nimitz hill

Japanese Memorial, Park Life, and Pig Trails!

Hey everyone, hope you’re all having a great month! Just wanted to share some of my recent explorations in Guam. Starting with the South Pacific Japanese Memorial Park in Yigo. This shrine is in one of the buildings on the main part of the park.


I’ve been here before but this time I wanted to see the Japanese caves. I took the stairs, which are covered by tree branches, down to the trail that leads to the caves. The trail also leads to a water well, that the Japanese soldiers built to collect water while living in the caves, and then out to the main area of the park.


Below, shows the area where a Japanese general took his own life during WWII.


Down in the lower part of the park where the Japanese caves are, we were surrounded by bamboo forests. They make a squeaking noise when the breeze moves them, it is a little eerie at times but so peaceful.


On sunny days we go to the park! Sometimes when we don’t have time to go for a hike or leave Tumon, you can find me sitting at Ypao Beach Park in Tumon. I love reading, people watching, and feeling the sun on my skin.  Just enjoying my life. Occasionally there are people at this park making boats, like the one in the photo below.

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Finally, what started as a hike to explore more Japanese caves on Nimitz Hill ended with a swarm of mosquitoes attacking us. We hopped on the bike and drove off and around the corner to the trail that goes to Fonte Dam. We followed the trail all the way down until we couldn’t take the bike any further. Because it has been raining on-and-off these past few weeks, the trail was muddy.


From there we hopped off and walked around a bit. There was this random bridge over a stream that allowed us to walk up some more. It was a pretty hot day so we just sat down, drank some water, and ate the snacks I packed.


Of course I found LOTS of pig trails, and some dog prints too, that led to a muddy pool of water; I’m sure the pigs like to cool off in that puddle. Although, I would be terrified if I ever ran into a wild boar on a hike, I am always curious about them.


Some of my best days in Guam have been exploring places where people don’t usually go. We have found a lot of wartime structures on random walks in the jungle. It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle in Tumon and see a different side of the island that not many people get to see.


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!