nature

Stop and Smell the Flowers

One of my favorite things about living on a tropical island are the tropical flowers! During my evening walks in Tumon I see lots of different types of flowers, but most of them are plumeria. Occasionally Peter will cut a branch from a plumeria tree so we can have fresh flowers in our home. They usually live for a week in a vase and smell incredible. Their scent is so strong that they fill my kitchen with a sweet smell and it lingers in the air when I walk past one of the large trees.

Hibiscus is another common flower here in Guam. I didn’t know that they came in so many different colors. The photograph of the white flower with a purple/pink center is one I found in Inarajan! I haven’t found one that smells nice like plumeria though.

There are also lots of other brightly colored flowers that seem to grow like weeds, but they are gorgeous and I wouldn’t mind if they grew in my garden. Most of these flowers seem to grow anywhere, abandoned homes, side of the road, everywhere! They just need sunshine and rain and they’re happy. There are so many more flowers on Guam, but these are my favorites.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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Marbo Cave

If you don’t know already, I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat. So visiting Marbo Cave for the first time was scary to me on its own, but doing it at night while my friends were talking about being attacked by wild pigs and being in the jungle just set my nerves nearly over the edge! Walking down to the cave was a bit slippery and very hard to see, amazingly we found two Coconut Crabs along the way (post about that to come soon)! I’m not quite sure what the plan was for Marbo Cave, but it looks as though the beginning of a park was built. As you walk down to the cave entrance, there is a platform just over the blue water (I have an obsession with blue, clear water in case you haven’t noticed). BUT! The best part is just to the left and over the large rocks. Behind that you will find the deepest part of the pool. Looks like the water is at least 30 feet deep. Perfect for jumping in and swimming. You can also swim under rocks and onto the other side. How can a scaredy-cat  jump into water this deep you ask? Well, I was pushed in! I swam around until I found a part of the cave wall that was suitable for holding and I hung on for dear life!

This is a fresh water pool so after swimming in the ocean for the last few months, it was quite a work out. It’s also very deep and very dark. We brought along candles and waterproof flashlights and snorkel gear. The pictures you see are from my second trip to the cave, during the daytime and minus the swimming.

If you walk into the jungle a bit you will come to a cliff that looks out beyond the ocean. Beautiful view!

Update: I recently found out that the fresh water in the cave was used for the soldiers during WWII .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not long after I arrived, I celebrated my first holiday on Guam. It was definitely a non-traditional Thanksgiving this year; although, I did have a turkey sandwich from Winchell’s. While families were barbecuing at the beach, I hiked to the top of Mount Lamlam. Located south of Tumon, on a very hot day, I began my journey with a motorcycle ride down to the hiking spot. From the bottom it looked steep and rugged but, surprisingly, it was quite easy. The humidity was intense that day and the mosquitoes were aggressive. The path, at times hard to decipher, led through jungle and then open pastures with tall grass. At the time of my hike, the ground was very misleading. It looked solid but with each step it crumbled beneath my feet.  While walking through the jungle areas, I imagined a crazy-looking jungle animal leaping out at me and taking me away to its hole in the ground. Midway through the hike there was an area off of the path that led to a mini grotto with Virgin Mary statues and Rosaries galore. The area was covered by rock, vines and palm trees. It was very beautiful and serene…until the mosquitoes attacked.  Every-so-often small, white crosses lined the path and provided somewhat of a guide to the top. The crosses represented the Stations of the Cross. Upon reaching the top, there were an assortment of larger crosses clustered together on one side and all around was the most incredible view of the island.  At the end of the day I had about 20 mosquito bites and beautiful photographs of my first adventure.