(From March 9) We are back in the USA! Well, sort of. Guam is a US territory. It is the land of beautiful beaches, crazy water colors, quite a bit of modern civilization, 2 military bases, and the place “Where America’s day begins”. Since it is the easternmost US territory, they are correct (almost directly north of Cairns, Australia). In a nut shell, it is basically Hawaii without the world class surfing, volcanoes, and hula dancers.
Guam was a surprise–we were there on a 15-hour layover en route to Manila, Philippines. We arrived at the buttcrack of 5am (because being up at 5am stinks) after a three-hour flight. This is a weird time to arrive because if we had wanted to get a good night’s rest, we would have needed a hotel for two nights (both the previous and the following night). That seemed like a waste of money. Plus, there were almost no lodging options below $70 per night. So we did what any normal couple would do, we rented an SUV to do double duty as a mini-hotel and transportation. Problem solved. Well, sort of. It’s still sleeping in a car, but it allowed us to see the island and get some rest.
I expected it to be a small town surrounded by beaches. That was mostly incorrect. Even though the island is only about 30 miles long x 12 miles wide, Guam has high rise resorts, many condos, a smooth highway system, and lots of food options. Like Hawaii, it is not cheap. Our first meal was IHOP and it cost over $40. I didn’t even get the happy face pancake.
After a slow start, we managed to do a loop around the southern half of the island. We started at Two Lovers Point for a spectacular view of the coast then drove down the main highway, stopping at the occasional beautiful beach or fort on the way to Inarajan Natural Pool. I was hoping to freedive down to the sunken WWII Amtrak, but we didn’t have enough time and I prefer to dive with other people for safety. We also learned that the main thing that I wanted to see in Guam, the shallow WWII plane wreck, is not actually in Guam. It is close to Palau. Sigh.
Driving around the island was relaxing. Once we left the main city, traffic was sparse. We stopped at little towns and pulled over to soak up the scenery. At Inarajan Natural Pools, the rocks form a barrier from the waves and the trapped water is tranquil. We enjoyed exploring the area before driving back to the airport.
On the way back to the airport, of course we stopped for boba tea. With boba tea in hand, we returned the rental car and went into the airport to catch our flight to the Philippines. We were blissfully unaware of how eventful our trip to Manila was going to be. See you later USA!