Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hike to Old Man by the Sea

Once a month, the kids at Brilliant Star School (which is one of the greatest schools in the WORLD, right here on Saipan!), go on a Junior Hikers' Trek. Today, we headed off to Old Man by the Sea. While we were there, my friend Xavier told the story that his father told him. There is a legend that an old man was fishing at this beach, and cursed the ocean for not giving him any fish. The ocean reached up and plucked the man away, but left his image on this rock on the beach for all to see and remember to respect the sea.

The trail has some small ups and downs and can be muddy and slippery if it rains. Take water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat and clothes to get wet in if you want to wade in the water at the beach. It's not a good snorkling beach, so don't bother lugging snorkle or mask along. It's a kid friendly hike. A few toddlers under two made it, albeit they were carried most of the way. It takes about 30-45 minutes each way, from the road to the beach.

Down at the bottom of this post, there are directions (complete with satellite photos) of how to get to this hike.

The Lamar's going down the steep part. A rope is always there to help.

Through the thicket.

Arriving at Old Man by the Sea beach.

Michael looking like MacArthur wading ashore.

Cool water and great waves crashing on the reef. I love this island!

Today Nava learned that it's not a good idea to run in the rocky water without reef shoes. She got a pretty deep gash on her heel. She was a trooper hiking back out. But it was deep enough that we went straight to my office where I put three stitches into the wound (after cleaning out all the bits of rock and coral.) We managed to get it sewn together in about 15 minutes, with enough time left to get home and shower and run off to see Shrek the Third.

Beautiful rock formations at the beach.

Preparing to leave.

Rob leads the way out for the last ones to leave.

Arman takes home a piece of Styrofoam -- a prized souvenir for any six year-old boy.

Directions to Old Man by the Sea

I think this is one of the coolest maps of the trail to Old Man by the Sea. I left the file "full size" so if you click on the image, you can get a nice detailed view of the map and satellite photo.

The trailhead for Old Man by the Sea is on Talafofo Road (the road to Kingfisher Gold Course from Capital Hill which starts next to Esco’s). The trail begins just after the Egigi Road intersection (misspelled on the map as Igigi) , and before the San Igancio Road intersection (not labeled on the map). The road widens a bit and there is room to park on the side.

As you get close, you'll see this "winding road" sign, which goes downhill.

Then as you start to come back uphill you'll see this telephone pole. The trailhead is past the telephone pole, near the farthest car.

Here is what the trail head looks like. It's an oft used trail, so it's usually pretty well worn and rarely gets overgrown. As is typical on Saipan, someone has left some markers hanging in the tree on the right, in this case, a water bottle and a pink shoe. If you're ever driving around Saipan and see something hanging from a tree by the side of the road, it is usually the start of a trail.


Anonymous said...

David, just wanted to say hello. This is Robert "Dobby" Dunlap. I lived on Saipan until 2003. My daily routine involves checking out Saipan blogs. Although I get "homesick" looking at the photos and reading the posts, I love it. It is almost like being there. I'm glad you son is doing well. Take care and keep up the good work!!

Marianas Eye said...

Hi Dobby,

Great to hear from you! Where are you? I hope your family is doing well. They boys must be big. Are you the AG somewhere else now?

You can email me through my email on my profile.


earl said...

Thanks for the hiking trail info. keep 'em coming. It's gotten of my butt and into the boonies.