What’s it like to have a waterfall all to yourself? Amazing.
My parents had been to Talafofo Falls before. Having been raised on Guam, the Falls were just a short drive from the village of Mongmong, where my mom grew up, and Toto, where my dad grew up. And considering that Guam is only 830 square miles, one could probably argue that the Falls were practically in their own backyards.
Mikey and I were newbies to Talafofo Falls, so Mom and Dad served as our guides. But upon our arrival, Mom and Dad realized just how much of Talafofo Falls had changed. Talalfofo Falls was now a super-dee-duper tourist attraction.
There was an archway and ticket counter upon arrival. What? Back in their day, the falls were free!
Oh, and there were also pigs, piglets and pups at the entrance to greet us. How cute!
Dad recalled the last time he visited the falls back in his teenage years. Then, you had to hike through the reddish, rust-colored dirt underneath the scorching sun with machetes in hand to cut away the tropical brush. It was no cakewalk. But nowadays, there are cable cars to transport you down to the falls and back. How convenient.
The sign below clearly states the rules. But for some reason, the local at the ticket counter asked us if we were going to swim — as if she was encouraging us to do so. We had every intention of swimming, and we did. But the beauty of it all, was that aside from a Chamorro couple that was there for the first 15 or 20 minutes of our visit, we had the entire waterfall to ourselves! There wasn’t a single tourist in sight until the last couple minutes of our time there.
I’m not sure where all the tourists were, but our guess was that the heavy construction we weaved through on the way there was probably a deterrent for tour buses shuttling passengers back and forth between Hotel Row and Talafofo Falls. Which was absolutely fine and dandy for us!
With a massive waterfall all to ourselves, we slid on our butts from the rock landing to the base of the waterfall. (Many spots were slippery and covered in moss, which made it difficult for our water shoes to grip the waterfall’s floor. Our butts were a better option.) And once underneath the falls, we let the water pound down on our backs. It felt like a really good hands-free massage. The water was so powerful though, that I could feel my contacts start to move around under my eyelids when sitting against the rock wall. Keeping my eyes shielded, so that I could open them was kinda of difficult. But who’s complaining? I could’ve spent the whole day there.
A few feet away from the upper falls are, of course, the lower falls. Not as massive as the upper ones, but still pretty cool.
Something tells me that I may never experience a waterfall like that again. It was like our own little playground — like we owned the place. We didn’t have to share it with anyone else. And it all made for some pretty great pictures and some unforgettable memories.
P.S. I can’t take credit for all the fantastic photos. Dad was the one who opted out of the waterfall frolicking in order to capture some of these moments on camera. Thanks, Dad!