DRIVING aimlessly around the island of Rota is one of the most rewarding experiences on island, especially if it is your first time there and you came with a thirst for adventure.
Upon your arrival, rent a car from the car rental companies outside the arrival area of the airport and as soon as you have your car keys, the island is yours.
If you are adventurous enough to adopt a ‘follow the road wherever it leads’ attitude, you are in for memorable adventures. Roll down your windows when you drive from the airport through Sinapalo Village and breathe in the salty tang of the ocean breeze while enjoying the spectacular scenery along the coastal road all the way to Songsong.
Driving on the unfamiliar and mostly deserted roads will give you a certain kind of ‘high’ and you have the luxury of just stopping anytime to take photos of anything that will catch your fancy without the risk of slamming into another vehicle or pedestrians, or getting deaf from horns blowing from cars behind you. If you are daring to take the less trodden roads that fork off into the unknown from the main roads, more escapades await you. The rugged roads could vary from too rocky to steep and narrow oftentimes it makes you undecided to go on or go back. Sometimes, thick hanging vines hanging from the trees almost obscure the road but if you listen to the thrill of the unknown, you will go on.
Driving alone for the first time makes the adventures a bit scary but exciting. Some of the roads will lead you straight to dead ends while some will take you to long-ago abandoned hotels and resorts that once throbbed with life and laughter, now left to the mercy of the harsh elements of nature.
Still, some of the rugged roads will take you to discover breathtaking panoramas that will leave you stunned and you will begin to wonder if you have stumbled into another dimension.
Follow the road and drive past the picturesque village of Songsong all the way to the Zoo and beyond where more adventures await. The paved road snakes through the thick jungles and eventually ends, to be replaced by a rugged road that not a lot of vehicles use. The road goes around the island passing farms and jungles that at times you will think you have come to a dead end but keep driving. Very soon you will emerge into a wide paved road and find yourself back in Sinapalo village.
Watch out for historical landmarks like the Japanese Canon by the roadside, burial grounds and other World War 11 artifacts along the way.
Rota, dubbed as the untouched gem in the Pacific carries loads of character and charm that adds to its enchanting beauty. The island boasts of pristine beaches, spectacular underwater wonders, rich green jungles, cool mountains, cultural and historical memorabilia scattered all over the place. What’s more, if you drive around, you feel like you rented the whole island for yourself. You would be lucky to meet a car or two along the way especially if you take the roads less trodden.
More roads on Rota wait for the daring to explore. What are you waiting for?
First published at the Marianas Variety Guam Sunday edition for Nov. 9, 2014 issue