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Tumon Bay

February 10, 2013

Guam – Thursday, January 31

I still woke up pretty early but it gave me some time on the computer to research some donation opportunities. I made a list of what I saw – many of them seem to be affiliated with the same agencies. Local calls are free from the phone in my room (and all of Guam is local) and there’s also a phone in the lobby for hotel guests to use to make free long distance phone calls to the mainland. Pretty generous of them! And it’s very helpful since my phone is expensive to use out here, and I should not have been texting back in American Samoa, but I had been given some incorrect information, and luckliy AT&T had a record of that, so they are reversing those charges. Calls and texts are free in Hawaii, but not the other Pacific territories.

I found a food pantry that was affiliated with a big Catholic social services organization, so when it was a respectable time for phone calls, I called to see if they were open, and to find out exactly where they were located. They gave me directions from my motel using landmarks, not street names. Apparently streets are not well marked and it’s easier to use landmarks that people are familiar with (except new visitors who are still finding their way around!) I also got directions from the nice front desk people, and set off to find these landmarks. In the end, with a bit of trial and error, the directions made sense, and they weren’t really all that far away. I talked with the lady about some other possible donations, and she had a phone number of a place that does some meals-on wheels-type deliveries that she sometimes refers people to. Finding this place helped me get my bearings a bit more, and I’m learning my way around the middle part of the island, which is the busiest part of Guam. Even though it was late morning, I was craving eggs and hash browns, and there was actually a Denny’s sort of close to the motel. So I enjoyed a late breakfast(they have a separate Chamorro menu, but I can’t eat a fish and rice for breakfast!), and then returned to the beautiful Tumon Bay area for some walking. The water in the bay is a vivid turquoise and very very shallow and clear. The coral and rocks are all visible on the bottom. There are a number of public beaches that often have lifeguards on duty. There must be a reef or something that protects the bay because there’s a big line of rough surf way far out that divides the deep blue waters of the ocean from the shallow turquoise waters of the bay. It almost looks like 2 separate bodies of water! I extended my walk a little farther in the opposite direction from yesterday, and chalked up 5 1/2 miles in some pretty good midday heat. I wasn’t at the part of the bay where I was right along the water all the time, but there were some nice breezes. In fact, the breezes started to pick up and it started to sprinkle right as I got back to the car. I still had a little walking to do for the day so I headed back to Asan beach which is a beautiful walk, and I wanted to go on one of the trails the rangers had told me about that I had missed. The sprinkles came and went and the strong breeze felt good. I found the trail the rangers told me about (don’t know how I missed it yesterday) so I climbed up the hill and tried to think about enemy soldiers potentially popping out anywhere like they did when the marines landed, and it’s not a comfortable feeling. There was a cave and all sorts of places where anyone could hide. The view from the top was beautiful – the whole expanse of the bay from the tourist end at the far side, to the national park lands on this side. It made me wish there was a bench up there! When I walked back down, I came across some old concrete that looked like it had been part of a landing area during the war, and then I walked around the whole path in the lark a couple times. The wind was really blowing by now, and some of the palm trees were beginning to lean. It was pretty – but rain was coming.

When I finished walking, I figured this rainy evening would be a good time to go to the local Kmart (only one in the islands I think)for a few things. But there were tourist buses there too. There was an enormous chocolate candy display – counters and counters, and lots of the Asian tourists were buying 4-6 boxes at a time. Lots of it was macadamia nuts and chocolate, and I just wondered why they were selling so much chocolate. It wasn’t cheap. Maybe they don’t make chocolate in Japan??? They also had a lot of other souvenir sorts of things and I browsed through some of that. I got the other stuff I needed, and was beginning to tire out again (I’m not sure I like this waking up at 4:30 or 5am and feeling tired in the early evening!). There was a Little Caesar’s Pizza right inside K-mart, and considering the rain and the fact I just wanted to get back to the motel, I just got a couple pieces of pizza to go.

I was happy to sit down after another busy day, and I fell asleep early listening to the rain.
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