|While this wasn't taken on our waterfall hike,|
we found it to be neat anyway...it's the
Rainbow Tree...a type of Eucalyptus.
Yesterday we were picked up by a man named Hamilson and he gave us a ride to the restaurant we were going to for lunch. We found out Hamilson is a guide here in Kosrae. We knew he was legitimate as we had seen his brochures in several of the hotels. So we decided to take him up on his offer to guide us to the Olum Waterfalls (for a not so small fee).
We met him this morning at the hardware store where he picked us up and drove us to his house in Malem, where the trail starts. We met his wife, Esther who is originally from the Marshall Islands but has lived here for 35 years.
Before I get too into this, I’ll have to admit that I screwed up with the camera. I took it…but I forgot the memory card. I had taken it out and forgotten to put it back in. (no way the photographer of the family could have brought his camera though, huh?)
It started out straight up a flight of stairs naturally carved into the hill. Then it went straight up a flight of stairs made out of roots and mud. Then it just went straight up. I found out exactly how out of shape I am in. It wasn’t my legs that were hurting, it was my heart! I was so out of breath. But Jake wasn’t complaining and if his little legs could do it, then I could too. We learned about many trees and nuts along the way and what their uses are…most of which I promptly forgot. One was kind of neat though…the nut is cut open and the inside is used to patch up cracks in wooden canoes. If you work it long enough, it gets kind of sticky and you just stick it in the cracks. Jake wanted to collect enough of these nuts to ensure we could fix Savannah should we spring a leak. He’s got a little of the planning gene from his mom, I can tell.
After 45 min or so, Hamilson showed us some old Japanese tunnels that were built back in WWII. The Japanese used them for hiding out as well as storage. He took us through a few of them and it was one of the highlights for both Jake and Andy. I have to say I was a little creeped out. Following the caves, we went straight to the waterfalls. Jake swam around a good bit at the pools and eventually, I got in with him. It was COLD…but perfect since we literally had sweat dripping off of us. I use the term waterfall loosely here…it’s not Marquesas waterfalls, or Victoria falls…it’s more like a really nice hotel swimming pool waterfall…but beautiful just the same.
The rest of the hike was beautiful, but uneventful except for the lack of my son’s ability to stay on his feet. I think he did a quarter of the hike on his bum.
At the bottom we were met by Esther with oranges, bananas, papaya, tangerines and drinking coconuts. Not a bad ending to a beautiful morning.
Hamilson and his wife have a pretty good set up going. He does the tours while she does the hospitality. He seems to have fun and make money at the same time. That’s what we all wish for, right? Anyone in Kosrae should definitely take him up on his tours. We thought it was worth the money.