Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holy Haputo, Batman!

The day after Christmas was gorgeous!  The weather was a welcome change after several gloomy, rainy days.  Trey had two requests from the minute he stepped off the plane- boonie stomp and snorkeling.  Based on accounts from friends who "did" Haputo back in October, I knew this was where we had to go. Also, thanks to our friends' previous adventure, we knew we needed to pack lightly as it was going to be quite a trek (I continue to be amazed, baffled, in awe that they made it down and up again with a full size cooler and 7 kids between the ages of 6  and 12).

This was a great first beach for us.  Since we had to pack light, I really couldn't stress about whether or not I was bringing the right stuff and if we had enough.  I could only bring the essentials.  We each took a bottle of water and a towel.  I also brought some beach mats and sand toys for Price.  Sunscreen, camera, water shoes, snorkel gear, crackers, and a hat.  All of it fit into a backpack and our Diaper Dude diaper bag (which is deserving of its own post at some later point).  We loaded the car and off we went.

Accessibility to Haputo is limited, only those who have access to NCTAMS and those who want to hike 300, very steep, feet to the beach can visit.

The picture above is looking down onto Haputo Bay from the trail head.  To get to the beach, you have to go down 200+ steps, through the jungle.  I had heard about the steps, I knew about the jungle (of course I had even been warned about the mosquitoes, but I forgot to bring repellent), but for some reason, I didn't truly grasp what the hike would be like- how narrow the steps would be, that there is more to the hike than steps, how huge spider webs can be in the jungle, that we would have to climb over and under trees containing the spider webs.  Nor, did I expect to feel so blessed by the beauty that surrounded us on the way down or on the beach itself.

Here are the boys heading into the jungle (before we do this again, I think we need to put Price in a backpack- it made me nervous to think about Don falling and Price getting hit on rocks...thankfully we made it down and back with no problem)

I was unable to take any more pictures on the way down because of my inherent clumsiness.  I was afraid that  if I stopped to take a picture, I would go sliding down a moss covered step.  So when the going got tough (and picture worthy) the camera went into my pocket.

The trek down was TOTALLY worth it!  This is what the trail led us to...

The great thing about this beach is how secluded it is.  We shared it with one other family.  While sitting on the beach, taking in my surroundings I kept thinking, "Am I dreaming?  Am I seriously sitting on a secluded tropical beach the day after Christmas?"  I wasn't dreaming.  I felt more calm and at peace than I have in a long time- as usually happens when I am near the water, with every wave that rolled up on to the shore, I felt like I was being refueled mentally and spiritually.  Then I would get bitten by a pesky mosquito and some of the tranquility would vanish, but just for a second or two (have I mentioned that next time we visit Haputo, we are bringing gallons of Deet?).

We spent a few hours enjoying the surf, sun and sand.  Price and I stayed on the beach and watched Trey and Don snorkel and swim.

Besides the mosquitoes, Trey had a run in with some coral (we forgot to tell him not to go reef walking)...

But even that couldn't dampen our day.

I collected some seashells and coral to show Price (some had hermit crabs in them).  I was struck by how some of the shells that were in abundance here were considered "big finds" when shell collecting on Dauphin Island.

Around lunchtime, we headed for home looking forward to leftovers and turkey sandwiches.  We were starving when we got home because if we thought going down 300 feet was hard, going back up 200+ steps was even harder!  Don did it with no problem, even with Price strapped to his chest (thank you USAF PT requirements), I did ok- as long as I stopped every 30 steps or so and my legs hurt in ways I didn't know possible for the next 2 days (if I believed in New Year's resolutions, one would be to get myself in the gym to get in shape for Haputo).  Trey made it in his own time- he's still recovering from years of smoking and some recent health problems.

It truly was a wonderful day.  It is an addition to my list of places I want to visit more often and list of reasons why I like living on Guam.  It also gave Don and I the faith that, yes we can manage going to the beach with a toddler and that we'll even enjoy it.


GUAMtastic said...

LOVE love LOVE Haputo!! So glad you guys made the trek down there... and way impressed that you did it with Price! Amazing!

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