Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Waterfalls and Rivers

Saturday we decided to check out more possibilities for when my parents come. We planned on going on a river cruise first thing in the morning but we were a few minutes too late to catch the morning boat. What to do till 1:30? We thought that we could drive south and check out a few things there. The first thing we came to was a waterfall.

This is the entrance to Talfofo Falls Park. Quite a fancy facade. We were expecting great things.

You had to ride a gondola to the bottom of the hill.
BAD picture but this is the air conditioning in the gondola. There were four of them hanging from the side of the car.

At the bottom of the hill they had several areas to look at. One of the "attractions" was a replica of Yokio's cave. This was a Japanese soldier who, along with two others, hid in a tunnel when the US landed on Guam. They hid out living on the land and fish. The two others died of food poisoning after several years but Yokio lived this way for 28 years before a Chamorro farmer discovered him. He returned to Japan, married his high school sweetheart and moved to South America. This board showed the layout of the cave.
This is falls #1. There are two large waterfalls. We have been having a drought and so there was not a whole lot of water going over. When my parents come it will be rainy season. We hope to see a lot more water. We just hope it will not be pouring rain when we go again.

This is the second waterfall. There were several suspension bridges that took you from one area to another. They are really fun to bounce on when someone else is walking ahead of you!

We caught the gondolas again for the ride up the hill. I think there may have been a trail that you could hike up but it was so hot and humid that it would have been really uncomfortable to do so.
When we got off the gondola there was an old Asian man who asked if we had been to Love Land. We said no and he told us we really should go because it was quite interesting. As you can see there is a sign posted that this was an area for those 19 years and older. We should have taken that as a warning but we did not catch on until we had gone through the gate. They have a nice landscaped walkway with large white statues throughout. Unfortunately, the statues could probably be categorized as pornographic. We only walked a short way in and then turned around and exited through the entrance. What a shame. They could have made it a very nice garden. That little old man must have had a good chuckle.

We decided that the Ghost House would probably be more our style.

This is pretty much what was in the Ghost House. It was a pretty good spook alley with lots of sound and flashing lights. There were ghosts popping up everywhere. Most of it was pretty hoaky but there were a couple of spots that were great. They had a walk way going through a spinning tunnel and you really felt like you were spinning. There was also a glass floor over a body that was pretty weird walking on.

There also was an area with a bunch of pigs, a kiddie carnival and another garden area that I did not dare check out after Love Land. It seemed like a hodge podge of things thrown together but we did enjoy it and look forward to returning.

After the falls, we still had 2 hours to kill so we kept driving south. We have been wanting to check out a Chamorro village that sounds good in the brochures but when we got there we were not impressed and so we continued down to an area we had stopped at several months ago. I cannot remember the name of these pools but it is beautiful here and so we stopped and walked along the beach for a while.

Wayne found some fossilized coral and thought it made an interesting picture. It was around lunch time by now. There are very few options for food in this area so we headed back up north with plans to have lunch at McKrauts. Sadly, it was not open and so we ended up at a gas station that had Nathan's Hotdogs. It is interesting that we have found several places that sell them. Smothered in onions they were really good.

Well, it was finally close enough to the time for the next river cruise departure so we returned to the dock. This is the boat that we went on.

This is the boat with the 29 Japanese tourists that we were with. The tour guide is originally from Kosrae, living on Guam, speaking Japanese. We were lucky enough to have had our own personal guide in English.

The scenery was beautiful and we got lots of information about the area. It was somewhat reminiscent of the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland.

Coming back down the river we stopped at an ancient chamorro village. Originally, they were clearing this area to put in some fish ponds of some sort but as they were clearing the jungle growth they discovered these Latte stones. They have been carbon tested and found to be 2,000 years old. They figure there were about 600 people who lived in this village. There were fresh water springs and lots of vegetation to support the people.

Above the village were caves where they could go when the typhoons hit. This is looking out from one.

We had a demonstration showing the weaving done with plants in the area. The guide is showing the grass skirt that was made from hibiscus bark. He went on to show hats, bowls, pouches and fans woven from the Coconut tree fronds.

Ben showed how to make fire with two sticks. The stick is from the hibiscus plant. You can see one of the woven fans in the background.

This is Ube ice cream that was served to us. It is made from the purple taro plant. It was really good. Tasted like a berry ice cream.

After the weaving demo they played rock, scissors, paper with the audience to give away the different items he had shown. I was hoping I would have a chance to get the hat and I did. I remember my parents getting hats like these when I was a child. I have seen them made in Hawaii and here and I was glad to get one myself. They look really good when they are fresh and green but as it dries it will turn to brown.

Well, so much for another Saturday. We have slowly been checking off things to do on our list and we are coming to the end. There are not too many more things to check out. Oh no, I will have to start staying home and cleaning!


kim said...

THose waterfalls are gorgeous! I can't imagine how big they must get in the rainy season.

Lynn said...

The ice cream looks yummy! Dallen had bread made with it in the Philippines. He called it a 'sort of purple potato.' Nice to know what it is!

DeRonda said...

Hello from Elder Kevin South's family! We were happy you left a comment for us on his blog! We love your very informative blog and reading about the area. One of the houses you on your blog is a house that Elder South is in currently. We were thrilled to be able to see it. Thanks for all you do!

Elizabeth said...

Looks like your adventure continues! What fun! We are still missing you here. Love all the pictures and stories. The Minnicks