But the spot just before the Coconut Village was stunning. It was a little forest of moss-covered trees and a carpet of orange and red fallen leaves. It was like stepping into a fairy tale and I was scared to breathe lest the magic spell be broken.
A few feet away, the rolling waves of the blue ocean crashed onto the rocky shores. It was in March, the perfect time to shoot photos or videos of gigantic waves from a cliff if that’s what you’re after.
I drove on and saw the Coconut Village sign in front of a cluster of wooden cottages. The place lived up to its name, with tall coconut trees lined up along the shoreline and adding a spectacular touch to the whole view.
I took a couple of steps away from the car and took dozens of images of the resort that had seen better times. The cottages facing the sea had individual balconies where guests could sit and relax, enjoy the view and breathe in the ocean breeze.
I passed by a huge wooden umbrella installed on top of a pile of stones, a perfect spot to have a drink or pass the time away. Although it’s no longer in business, it’s obviously maintained.
The second time I visited the place, I saw somebody cutting and raking the grass. The lawns were maintained and there were blooming flowers all around. The cottages were not falling apart, unlike most of the abandoned resorts and structures on the island.
If you dare to continue driving along the rough road, you will arrive at another popular spot —the Swimming Hole Beach Park.
I dared to take that drive, comforted by the thought that I could hear the ocean so I couldn’t became lost.
Rota has more treasures waiting to be discovered, undeveloped sites that contribute to its name as an untouched gem in the Pacific.
First published at the Marianas Variety here