snorkeling

How to Be a Beach Bum

Hello there!

Since I returned from Oregon, I’ve been trying to enjoy the sunshine as much as I can. Lately it has been rainy here on Guam and I don’t like to go out after the rain because the humidity is unbearable. But over the weekend I was lucky to have spent a beautiful day on the beach.

We recently sold our car, which I used for work, and have come to rely upon our scooter once again. I like the scooter better anyway. Driving on Guam is a nightmare and the scooter lets us get through traffic quicker, we spend less on gas and on a sunny day the cool breeze feels nice! Anyway, we packed the beach gear (tarp, beach mat, snorkel gear, and other miscellaneous beach necessities) and headed up to Ritidian beach, yes again!

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It was one of those days when I’m like, “I never want to leave Guam, EVERRRR!” and I kept saying things like, “How can it be this pretty?” and “WOW look how blue the sky is.”

The road to Ritidian seemed like it had been patched up a little bit…I mean it’s still a horrible road to drive on, but it was better than the last time we drove on it. Oh and some good news, there is a new viewpoint just as you reach the top of the hill before you descend down to the beach! I was very excited about this.

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The view from here is GORGEOUS!

I say we went on the weekend, but our weekend is Sunday and Monday. So we went to Ritidian on a Monday, which was why the beach was empty! We found a nice spot near the trees to set up our beach bum gear. Tarps are necessary on Guam. For some reason Ritidian beach seems to be hotter and the sun just feels like it’s burning my skin, unlike some of the other beaches I visit. So yes, you MUST buy a tarp/canopy to survive beach time in Guam. I laid out the beach mat and set up our solar powered radio. We shared a sandwich and guzzled three of the four juices we bought and then we ran into the water to cool off.

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The water was warm and clear. Just how I like it! Ritidian’s reef is closer than the reef in Tumon Bay and the water is rougher. I stayed close to shore. I put the snorkel gear on and to my surprise there were TONS of fish swimming around me. They weren’t scared at all and some even swam TO ME! It was nice. I searched for cool rocks, shells and broken glass. I pretty much splashed around and snorkeled for a few hours. Then we ran back under the shade of the canopy to rest a bit before we packed up. I felt like I could stay there all day and every weekend!

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Creepy Creatures of Guam: Balati

There are many creatures that call the ocean surrounding Guam, home. Just swimming in Tumon Bay I’ve seen a very small reef shark, needlefish and eels! The most common sea creature I see is Balati, or sea cucumber. You will rarely or barely see them move, but you know they’re alive. One day the ocean floor is clean, and the next black blobs are scattered along the beach and in the water. Although I’ve never touched one, I’ve had one thrown at me! Very recently I discovered that they come in other colors and textures. They just keep getting more gruesome-looking 😦

I think they are perfectly harmless and provide fun to the local kids who like to throw them at each other. They sometimes squirt out this white goo if squeezed. What more can I say about the Balati?

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A Rainy Beach Day…

Hope you enjoy the video! Ritidian on a rainy day.

I’ve been craving beach time a lot lately, so we loaded up the car and drove on that beat up road to Ritidian Beach again. There was a giant, ominous cloud drifting over the island. Being optimistic, I thought it might just pass us without a threat to our beach day. Half way through the drive the rain poured and didn’t stop for about 1 ½ hours. We waited in the car until the humidity was so intense that we were drenched in sweat. So we ran, umbrella in hand, to a shelter outside. Then the thunder and lightening began and we thought it would be safer in the car! The thunder was so strong that it shook the car! The rain slowed and we couldn’t take the humidity in the car anymore so we took a walk on the beach. As usual, once the storm passed it turned out to be another beautiful day on Guam. During our walk on the beach, we gathered shells and then decided to jump in the warm water. Ritidian really is a beautiful beach. The sand is also different than any other beach I’ve visited on Guam. If you were curious about the weather in Guam, this is a perfect example of what the rainy season is like. I think it rained in one day what it would rain in one month back in Oregon. It will just pour down, seemingly out of nowhere, and then suddenly clear up and the sun will shine again. As you can imagine, the heat and rain combined make for a HUMID day!

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Boonie Stomp to Ague Cove

I’m very excited about this post because it has been the best outdoor excursion I’ve done since I’ve been in Guam. Peter and I decided to take a scooter trip around the island looking for this place called Ague Cove. We found the entrance, which is near the Naval Base in Dededo. Unfortunately, the property belongs to a family in Guam and they decided to close it off to the public! A few days later I was reading the newspaper and saw that the Guam Boonie Stomp group would be holding a boonie stomp to AGUE COVE in two weeks!!! What luck! The Guam Boonie Stompers are a group of people who gather on Saturday mornings around 9:oo to go on all sorts of hikes throughout Guam. The cost is $2 and you can find out more information about future hikes on their Facebook page. If you’re interested in going on a Boonie Stomp, I highly suggest it. This one was a clean up stomp so before we left we scoured the area for trash.

I’d cut out the advertisement in the newspaper about this hike. It said what we needed to bring (snorkel gear, swmsuits, lunch, hiking shoes…). Saturday morning came and we were off! There were about 55 hikers total who met at Chamorro Village in Hagatna. We paid our dues, got driving directions and met at the trail. Thankfully, the property owner gave permission to the Boonie Stompers and opened the road so we could hike that day.

The hike is about a 200ft. descent to the cove. There were red ribbons to guide the way through the thick jungle. The shade from the trees protected us from the heat and the humidity, on this day, was manageable. The hike down wasn’t bad at all, it might have taken about 20 minutes, the hike up was a different story! It is a very steep climb down so if you go on a day when it has been raining, you might have some issues with mud and sliding. When we reached the bottom it was like an oasis or a beautiful scene from a movie. Another unreal moment for me. The color of the water was beautiful, massive coral formations jutted out from the side of the hill we’d climbed down from and formed a perfect cliff to dive from. On the other side of the cove was a rope for swinging into the water. We wasted no time and began exploring the serene area.

When we were ready to swim the water was surprisingly cool and took some time for us to get used to. There are freshwater springs that mix with the ocean water; thus, the cool temperature. There were so many small, bright blue fish everywhere. Peter and I took turns jumping from the rope into the water. It was hard to see anything when we were snorkeling because it was a bit cloudy, probably due to all the people splashing around. We ventured out near the reef line where the waves crashed against some rocks and I spotted some really bright fish. Peter put the snorkel gear on, leaned his body across the rocks and stuck his head in the water. He looked really funny. When he popped back up he said, “That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” He couldn’t stop talking about the huge bright fish in that deep pool of water. We splashed around some more near the waves and headed back.

The Boonie Stomp leader showed us the way to a small cave where there were old Chamorro drawings along the walls. We took photos and Peter tried to see if he could fit into a hole (of course!) then headed back down. There is a lot of sharp coral that we had to climb through. It’s very dangerous and painful if it cuts. After that, we packed up and climbed up the hill, which was a struggle for me! I want to go back again! I hope someday Ague Cove is reopened to the public; although, it was very clean and beautiful I think it might be better that it’s closed so that its beauty can be maintained.

Lost Pond

Well, hello there readers! A few posts back I mentioned that on a failed search for Lost Pond, I fell upon an incredibly beautiful beach near Tanguisson Beach.  A couple of weekends ago, we decided to give the search for Lost Pond another try. I’d researched videos online to  find out where the entrance into the jungle was. We still managed to get lost! We entered the jungle too soon and ended up deep within the palm trees and coral. We also stumbled upon an old Chamorro village!  As we passed through the village, we spotted a few deteriorated latte stone and continued on.

30 mosquito bites later, we were nowhere in sight of Lost Pond. I was beginning to get angry. The coral became very jagged and dangerous so we decided to head back to the beach. We felt as though we’d failed again, but as we reached the end of the secluded beach, a few military guys burst out of the jungle! They told us that Lost Pond was just through that part of the jungle and that there was red tape that led the way! By this time we were itchy, hot and frustrated so we decided to take a quick swim and snorkel before heading into the jungle again. The same military guys found a blue starfish that they gave to me to take photos of.

     
Once we rested, we headed into the jungle again! This time, we were successful! The path was sooo easy and fast. Along the way someone spotted a giant monitor lizard! Just as we turned the corner you could see the water between the trees. It was beautiful! Lost Pond is a sink hole/sunken cave which then formed a freshwater pool.

I, of course, did not swim. Peter went in  and said there were some deep spots and lots of jagged rocks. After our successful journey we headed back home, satisfied 🙂