Last month, we hiked to the tallest point in the Federated States of Micronesia with a group of friends. Nanalaud is the second highest point in the region of Micronesia. At just over 2,500 feet, the Nanalaud hike is an extreme trek through the jungles of the interior Pohnpei island.
We started at the Salapwuk Elementary School, the same place that we usually start for our favorite Six Waterfalls Hike. From there we hiked seven hours through the intense rain and fog. We had to bypass many of the rivers that we were meant to cross because they were completely swollen from the rain. However, we still found a few goos swimming holes.
After an exhausting first day, we arrived at the cave where we would spend the night. It continued to rain, but we found refuge among the local experts who already had a fire burning in the cave. After a cold and wet night sleep, we woke up early to start the second day of hiking. Once we hiked above the cave, the jungle completely changed. The trees were covered in moss five inches thick. There was a unique species of mangrove tree growing at the top of the mountain. This is unusual because Mangrove trees grow at on the coast. After about two hours we reached the top, the highest point in the FSM. We ate lunch in the fog. Unfortunately, there was no view through the fog, but we learned what it felt like to live in a cloud. We walked along the mountain ridge, through mossy tree tunnels, and nine hours later we found our way back to the school.
Big check on our Pohnpei bucket list.