DRIVING around Tinian is always a pleasant and refreshing experience for anyone who wants to escape from the noise of other car engines and traffic lights and changing lanes.
With four hours to spare on Sunday afternoon, I and a buddy rented a Toyota Yaris from Avis for $35. Armed with SLR and point and shoot cameras, tripods, videocam, bottles of cold water, some snacks and a map of Tinian, we proceeded to drive around Tinian’s long and secluded roads.
Once you get on the road, you can very seldom meet any other vehicle on the way so you can even drive with your eyes closed or go at top speed without looking back to see the flashing red and blue lights of a police car but we didn’t do that, not with a rented car anyway.
My buddy drove toward the north direction first, taking asking “right or left?” whenever the road forked, but he soon grew tired of my “whatever” answers and started following roads to wherever it leads, backing up when it’s a dead end.
I was too busy snapping photos of anything and everything to give him any direction and I was confident that whichever road we take will always get us back to where we started. It was actually my third time to drive around Tinian but my first with a pro who knows where and when to make the right stops when something interesting catches my lens.
Soon, we were navigating the rough and bumpy road toward Tinian’s famous Blue Hole. For the next few minutes, the world ceased to exist as we both concentrated taking photos and videos of this place that continues to attract thousands of people from all over the world. We proceeded to the other tourist sites including the famed Chulu or starsands beach, the bomb pits, the airstrip, dilapidated buildings, Japanese bunkers and other historical sites, recording each in our memory cards. We then proceeded to the other end of the island where the Suicide Cliff yawned emptily and threateningly below us, where the white-painted memorials of those who have died in the bloody World War 2 stood helpless as mute witnesses to our interruption.
We still had one hour to consume but drowsiness and fatigue from a late night overcame us and we decided to go back to our rooms to rest.
Tinian may be a small island, and we have practically poked all the areas where we were allowed to, but one never gets tired of exploring its rich historical nooks and crannies. My buddy and I made a pact to repeat the experience but next time on rented scooters.