Sunday, April 3, 2016

Valley of the Latte!

This past weekend was the grand opening of a place on southern Guam called, "The Valley of the Latte Adventure Park". Nicely tucked away in the southern village of Inarajan and Talofofo. This place used to be called, "Jungle River Boat Cruises".

The owners actually redesigned the whole look of the park and showcases more of the local culture and flair of the Chamorro people and its ancestors. The park has a petting zoo, southern adventure tour, a riverboat cruise, stand-up paddle boarding, plantation tours, animal sanctuary, the most popular, the Ancient Chamorro Latte site and botanical gardens, just to name a few!

My mother in-law Dr. Judy Flores was in attendance of the two day excursion and also as a vendor selling her artworks and gifts items. She invited us to see the latte site, and enjoy a riverboat ride...

 When we got there, lots of parking and there is even a shuttle that can take you there should parking be hard to find. Nice. Above, the map of the area and all the events that can be found for the next two days...

First stop, the gift shop, as you enter the adventure park. Judy wanted to show us the gift shop, which also showcases a lot of her merchandise as well.
 Beautifully local art, books, T-shirts, and Latte stone coin banks too!

Not photographed is a flavored shaved ice counter and you can also order hot dogs and other food and beverages to enjoy.

Another look at the map, Where shall we go to first? Riverboat cruise!
 You can take the riverboat around the park or there are also walking trails that lead you to each of the event areas as well...
 Auntie Meady and Sara, as we await the next cruise boat. You can see in the distant one is coming soon. About every 15 minutes.
Nana Judy, Sara, Meady and myself, of course behind the camera! Ha.

video

Just a bit of video of the boat ride. The captain, talked during the trip through, he shared with us about the kinds of fish they find in the waters surrounding us, then took us to the first event dock, where the petting zoo, food vendors, etc. were. We also picked up a few people who wanted to ride further down. He then, took us by the stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, and onto the rest of the tour. He showed us an area where many of the local land crabs called home. His First mate, threw some bread and the crabs slowly came out to feast... Sara got to see them! She enjoyed that a lot.


He took us to the farthest part of the river, that the boat could travel, before the river narrows. Then, he turned the boat around at the fork. He told us if we headed to the right, this was where the Talofofo River would connect to the Ugum Water Treatment plant. Where most of our Island's tap water comes from. On the left side, the Talofofo River connects to the Talofofo Falls and heads towards Malojloj a part of Inarajan village.

As we headed back the opposite side of the bank, was where the Pineapple Plantation was and that soon we'd be able to enjoy the local pineapples that are growing. Finally, we arrived at the last stop, the Ancient Latte site!
One of the local huts made to show case what the Ancient Latte Stones were used for.
 Judy and Sara pose inside. There were many fruit trees and lots of beautiful flowers and plants. You could see the cliffs behind the Latte site. Many Latte home were built here in Ancient Chamorro times. As I walked through out the area, I felt a sense of history and awe, in my culture and my people. We have come so far, learning and retaining the history is very important to our children and future children of the Chamorro people. Like the saying goes, "How can one know oneself, without knowing the past." or something to that effect...

There is a section behind the showcase hut, a Latte garden. I was going to take the whole garden photo, but there was a family sitting by them enjoying their late lunch... Maybe next time.


This tree behind the Latte stones caught my attention!

More Latte stones and you can see a bit from behind trails along the side of the hill. Many ancient Chamorros called this place home...


As Sara and I explored, we notice many fruit trees, like the "Mansanita" or Cherry tree, a  "Laguinaha" or sour sap fruit tree. Below, Sara by the Hybiscus bush.
 Then, Sara, Meady and I decided to ride the river boat again...
 Us heading back to our starting point. Before we knew it, it was already time to go...

We will definitely come back to enjoy the stand up paddle boards or maybe take a dip in the river? 
 A gorgeous breezy day and a lovely way to share the island culture and people.
 As we got off the boat and we decided to head back to the gift shop for Judy to get Sara her flavored Shaved-Ice treat!

Thank you for reading! ~ ggsdolls

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place! Thank you for sharing the experience. Guam seems to have a rich and fascinating history. I enjoy these posts a lot. I like the fact you give us insight to Guam culture as a local and not from a foreigner's POV. Would love to visit one day~

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    1. Hi Gala, Awe, thank you too and you are very welcome also dear. I hope to show the modern side of our island as well. Most people still think Guam is a 3rd World country, but it isn't. So, I am hoping my photos and sharing my stories about Guam, can help to change that thinking^_~

      Much love and thank you again so much for your lovely thoughts dear friend, gg

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