. I love looking up into the sky and watching the clouds float by. After some time, Peter decided to set his kite up and give it a go. He looked so cute running through the tall grass while throwing his kite up into the air. Finally, he caught some wind and up it went! There may be times on Guam when it seems like there’s nothing left to do, that’s when I like to go on a hike and appreciate the beauty that I get to enjoy anytime I want. So take some time and fly a kite, it will bring the kid out of you!!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend!

Questions about living in Guam? Click me

DSCN3240

Priest’s Pools

Just before that week long storm hit Guam, we scooted down to Merizo in search of Priest’s Pools. A few months ago we tried to find the pools, but were deceived by the high walls that hid them from view. I could hear the water, but looking out over the top of the hill, I couldn’t see them!

Even though the skies looked unfriendly and we had to make a detour because we were caught in a huge rain storm, we were so happy to finally make it to the pools. As usual, there is no trailhead or trail. The road to the pools is through a residential street that is a dead end road. This isn’t really a hike, more like a very easy and short walk. We walked down the hill and immediately could hear the calming sounds of the water falling. Finally, we reached a valley where coconut trees lined the water and there they were. Beautiful and naturally made, these pools were once used by Spanish priests to bathe. They are VERY deep, at least 8 feet, and different sized pools that pour into the next one, go all the way down the hill toward the shore. I found myself a nice palm tree to sit under to keep out of the rain and listened to the soothing sounds of the water. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I have never seen anything like this, such natural beauty!

I wonder how the pools were formed. I guess hundreds of years of water pouring down the black rocks formed into bigger and bigger water holes. This is an unbelievably gorgeous must see on Guam!

DSC_0024

Things to Do on Guam: Masso Watershed & Nature Trail

http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/10376883/?claim=vwjmsnnq94u

If you read my post, June in Guam, you would know that while driving through the village of Piti we discovered the Masso Watershed and Nature Trail. It was a pleasant surprise because it was unlike the other parks I’ve seen on Guam. It looked like a lot of effort had been put into building the park and it was still in good shape. The informational boards taught about the importance of keeping Guam clean and how the watershed works. Also it showed the different animals (pigs and deer) that are damaging to the plant life on Guam.

The entrance to the park is located across from the Guam Veteran’s Cemetery (Coming from the North take a left at the light where the cemetery is, then take the first right after the cemetery).  Down the dirt road, you can either park on the side or, if your vehicle is able, drive down the sometimes muddy road to the park. On the left you will see a reservoir with a dock where people sunbathe and fish.

The reservoir is where all the water from the hills collects and is released through a small dam into the ocean. While I was there, I saw people catching small colorful fish that I thought were only found in the ocean. I also read on the information board that eels live in the reservoir, along with hundreds of frogs, that you can hear from miles away. We tried to fish, but were unlucky. We used regular bait from Kmart, then we decided to use bits of my leftover muffin and the fish LOVED the muffin. Although the fish nibbled at the muffin, we still didn’t catch anything after a few hours of fishing so we decided to try again another time and bring bread.

Further down the dirt road is the nature trail and a few more informational boards. We explored the trail, which is family friendly as I saw a woman and her four young children walking along the path. Although the trail was short and easy, the heat was usual Guam heat and I was drenched with sweat and had to chug some water when we returned to the scooter.

It’s not much of a nature trail, but at least it’s something. I hope that they continue to keep the area clean. Definitely a must see! I enjoyed learning about the different kinds of plants on Guam both natural and invasive species. There were a lot of ferns, plumeria and trees. I like that although Guam is a very small island, the terrain of the North part of the island is very different from the South.

It’s very peaceful and serene, occasionally you will see a plane fly by headed toward the airport. Sometimes I’d hear some rustling in the bushes and imagine a GIANT monitor lizard pop out. In the last two weeks I’ve been there three times! Probably my new favorite hangout spot!

Thanks for reading ❤

DSCN0839-002

My Favorite Beach

I’ve written about Ritidian before. That’s because I love it. It might be the cleanest beach on Guam and that’s probably because it’s a wildlife reserve. It’s never opened on holidays and always closes at 4pm. If you drive north toward Yigo and across from STARTS Golf Resort, you will find the road to Ritidian Beach. On my most recent adventure, I found a trail that leads around in a loop to a couple of caves, a well and some very old latte stone. Walking through the jungle, there were tons of black butterflies that fluttered past as we went by. It felt magical. How many times can I say that about some new place I’ve discovered on Guam? The water felt fresh and clean. It was cool as I sat in it, but my body quickly adjusted to the temperature. Later, we had a barbecue and had a few cold beers while we listened to some music. Why is it that I let the world get to me and how can I forget that I live in my paradise.

DSC_0196 DSC_0203 DSC_0215 DSC_0224 DSC_0225-001 DSC_0251 DSCN0788 DSCN0830-001 DSCN0839-002 DSCN0841 DSCN0862 DSCN0863 DSCN0875