I arrived in Guam around midnight to begin my visit to the islands. I was met at the airport by some of the judges and lawyers who invited me and was bestowed with a beautiful lei. It was the first demonstration of the super friendly environment of Guam. My first day involved a challenging hike arranged by Karen Quitlong, Law Clerk to Chief Judge Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood, United States District Court for the District of Guam. Karen knew I was an avid hiker and arranged to have two friends accompany us on a hike through island to see waterfalls and breathtaking views of the South of the island.
I had asked for the longer hike and Karen found an amazing choice. We were guided by Linda Tatreau who is a retired science teacher who is well known on the island for her long work with the environment and conservation. Tatreau has been hiking these hills for decades and shows no evidence of slowing down. We were also joined by Senator and attorney Therese Terlaje who part Chamorro and knows a huge amount about the island. They were the perfect companions and they each able to share a great deal of information about the local flora and fauna of Guam.
Our guide hiked through the saw grass and jungle in bare feet. The saw grass does cut your legs and hands at parts, but, you with the high heat and humidity, it is a trade off to be either cooler or more protected. I elected shorts and preferred the choice. Admittedly, I was pretty jet lagged (I do not sleep on planes and only got a couple hours of sleep). However, we made it to the large water fall and were able to rejuvenate in the water. First we passed through the “Bad Lands” which was an incongruous area in the jungle of erosion revealing volcanic rock. We saw a Karabao or water buffalo as well as fresh tracks of some of the many wild pigs.
Once at the waterfall, you descended the steep rock with a rope. I will admit to being a bit reluctant but Karen is adept at peer pressure and I was delighted by the incredible view at the base. Sitting under the falls was incredible and truly rejuvenating. This is all surface runoff (and it rained this morning). The water was warm and created turquoise pools. After eating wonderful sandwiches made by Chez Quitlong, we made our way back. I must admit to be totally spent, particularly with the steep hike up the mountain to the car at the end. However, the hike was an incredible introduction to this unique place.
Karen later took me to a local Chamorro restaurant, Terry’s Local Comfort Food at 901 Pale San Vitores Rd, Tamuning, 96913, Guam. It was assume. Chamorro tend to be hot (which I like) and hearty. We ordered shimp and chicken Kelaguen for appetizers. Karen then order fried parrot fish. I had a combination of short ribs and chicken. It was awesome.
Here are a few photos: