Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Exploring gorgeous Guam

Today we took a loop drive around the southern half of the island, checking out sights, exploring little villages, sampling local fruits, and meeting some interesting folks.

Here's a shot of Kel doing a little dance (you'd dance for joy too if you were spending your spring break on Guam!) at one of the many scenic views along Guam's southern coast.

Snorkeling has piqued a new interest in coral. Kel was thrilled to find these steps which had been made from coral.

We met up with this local and his carabao. Carabao were originally brought here in the 1600's by Spanish settlers. They were brought here for transportation and farm labour. They have since become the signature animal of Guam.

He gave Kel some bananas to feed her.

And then he took Kel for a ride!

Kel getting a local history lesson while on the back of the carabao.

Teaching Kel how to make the island Hafa Adai sign.

Pretty darn cool experience.

Monkeying around with a bunch of bananas. After this, we got to go over and sample a bunch of local fruits.

This was an old Spanish fort. Guarding the coast against... we never quite figured that out. Who else was out there vying for Guam way back then?

Kel telling stories to Auntie.

This statue represented a local saint who was said to have come to the village out of the sea.

A collection of random scenery shots. Guam is extraordinarily beautiful.

Not sure why I took this one at an angle. Kel and Amanda outside of an old bell tower.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


We had a most excellent adventure yesterday when Ali took us spelunking at Talofofo Caves. I've never done anything like that (minus the tour guides, safe pathways, and cheesy light shows). It was absolutely fantastic. Kel loved the whole experience -- with a little help from friends for the bigger climbs and drops.

Here's Kel standing outside of our first cave. We started slow, with a gap that we could actually walk through.

These aren't in any particular order. This is another cave. I'm sliding in through the entrance. And being Japanese. What isn't obvious in the photos is that we were in pitch blackness if it weren't for the headlamps, flashlights, and the camera flash. So though you're seeing well lit shots (thanks to the camera), we really were deep into these caves.

Ali helping Kel to get up an incline in one of the caves.

Me posing by some of the formations. There were rooms with much more spectacular deposits, but it wasn't easy to photograph. So, this is just a taste.

Family portrait in the cave.

It was just a little bit hot in the caves. Well, its just a little bit hot and humid in Guam, so compounding that with climbing around underground and having no free airflow means lots of sweat!

This is actually the final bit of the tunnel leading into this cave. We had to shimmy on our backs through that tunnel behind Amanda. Here she's coming out into the caves.

Her face says it all!

We were able to climb up and out of this cave onto a great ledge overlooking the ocean.

That was supposed to be Amanda with the sea in the background, but it was washed out...

So here's the actual view that was behind her.

Kel and Erin up on a ledge.

This was a particularly tricky cave to get down in to. There were some pretty major drops before we reached the mouth of the cave (which you'll see behind Ali and Erin in the following shots), so Amanda, Ali, and Erin worked together to lower Kel down safely.

Kel climbing into the little cave entrance. Which, you can imagine, was not as much fun for the adults in the group -- especially Erin at 6 feet tall!

Kel goofing around inside one of the caves.

Another tricky spot. Here are Ali and Erin helping to get Kel out of a cave. They weren't all this involved, quite often Kel could just shimmy in and out on his own, but these are the ones where I actually stopped to take photos. While other people did the hard work!

I'll end this post about our cave adventure with a literal shot. The end.