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Merizo

August 24, 2011

So the little scoot that could and I are doing a clockwise sweep of Guam’s southside.  We’ve bid Inarajan adieu, and are now on the way to the next village.  Guam is a series of villages – extended families, really – which comprise the population of the island.  I find it interesting that properties never make the multi-list of realtors on the southside, so closely knit the population here.

The road on this part of the southside is very close to seal level, and prone to flooding during typhoons.

Judging by high tide in August, maybe +3 feet above seal level, or similar to many of the roads which flood regularly in Key West.  This does not appear to bother the locals, tho – they maintain the same rhythm of life come hell or high water.

Many locals opt to live on high ground, however.

If ever there was a typical Guam house – this is it.  Cast of reinforced concrete, it will have 4 bedrooms (to handle the progeny of a good Catholic family), ceramic tile floors, and a plethora of aircon units to keep the place cool in lieu of ocean breezes.  You have to admit – the backyard view is a stunner!

The views up above the village are pretty amazing, though.  Folks in California would pay big bucks for this sort of backyard backdrop – and it’s taken pretty much for granted if one lives on the southside, as everyone has a view.  Chicken in every pot? Nahh – we’ve views, man!

An especially intriguing lawn ornament, this.  Clearly a dugout canoe from generations gone by.  When was the last time (if any) you’ve seen an original dugout?  I’d not expected to find one – and it was indeed one of the highlights of my day.

Upper Merizo (pronouced MA-less-o) is at least 500 feet above sea level. This road is deceptive – I hit 45 MPH merely coasting down to the ocean – and it was less than a mile.

If there’s anything typical about an island house on Guam…

It’s that the space it occupies is reclaimed jungle.  One does not claim dominion over Guam flora, one merely beats it back on short intervals.  When our ancestors sought to subjugate the land – it was places as this they were pitted against.  I’m not advocating subjugation, mind you – merely observing the difficulty islanders have in maintaining a small plot of their own.

There are old things in Merizo, too – like this 100+ year old church building made of local stone in a fashion over 3 centuries gone.

As is with every village on the southside, they have their shrines

and monuments, in this case a bell tower.

I was watching an old movie, and the sound of the bell tower brought back memories of time in Italy.  A village moves about the passage of time noted by the church bell – a comforting thought in these chaotic times.

Interestingly, Merizo has a lovingly maintained version of Inarajan’s school.

Not as old as I thought, however.

I’d guessed the teens or twenties – off by a good three decades. Oh well – that’s why I don’t make my living as an architectural archaeologist.

I like Merizo, it’s got a laid back feel and is perfectly presentable with character all its own.

With a little luck – I might even meet some of the locals one of these days!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2011 1:02 am

    But where is the scooter?

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 24, 2011 1:18 am

      Argh! I forgot to include a pic of the scoot!

      It’s down for repairs – I have to reshape the combustion chamber, grind down the cam followers to lighten the valve train, and re-seal the head. I think I have a high-speed combustion chamber leak as the comp ratio is a bit high (12:1) and I’m bleeding off power above 45 MPH.

      Additionally, I’m going to lighten the clutch bell and perhaps even the clutch itself (if I can figure out how) to reduce inertial loads. The clutch spins at close to 20,000 RPM at WFO, even a few ounces off the top will make a huge difference.

      I want that 50 MPH on the flat – and I’m close enough to get there from here.

  2. August 24, 2011 1:03 am

    I think next time your vehicle of choice for the two of you should be a good olde metal flake dune buggy.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 24, 2011 1:20 am

      Actually thinking of a Citroen Mehari – the 2CV version of a dune buggy. 650cc air-cooled twin up front driving the front wheels. They’re found primarily in the south of France.

  3. August 24, 2011 12:20 pm

    Not to interrupt the nerd talk or anything but I do like winding hilly roads. Honda 250CBR country, I insist.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      August 24, 2011 4:27 pm

      I did look at a Honda 230 enduro yesterday – although I can’t bring myself to spend $5000 on a half-pint bike when I’d buy its kissing cousin used for $150…30 years ago. Doesn’t seem right to spend 30 times as much money for the same amount of bike.

      When the weather breaks (we’re in the middle of a typhoon forming and have been for 5 days), I’ll take you on a tour of Cross-Island Road, my fave mountain road on Guam.

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