In mid June I took my grand girls on the Talofofo River Cruise. This is a popular tourist excursion and one I wanted my family to enjoy. I got to take all five because the eldest girl drives and wanted to go so we did!
The river may be small by stateside standards but a lot of water flows out to the ocean from this and the Ugum River. During the cruise i found out that Talofofo Falls is actually on the Ugum River not the Talofofo! i have lived out here for 45+ years, taken History of Guam and did not know that before!
We started up the river on a flat bed boat with just my family and another local family that i know. We did not realize we were going to be together. It was a nice quiet cruise. Below is my grands and some of the other family.
We travel up through the tropical forest...
And the savannah's...
The boat took us up one river as far as possible, turned around then went up the other and then turned back and docked at the ancient Chamorro village of Talofofo. The present village is located up in the hills near by. This site has some Latte Stones that were used as the foundation for homes before. Below is a picture of my grands and I standing in front of one of the stones. Six Lattes are lined up two abreast. These are two stones placed on top of each other with the top one as a cap. This would keep rodents and other unwanted critters out of the homes.
We did get some walking in as we visited the caves the ancient Chamorro's used when there were tropical storms and typhoons. One of the caves has a shelf that stands about four feet from the floor. Our guide told us that Yokoi, the last Japanese to hide out in the jungles of Guam used this as a sleeping platform when he was down in this area. It is a little wider than a single cot!
We were given palm frond head bands and the girls found out that Grandma could do a little weaving. They were quite suprised.
If you live on Guam this is a great trip to take and if you ever visit this beautiful island you would really enjoy the trip.
This should have been written before I left for the states but...
On Saturday morning I picked up my friend and we went to Piti for the hike to view the planned fishing platform and improvements on the Masso River that runs through Piti Village and into the reef that has had a lot of silt deposited into it because of fires and improper care upriver.
Below is a picture of my friend and I at the beginning of the hike.
A year ago I would not have been able to do this hike! Thanks to SP it was successful. We climbed aboard a bus to take us to the initial hiking spot and walked up river to view the dam and the silt that has filled in over the years.
Then we climbed a hill to view the valleys where the two rivers meet. The first picture shows that valley that has been burned over many times over the years and has a lot of sword grass. This part of the island is savannas with a lot of grass and few trees that has grown spread because of the multiple fires that have been set over the years. Burning this areas makes it easier for hunters but is not good for the soil which eventually runs into the reef.
The next picture shows the other valley with trees along the river.
Both rivers are very low at this point because it is the dry season but before the rains started we actually had a drought.
The picture below shows the excavation that has gone on to clear the dam area.
We returned to the road and crossed it, saw the culvert that ran under the road and then walked through a shady wood and back to where the cars were parked.
The last picture shows some of the hikers going through a bamboo thicket.
I will enjoy going back and seeing the completed project and perhaps watching some of the children fishing from the platform that will be made.
I flew into Portland, OR, about 8:30 in the evening on June 29th. It was clear with a few clouds around the mountains. I was sitting on the left side of the plane by the window and saw the Three Sisters, then Mt. Jefferson and finally Mt. Hood. They were beautiful! As we neared Mt. Hood I realized I could take a picture of it. Most pictures we see of Mt. Hood are from Portland, thus from the west looking east. This picture is from the north looking south. We flew down the Columbia River which is the normal flight path for the planes coming from the east. This was after flying for about 19 hours not counting airport waiting times. It had been a long day!
After I took the picture of Mt. Hood I realize I could get Mt. Jefferson and perhaps the Sisters so I angled the camera to the left and took another shot. You can see them if you look carefully. Mt. Jefferson is closer and then the tips of the Sisters are in the background.
Oregon so often is cloud covered and rained in that these shots are rare.
Today I was to take the grands around the island. We started south and one of the girls lost some of her breakfast. I thought it might be because she was hot. We stopped at a Mom & Pop's store and got cold drinks then went across the road to the Chamorro Cultural Center and were given a tour of an older home that was built in 1901 that has ifit wood floors that were hand scrubbed and buffed with a coconut shell until they were glossy.
Went back across the road and were shown how they use to make salt from the sea, the girls grated coconut, saw how to make coconut milk, coconut oil and coconut candy. We also watched and held the horn so we could see how to make rope from the "skin" of the Pago plant (wild hibiscus). There is an old oven for baking bread and other items.
There was a carabao that they use for riding but the owner was not there. I wanted a picture with the girls. the carabao was more aggressive than I realized it would be and bruised the leg of one of the girls. She ended up being backed against a tree that was within its rope length an it hit her with its horn.
When we left the culture center we stopped at the Catholic Church and went in to see all the stained glass windows. It is very much like the Spanish/Mexican ones.
We did get as far south as Merizo and ate a late lunch.
Because it was 2:00 by the time we finished eating and the girls really wanted to go swimming we did not visit the cave I wanted to go to and returned north. On the way one of the grands got sick in the car when were were almost at the home we planned to swim at. I cleaned up everything called her mom and found out she had been sick in the morning. So with three times it was decided to take her and her sister home without swimming. We plan to go next Tuesday afternoon when one of my son's is off and can act as lifeguard.
I am not sure of the name of the river that is being I will be hiking down with other interested people on Saturday, June 19th. I heard part of the information on the radio and got enough to decide to make the hike.
Meeting place is across from the Catholic Church in the park at 7:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. to be transported to the beginning of the hike. If people are unable to hike they can go in the bus and get out to listen to the information given at each of the key areas. There will be some very knowledgeable scientist that will give information about the fresh water fish and the flora and fauna on this river.
One of the things that is in the process of being made is a fishing platform for those who would like to do some fresh water fishing.
If you live on Guam this will be a great experience and an easy hike. Also, a trip to the Piti Cannons I wrote about last week will be available with people who are knowledgeable of this area.
There are other activities planned for the end of the hike and freebees will be given out. This is not a hard hike so younger children would enjoy it.
I am planning to go to the 9:00 a.m. hike. Hope to see some of you there.