Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hiking in Pohnpei

Jake wanted to play on the "playground" at the internet

Today was our last day of having our rental car.  The first day we had it, we forgot our camera and the second day was used for running errands, so today we decided to do something fun AND bring the camera.  We had been invited by some friends to do a waterfall hike, but due to having the car and having some things on our agenda undone, we declined.  The plan was to see an eel pond, eat lunch, see some petroglyphs, then a waterfall.  Incidentally, there are waterfalls all over this island, it’s just a matter of how far you want to hike and pay to see one.  The one we had planned was fairly easy.

So off we went.  We searched and searched for the eel pond.  We never actually found it as there are very little signs around here.  I’m pretty sure it was just a creek where we saw some women washing their clothes.  So I looked on the map and saw another waterfall nearby….let’s go there. 

Through turning around over and over and asking directions, we finally found the road that supposedly leads to the trail.  The guy at the end of the road gave me directions….go to the double thatched roof, go down a few minutes, then turn left.  Ok, got it.

As we drove up the road past the pavement (think dirt road with grass growing in between the tire tracks…kind of country like back at home), we saw a truck stuck in the mud.  We parked our car and got out.  He asked us to help him push his truck out.  Through a little back and forth, we realized he was the driver for our friends and he offered to take us to the waterfall…cool.

Up the road we went.  We got to a house and he immediately turned right.  Andy and I both said to each other at the same time “Would’ve missed that one.”  We walked on an overgrown trail, literally through a jungle for about  half an hour only to come out a lovely little babbling brook.

“I went the wrong way,” the guy said.  “I think it’s the other way.  I haven’t been out here since I was a kid.”

Ha.  OK.  So we went back.

We got a little bit further and he said, “We could just follow the river up?”
“uh, no,” was Andy’s reply.

This is when I told him the directions the guy gave to me down at the end of the road.  So we decided to give that a try.  After another half hour back to the road and another half hour up the road, we finally found the double thatched roof.  We went down and then sure enough, there was a trail to the left.  It was kind of a trail…we went a little ways and by this time, Andy was losing his patience.  The guy obviously didn’t know where we were.  But in my mind, this is where we would have ended up if we hadn’t have listened to him in the first place (and I could hear running water).  We made it another 10 minutes down the trail and Andy called it off.  The guy kept going and as we started to go back, Jake got upset.  He really wanted to see the waterfall and I thought, since we’ve gone this far…  So we kept going.  There came a fork in the trail…my very own “Bear Gryll” led us to the path with the fresh machede clippings and in about 10 minutes we had caught up with our friends and were making our way down to a huge swimming hole at the bottom of a waterfall.  Guess who wasn’t there?  Yep, the driver.  He must have taken the other fork.

Anywhoo…to make a long story longer, we swam a while, took pictures, had a nice time and then discovered we were starving and thirsty.  I didn’t plan on a 2 hour hike so I didn’t bring anything with us.  The plan was to eat at a restaurant, remember?  So, we decided to leave a little early.  As we were walking back to our car, the driver was there and tried to act like he had gone looking for us and that’s why he never made it to the waterfall.  Whatever, dude…even the guide that was with our friends was pretty sure he didn’t know where it was and thought it was funny that we followed him.

It just reinforces a theory we have about polynesians/micronesians/melaneisans after being led astray by more than one… they weren’t the master navigators we all think they were.  They set out one day on a nice paddle and got lost.  Two months later, they found land and just stayed there.  That’s why they’re spread all over the pacific!  They couldn’t find their way home.  

It turned out to be a very nice day, even if our lunch did end up being a box of Pringles and onion rings from the local gas station.   Jake was a real trouper and is beginning to be quite the hiker!

The Village Hotel and Restaurant, where we had lunch on one of our outings.

1 comment:

Katy said...

sounds like a good day, even if it didn't go as you originally intended :)

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