Archive for the ‘Travel: Guam’ Category

Guam: Fadian Cove

Fadian Cove
Fadian Cove, Guam

Ague Cove
Ague Cove, Guam

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Goodbye Guam

Sadly, we’re down to our last night in Guam. FG and I shed a few tears yesterday as we drove off Andersen. We’re really going to miss the friends we made in our short year here. And FG is worried there won’t be anyone her age in our NY neighborhood. Little does she know how much bigger the new post with be.

I thought a lot about Bennett, our lab who died here last October. Wish he were able to still be with us. I felt like we were leaving abandoning him. Makes me doubly sad about our departure.

We’re staying at the WONDERFUL Pacific Islands Club in Tumon. We’ve stayed at a few hotels here on Guam, including the Hilton, Outrigger and Days Inn but this is the best so far. The room is large, service great and we’re within walking distance of the Jamaican Grill and Proa restaurants. FG is in her glory ~ they have a huge waterpark here where she and FM are currently getting their fill of the slides, kayaks and snorkeling in the salt water fish-filled pool. I, on the otherhand, would love to be sitting on the balcony looking out on Ypao Beach and the ocean but the only location in our room where the wi-fi is “excellent” strength is in the middle of the, thankfully, large bathroom. I’m perched on a rather uncomfortable chair. Ah, the things I do to keep this blog updated 😉

I’m using my clunky old laptop which I think is about 4-5 years old so I don’t know how successful I’m going to be with photos of our island-hopping. I can’t imagine the island of Majuro has any better internet connections than this hotel BUT you never know.

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We opted for a private boonie stomp for our finalé since the organized stomp yesterday was rated VERY difficult and didn’t end at a beach. My daughter stayed with her favorite sitter rather than head out to the boonies with us. It was probably just as well since it was a hot, long, and definitely “in the boonies” kind of hike and she had more fun playing with her friends. John and I were rewarded with this:

My favorite thing after a long hike was jumping into the cool, refreshing ocean waters and that’s the first thing I did:

Double Reef is one of the more remote beaches and, by far, the best snorkeling we’ve encountered on Guam. The ocean was very calm and we were able to swim quite a distance out to a “drop off” ~ there were so many fish and a variety of coral. I was mesmerized by all the vibrant colors of coral.

The beach itself is surrounded by a rugged, limestone forest (think “Predator” the movie) and there are giant binalo trees whose branches extend completely over the beach thus shading almost the entire length of the 150 feet long white, soft-sand beach. Absolutely gorgeous!

Much to our dismay, and I’m sure the other couple’s dismay as well, we weren’t the only ones there. We caught up with them on the hike and arrived at the beach at the same time. They went out for an even longer snorkel then we did, so we enjoyed a little time alone on the beach.

Along the trail, we came across wild pigs. I decided to carry a stick to ward off any attacks. Now that I look at it in the photo, my best hope would have been to poke it in the eyes with that lame stick:

I had heard many people tried to make it to Double Reef but couldn’t find it. I can see how that could happen. I highly recommend any one living on Guam, who plans on Boonie Stomping, buy the book “The Best Tracks on Guam” by Dave Lotz. It is very detailed and gives step by step guidelines to all the best hikes. And thankfully, there were markers along the way so we knew we were heading in the right direction. We did get off track a couple times but thankfully I was with John who has a great sense of direction. Not to mention he’s spent a lot more time in the woods. This is John standing next to a major marker ~ if you don’t turn right here, you’re way off course:

For anyone interested in hiking to Double Reef, be sure to park at this sign and start down the dirt road:

As the sign says, be sure to check in with the security desk. They will let you know if the beach is closed due to training ~ heed the warnings, you don’t want to get ‘shot’ accidentally. UPDATE: I’ve been advised, in the comments below, that hikers must sign a “release” prior to hiking to Double Reef beach.

It’s a rough hike but worth the reward at the end! Take lots of water, sunscreen, bug spray and snorkeling gear.  I’m trying to figure out how we can fit one more hike there before we leave.

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UPDATE: It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Guam. Feel free to leave your top 5 Favorite restaurants in Guam in the comments!

Itzy Bitzy tagged me to “Pick 5 of your favorite places to eat in your current location.” There are so many yummy restaurants here on Guam and, unfortunately, our short year here didn’t really allow us to get to all that many but I did find some gems. Here’s my current favorites:

  • Proa Restaurant in Tumon.  Very delicious grilled eggplant salad and the best coconut banana fritters I’ve ever had.
  • Thapanee Thai Restaurant in the Hafa adai Exchange. The BEST ever Grilled Tofu with lemongrass. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Their vegetarian spring-rolls are the best I’ve ever eaten as well.
  • The Mermaid Tavern in Hagåtña. Good salads and pasta. I particularly like the varied selection of beer.
  • Outback in Tumon. Can’t beat their YUMMY bread and the Chocolate Lava cake dessert.  Plus, next to Hard Rock Cafe, Outback is FG’s favorite place to eat.
  • Jamaican Grill  in Tumon.  A little spicy, a little tangy and consistently good.

To be honest, one of my favorite places to eat, is right here at home. I’ve been a lot more adventurous with my recipes and some have turned out pretty darn good 🙂

I tag: Heidi, KBGJess Mobb

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Guam Quarantine

Guam was declared rabies-free in 1972 and dog or cat coming to the island must go through quarantine. The length of stay depends on how far out you plan. It could be as much as 120 days or as little as 5 days. For a detailed checklist and other quarantine information, check out: Guam Quarantine and Quarantine Brochure.

There are only two quarantine kennel facilities on Guam: Andersen Pet Lodge (for military and federal employees only) and Harper Valley Kennel. These kennel facilities are NOT part of the Guam Quarantine Office but they act as their agents in housing the animals. Andersen Pet Lodge is open daily and owners can visit their pets during their stay.  The Pet Lodge also has boarding facilities for pets when you go on vacation but they only take reservations one month out which makes it very difficult to make long-term plans.

The Harper Valley Kennel is a veterinary clinic which also has a kennel facility in Chalan Pago for longer stays. According to the woman I spoke with yesterday, if you qualify for the 5-stay, the animal stays at the clinic and once the animal is examined by the veterinary and deemed OK, then they’ll release the pet. Unfortunately, if your pet does not qualify for the 5-day stay, then it must stay at the Chalan Pago facility which has limited visiting hours: Wednesdays (5-7 pm), Friday (4:30 -6:00) and Sunday (2:00-4:00).

If you’re moving to Guam and have pets, my best advice is to plan as early as possible so you will qualify for the 5-day stay.

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