Driving through the back roads

IF you say Saipan is a small island and you can go around it in an hour and visit every place there is to explore, you’re right. You can drive from Marpi to Kagman to the Naftan Point and say that you’ve been around and everywhere on Saipan.

I thought I had explored every nook and cranny of the island and there is not a single spot that I can’t say “I’ve been there” already but a buddy proved me wrong last week.

Unhindered by a flat front tire and an hour’s wait for rescue as we didn’t have any tools or spare tire, we drove up to As Matuis Road past the La Fiesta Mall and all the way to the old Radar Station where we spent a few minutes taking photos of this historical structure that still stands proudly and survived the harsh elements of nature. Enjoying the utter silence broken only by the occasional chirping of birds was a real treat — no car engines, no radios blaring, no cellphones ringing, no other people around.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is driving-backroads-32DSC_9711-2-1.jpg

Driving down from the Radar Station, my buddy took a left turn and followed the rough road past the water reservoir. The road was unfamiliar and my senses immediately reeled with anticipation in exploring a new destination.

The road, which I learned is often used by bikers, looked like a dried up riverbed on most parts but my buddy drove his van real slowly, giving me the chance to enjoy the view and snap photos of anything and everything that caught my lens.

I bit my tongue to stop asking for the nth time where the road leads to. After what seemed like an eternity of humps and bumps on the road, we emerged from thicket and found that we were at the main road leading to the Suicide Cliffs.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is driving-backroads-32DSC_9726-2.jpg

We went down and made a quick stopover at the Grotto and took more photos of the busload of tourists who ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over the spectacular view of this wonderful dive spot from the observation deck above – a spot that most people who have been living here for a long time take for granted – before driving back to Susupe to watch the sunset from the beach.

When life on the main road seems too boring and you’re following the same routine day in and day out, try to take the back road for a change and see what it has to offer. You’ll be surprised to know there is more to this little gem of an island than you think. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your camera.



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