I am a bit behind on the blog posts, but wanted to write some final thoughts on Guam before I dug into Japan and Singapore. Hopefully, I will have some time to write on our upcoming train trip. For now though, some final thoughts on Guam…
We spent the last several days on Guam moving from hotel to hotel and showing up at the terminal almost every day hoping to get on a flight only to find the flight had been cancelled or moved to the next day. We were manifested on a flight and put through baggage check and x-ray twice, only to be sent back home when it was determined that the plane or crew was not ready to go. It is probably the most frustrated we have been so far on the whole trip. Had we known it was going to be that bad, we probably would have opted to stay with John, Lucy, and Jaden a little longer. In total, we spent nine nights in seven different houses or hotel rooms – one room at Big Navy, three houses on Andersen AFB, and two different hotels in Tumon.
Thankfully, there were a couple of days in the middle of all the back and forth where there were no flights and we were left to explore parts of Guam that we had missed.
One day we decided to check out a place called Tarzan Falls. It is in the hills near Talofofo. It had rained recently so the trails were pretty muddy and slippery. They are not gravel-covered trails like we are used to back home, but just wide paths cut through the jungle. As we neared the top of the falls, the weather set in and absolutely dumped on us. This was not rain like we were used to either. We were soaked to the bone and covered in red mud by the time we got back to the rental car. We had to wade through knee deep water at points and I fell coming down one hill due to the slick conditions. I’m sure we put on quite a show and were quite the site trying to dry off and change on the side of the road so that we didn’t absolutely ruin the interior of the car. Unfortunately, very few pictures were taken on this hike for fear of ruining cameras.
Our delay also allowed us to check out a beach that we heard was fantastic and do a little more snorkeling. At the northernmost tip of Guam, where the Philippine Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, sits a National Wildlife Refuge at Ritidian Point. The area is all white sandy beaches and crystal clear tropical blue water. It is one of the few beaches on the north end of the island that is open to the public. It was a fabulous day of snorkeling and enjoying the warm water.
For four nights of our stay we were in the main tourist area of Guam in a city called Tumon. It is basically like a little Waikiki that caters to Japanese tourists. We walked several miles to the USO one day and enjoyed fresh-baked cookies, a movie, and a couple games of pool. In Tumon, we also visited Underwater World, which is basically a small aquarium. The best part was that it had a quiz and I made the kids read all the placards in order to pass a “test.” I called it science for the day.
For all of us, spending time with John, Lucy, and Jaden was the best part. It was so fun to see them all again and was really the highlight of the trip. I am so happy that we finally made it to Guam for a visit. Here are a few more pics…
Ray and RJ look on as Ty snorkels just below the surface. Ray wins the award for covering up the best. The rest of us got a wee bit cooked on our last day. Thankfully aloe vera gel comes in travel size bottles!
Lookout over Ritidian Point and the Philippine Sea.
Clearest view we had of the island of Rota (closest island to Guam).
Family pic at Ritidian Point.