This morning I called my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day. He randomly asked me if I had been swimming and told me to watch out for sharks. I said to him, “Dad, there’s a reef, so it’s hard for the sharks to get in. But now you’ve scared me!”
This whole weekend was spent at the beach. No complaints here. On Sunday, Peter had a gig at Jimmy Dee’s Beach Bar to play during a beach rugby tournament. It’s been SO hot lately, and Sunday was no exception. I had a good time, it was relaxing and fun! That evening we swam in Tumon as we watched the sun set. Beautiful rays shot out through the clouds making another breathtaking sunset in Guam.
Today (Monday) we had brunch at King’s then headed to Ritidian. As if I didn’t get enough beach time from the previous day, I wanted MORE. And why not? The weather has been perfect, hot, but perfect beach weather. These are the type of days that made me fall in love with Guam. ❤
We’ve had low tide for a few days now and the usually rough waters of Ritidian were calm, shallow and HOT! Because the water was so shallow and the sun was working hard, the water warmed up. Warmer than I’ve ever felt it.
We snorkeled near the shore and saw tons of cool fish. Then I noticed that the tide was so low that the coral was sticking out all the way to the reef. We decided to walk to the reef. The water went from ankle deep near the shore, to no water at all. For most of the walk my feet were out of the water, that’s how low the tide was. After a long walk, me slipping on all the bumps and crevices in the coral, we made it to the edge of the reef! I’m so scared of going out to the reef because there are so many stories in the newspaper about people being swept away into the depths of the ocean after falling over. I made sure Peter and I stay away, but today was an exception. It was great! If I had a bucket list I would have crossed off “Walking out to the edge of the reef.” I looked back to the shore to see how far we’d come and it was a little further than the length of a football field. I said, “So this is what’s on the reef!” As I looked down at these strange sea plants that had long stems with big things that looked like bubbles on the tips. We walked over them and let some of the water splash on us from the waves hitting the reef. I looked out to the dark blue water and got an eerie feeling, thinking about what my dad had mentioned earlier. The ocean is both beautiful and scary to me.
As we walked back to the shore we found a deep pool of water that we thought would have some stuff to look at. We put our snorkels on and saw that the pool was filled with sea creatures. I saw a very LARGE spiky sea urchin, tons of black fish and some other larger multi-colored fish with lips that looked like they were kissing, baby needlefish AND my worst fear of all a small sea snake! After that we walked back over the coral and headed into the shade.
What a wonderful weekend. All the worries that had been on our minds were cleared away as we explored the waters of Ritidian.
Note to self: First trip back to Ritidian (just the two of us) after our engagement. 6-16-2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
When I find really good music I immediately feel like I should share it and enlighten everyone about my findings. Then I get this feeling, that maybe it’s too special to share and maybe no one will understand or appreciate it. These conflicted feelings I get about music, I also get about Guam. As I think back to the first time I swam at the beach in Tumon, I remember floating on my back and staring into the blue sky, unable to believe that this place existed outside of T.V. documentaries and travel magazines. Places like Guam had always been my ideal paradise. When I thought about all those people who had labeled Guam as inferior to the rest of the U.S. I felt like saying, “In your face, I live in paradise!” Maybe I did, I can’t really remember. Who would have thought that way out in the Pacific Ocean this unknown island existed. I sure as hell didn’t! That’s when I started my blog, because I decided that Guam was way too special to keep private and it deserved to shine! People should know the truth about the island. Sometimes I worry that once this secret, that belongs to the U.S., is discovered the island will be ruined by throngs of messy tourists. Contrary to my worries, on Guam, tourists make it a better place and this is not a secret that should be kept. The island deserves more recognition for its natural splendor and culture. I feel that Guam’s beaches are extremely underrated and are even as good as Boracay’s White Beach (Boracay voted Best Beaches in the World 2011 by TripAdvisor), in the Philippines. So over the last two years I’ve accumulated tons of pictures, but more specifically I want to share with you the beautiful sunsets of Guam. They’re always very dramatic, providing a good evening show. These are some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
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.
Wow what a weekend! In the midst of moving to a new apartment, Peter and I decided to take a break and go on a hike to Sella Bay on Sunday. Peter had completed this hike with friends before and, from the stories I heard (bees, getting lost in the jungle, falling down a hill), I wasn’t too keen on the idea of going. He reassured me that if we stayed on the path everything would be fine. This was true.
After an extremely unhealthy Burger King breakfast, we headed south to the viewpoint where the trail to Sella Bay begins. This trail is across the road from the trail to Mount Lam Lam. The hike to and from Sella Bay, in my opinion, was VERY easy. Peter said he thought it was harder than Mount Lam Lam and Ague Cove, but I completely disagree! This is a good hike for people of all ages. The ground is mostly red dirt/clay and a short patch of mud.
It is VERY easy to get lost on this hike. YOU MUST follow the pink (sometimes white or orange) flags placed on trees by previous hikers. This is important or you WILL get lost and possibly hurt. There are sudden drops hidden by tall grass and at any wrong step you could fall over the edge. I’m writing “trail” but actually there isn’t a trail at all. There are lots of spaces in the dirt that look like they could be trails, but aren’t. Again I stress the importance of following the flags.
The terrain and open space reminded me of the Owyhee desert in Eastern Oregon, where I spent my time hiking with my dad. Eventually we came to a small creek which we had to walk through to continue on the trail. As we got closer to the bay, our surroundings turned into jungle until we reached a large area of mud. Due to the forest of palm trees, it was very dark and cool. The mud and shade also made the perfect breeding ground for the killer mosquitoes that attacked us. Finally Peter said, “Look you can see the bridge from here.” As I carefully dodged the fallen branches and coconuts, looking across the creek that now turned into a river pouring into the ocean, I saw it! The old Spanish bridge that MUST be at least a few hundred years old. Overgrown plants and moss covered the bridge and through the other side I could see the bay. It was so magical!
When we crossed the bridge we found a perfect spot to leave our things, undressed and splashed into the water! The waves were rough and the ocean floor wasn’t the nice soft sand we’re used to. We sat in the water for a bit and enjoyed the warmth compared to the cool water in the creek, then we continued exploring the beach. Unfortunately we got caught in one of those crazy, Guam rain storms that lasted for about 30 minutes. We were soaked! Peter used his machete to cut a few palms that gave us some cover from the rain and protected our gear. Once the rain stopped we packed up and headed back up. But before we left on the far end of the shore we saw a giant white bird. We tried to walk closer to it but it flew away. We were too far to see what it was but it was pretty big.
Despite the weather, I enjoyed myself. There are small pools of water that are home to baby fish and really interesting sea life that I’ve never seen before. There are tons of crabs, all sizes, everywhere! It’s a very secluded, quiet and clean beach. I hope to go back one day when the weather is nicer and maybe do some snorkelling