Sand and Tsunamis
Travels between Saudi Arabia and Japan
About Us (3)
Dave in Japan (13)
Futureland (Japan) (6)
News and Other Scary Stuff (17)
Other Travels... (18)
Picture Postings (21)
Rants and Ramblings (13)
The Magical Kingdom (34)
* This Just In...Women Cause 50% of Traffic Accidents in KSA
* High and Dry
* Guam Pictures
* I become a Pod Person
* Still in Hawaii
* Roughing it in Waikiki
* Oh the sacrifices we make for freedom!
* We're Off to See Godzilla!
* Update and More Pictures
* Cool Map Feature...
* Visit to Odawara Castle
* Some pictures
* They let women DRIVE here!
* Cool things here in Japan
* Adventures in Sushi
* Adjusting to Life in Japan
August 14, 2005
OK...I'm back, and it's time to post a few pictures from the Guam Trip. I apologize that it's taken so long to get these up.
It's been an interesting few weeks. Summer in Japan means festivals. July and August are well known for fireworks and the "Bon Odori" festival. Bon Odori is sort of like All Souls Day, when the Japanese (Shinto/Buddhist) believe that their ancestors come back and wander around for a while. It frankly sounds a little creepy to me...but, hey, it's not my festival, right? Each community has it's own festival; ours is over the next couple of weekends. We'll go with our landlords (I say "we," because there's a rumor that Melody may be back by then...we'll see. I'll believe it when I see that huge gray ship back at the pier. In the meantime, I'm mowing the lawn, taking out the trash, and doing all the other things that will make Melody's life a bit easier when she gets back.
Besides Bon Odori, the other big thing is fireworks, or "hanabi" (not to be confused with "hanagi," or "nosebleed"...as expected, my Japanese language ability is punctuated with several uselessly specific words and phrases, including "Dare wa watashi no suteki otabemashita," or, "Someone has eaten my steak!"). Hanabi means traffic. My normally 1.5 hour trip home from work (via car) took nearly 4 hours a couple of weeks ago. I'm really glad that I didn't stop and get another green tea when I left! I thought I'd escape the fireworks last week, and was doing fine until I got to the turn that's about 3 km from the house. At that point, traffic was at a standstill, going toward the fireworks still another 7-8 km away. I opted to try to find the shortcut that Kanekosan showed me, and eventually made it. Took about 45 more minutes, but I'm sure that I still made it home earlier than I would have had I stayed the course. There's some sort of surfing festival/comp going on today, and I used that short cut again successfully. Thanks Kanekosan!
Now, on to the pictures...they're pretty much chronologically placed, so in essence, you'll be making an abbreviated version of our trip. Enjoy.
Guam was a pretty neat place. There's a lot of history there, and we happened to arrive on Liberation Day (from the Japanese). People still celebrate that with vigor. Ironic, because much of the tourist money comes from Japanese who use Guam as a lower priced Hawaii. Plus, it's a lot closer. Only 3 hours.
Of course, no trip to Guam would be complete without a typhoon. Last year, Melody's port visit was cut short by Typhoon Chaba. This time, we were lucky, but one drove right past Guam and hit Japan instead. In fact, my flight back spent an additional 45 minutes or so flying racetracks (a little Airborne lingo there...) before we could land at Narita Int'l because of it.
Here's what a typhoon looks like from the 19th floor of the Outrigger.
Some guys paddling outrigger canoes during the typhoon...they were inside the reef, but it still looked pretty rough...
Latte Stones. No relation to the delicious coffee drink.
Me, testing for Latte goodness. None found. Only grit and tooth pain.
Spooky cave used by the Japanese as a bunker during WWII. Melody wouldn't go in there, because as a kid, the rumor was that they were haunted with forest spirits (taotaomo’na). I didn't see any when I went in, but it was definitely haunted with a strong smell of urine.
Part of the Spanish Village, downtown Agana.
Detail of roof...
Local kids defending the harbor with old Spanish Artillery. This was eventually an outpost used by first by the US and then the Japanese after Guam was captured following Pearl Harbor.
Hi res shot of the invasion beach used by the US. This terrain was quite rugged, crisscrossed with ravines and heavy underbrush during WWII. It still looks pretty formidable, and would really not be fun to have to go up with people shooting at you.
Japanese Mini Sub captured during WWII. It ran aground on the island, and was captured...
Gun from a Japanese ship sunk by the USS Bowfin (submarine).
SGT Yokoi, the guy they caught hiding in the jungle in 1972. Melody was just a little girl at the time...He didn't know that the war was over, and that Japan had lost. He was just following orders not to surrender. He'd actually been living in a cave, and was the last of 3 men (the other two died of disease).
Melody's childhood home, Barrigada, Guam.
The beach at the Hyatt. Pretty nice, with some great snorkeling right off shore. One could wade all the way out to the reef.
Two Lovers Point. Tradition has it that a local girl was in love with a local boy, and was to be married off to a Spanish soldier. Rather than succumb to that fate, they jumped off the cliff to be together forever. I asked Melody if she wanted to go up there and kiss, what with it being such a romantic place and all. She said, "Um, no...They DIED."
Melody, my beach bunny.
Outrigger-ers and the sunset...
View from the room...
Locking in their love at 2 Lovers Point. People for some reason love to get married up here, and then go and secure a lock on this railing. I figure they probably then toss the key over the side...
Deserted stretch of beach
Agana from 2 Lovers Point
The story of the two lovers...the panels read (Right to Left) Forbidden, Devotion, Despair, (unreadable), Forever
Posted by djf on August 14, 2005 11:36 AM
Category: Other Travels...
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