chilling feet

chilling feet

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Two Hikes and Two Amazing Spots: Tarzan Falls, Algua Cove, Ritidian Point Point, and Sella Bay Falls

(Our first view of the beach at Ritidian Point)

One last Guam post before Sarah and I shoot off to the northern part of Canada for the Northwest Passage.  Don't worry, I'll explain it in the next post but we leave tomorrow and are super excited. Depending on the internet capabilities onboard, which I doubt exist, it will be about twenty days before our next post.  I do promise it will have plenty of awesome photos and fun things to learn about.

For now - Ritidian Point.  

The most northern tip of Guam is called Rititian Point and it is quite nice.  The road to the point is still in repair, I hope, and it is a little full of potholes.  Do not tell our rental company we most carefully drove there.
(We plan on going back.  This time we did not bring our snorkel and such as we did not officially plan on going to Ritidian but sort of ended up there.  The waters demand we go back)

There were a good number of tourists there to check out the point.  And we found out why.  It is one of the most beautiful spots we have been to so far in Guam.  Brilliant waters, unbelievably soft and clean sand, and with a little bit of walking we were completely alone.  Most people gather just right out front of where the parking lot allows access.  A short two hundred meter walk took us to a turn in the beach where it felt as though there was not a soul for miles.

There were some signs posted by the military base who apparently owns property nearby, so we stopped and enjoyed our nice little private beach.  A definite must in Guam.
(We saw this little guy)

There are still plenty of reasons to return to Ritidian.  Trails, the water, wildlife, and plenty of more beach to explore. We just did not have the time on this particular day.

While we were driving back out, at a nice leisurely pace to protect our car, we were surprised to see our first ko'ko bird.  That's the Chamorro name for the flightless bird called the rail bird. It almost felt like we were back in New Zealand for a second, reminiscent of the kiwi bird.  

We will be going back to Ritidian Point!
(We knew we were in for a muddy hike)

With a promise to ourselves to do more hikes, we left our house in spite of the rainy weather. It is just part of island life. It might rain for hours or five minutes. There seems to be no way to tell so just take the appropriate gear and get outside!  

Tarzan Falls. We have been eying this hike for quite some time. It promises a few different waterfalls to look at after a mild hike down ATV trails or better defined as "where the water flows downhill making a trail for you to follow." Unless it has been super dry before hiking you will definitely get muddy! As seen in the picture above with Sarah wearing her throwback Breakaway Running jersey from Memphis, TN.
(Time for waterfalls. At the top of the first set of falls we enjoyed climbing around a little bit to explore)

We did get properly muddy but it was not as bad as what I had read about preparing for the hike.  With care to take steady steps we managed to make it to this next picture. The first river crossing and cleaning station for our feet.  The water felt pretty amazing.  We have a shot below showing off our footwear choices.  I'm working on getting Sarah into some +Chacos for about one hundred reasons, most of which is they are spectacular. +Austin Russell - I'm working on my Chaco tan.
(Chaco life, well for me at least.)

It was such a nice area we spent a few minutes just admiring the rush of water flowing past us. Nature power! It was still raining so pausing for a few photos while standing in the middle of a river felt pretty normal. Thanks again to +Bryan Baddorf for my backpack that keeps my gear dry even when I'm out traversing in the elements.
(Pretty awesome when the trail crosses a river. Who needs a shirt when it's raining? Just gonna weigh a man down)

Well we finally decided to continue the hike down the trail a little more and guess what we found? A waterfall with a pretty good flow thanks to the rainy days leading up to our hike.  Not bad at all, though we chose not to swim as the waterfall pool was pretty muddy and not super inviting. Besides on a rainy day there's not much of a need to cool off. 

In the photo below we are using the timer on the camera.  My attempt to leap from slippery rock to rock was not quick enough. I think I fear random injury whilst a few miles down the trail a little too much for the kind of speed that was required of me.  
(I didn't make it in time but I did get a really creepy looking shot where I appear to be stalking my wife.  Watch out for a Brett in the wild because they will straight up carry you off to their lair)

With Tarzan Falls behind us, which is a smashing hike that we recommend, Sarah and I found ourselves on a new adventure a few days later. While eating at a restaurant one night we got talking to some of the nice local folks working there.  They told us all about a place called Algua Cove and the girl said it is her favorite spot on the island. Well OK then.  

The only issue about the cove, and she did mention this to us Sarah later told me, is that there is a sign telling everyone it's private property at the entrance. And after driving down a road into the middle of nowhere the way is blocked off with a sign on a formidable gate. Feeling a little strange about leaving our car in such a spot and having just walked around the gate, like the girl said everyone does, I suspiciously hoped we were not being duped by a local as we walked down a long and abandoned looking road. 
(Our first view of the cove was a nice little picture frame made in the trees.  I should have cut out the one small set of leaves but they too are trying to enjoy the view)

A little bit over a half mile walk we arrived at the trailhead. Our lunch break at Algua Cove was taking more time and effort than I had anticipated. A sharp hike down the cliff took us to the view above - completely worth it! But we only had a short amount of time to enjoy this magical place.

I settled in immediately to eat some food while Sarah climbed rocks to see the views.  It's a small cove that looks like it must be nothing short of a personal paradise when the waters are calm. While we were there, however, the water was rough and definitely too dangerous for jumping in. Next time.
(The view from Sarah of me eating lunch. Too many rocks for the rough water to smash us on but fun to watch)

Another spot we will have to dare again when we have more time. It was a little daunting leaving our car by itself and being on "private" property for so long while no one else was there. But after having tasted the cove we will have to go back for sure when we can truly enjoy the amenities.  
(Sarah did not stop to eat any food.  She seemed to be feasting on the views)

Why is there always a climb back up? Time to go already? If we must.

(A little bit of an uphill back to civilization)

One of the great parts of Guam is Sarah works with active and friendly people, like Adam and Karmen. We have been trying to plan a hike with them for a few weeks and finally made it happen a few days ago. Sella Bay hike surfaced to the top of one that neither of us had done before. Off we went!
(Leading the way Adam and Karmen were really fun to hike with!)

Muddy again. In the first ten feet down the trail I slipped and used my butt as a nice sled like tool. It worked well and I popped back up thinking it might be a long hike for me. Fortunately it was the only tumble for all four of us.  Really? Just me? Ha.
(We stopped to look at the destination)

Sella Bay was a decent hike and we enjoyed the descent to the ocean.  The best part of this hike is it leads you to a 300 year old bridge built back when Spain controlled Guam. Apparently the road never really worked out but the bridge still remains as a strange testimony to the culture of the past. And it still works pretty well too.
(The Spanish bridge as the other hikers test it before I get on. It's pretty neat)

After we admired the bridge for a few minutes we hiked down the ocean some until we arrived at Cetti bay.  A few weeks ago we did the quite amazing Cetti Falls hike which starts near the bay

We got some great views of Cetti falls and the bay from our vantage point and then we drank some water before heading back towards the bridge. 

The unfortunately high surf made the bays a little wild which was a disappointment as we had heard the snorkeling was supposed to be really good there. Oh well. Sometimes the island cooperates and sometimes it doesn't. 
(Pausing for a photo shoot before the hike back up)

Back at the bridge we took a shot together to commemorate the hike. It's a good easy hike with plenty of rewards throughout. It's not super well marked but what hike in Guam is? Great way to meet new friends.

I have to admit how excited I am about tomorrow's new adventure into the Northwest Passage. You can read a little bit about what we will be exploring by clicking on this link. Till next time have fun getting outside and exploring!!