by Jason Salas
Guam - Many Guamanians have probably seen a very curious vehicle roaming the central part of the island over the last several weeks. See if you can follow me here: a huge, yellow contraption that's not quite bus, not quite boat, and filled with scores of people young and old, having the time of their lives, making all sorts of positive noise?
Well, we wondered, too, so we hit the streets to find out what the buzz is all about.
"Ride the Duck" is the latest fun–filled exhibit from The Baldyga Group, offering tours on both land and sea for people from all walks of life - young and old, tourist and local. Shintaro Okada, operations manager, told KUAM News, "Ride the Duck started in Branson, Missouri. There's been over 40 years of R&D so it's a very safe tour. So it's all about having fun with the people next to you and the people around you. So is your driving by, people are cracking and dancing and smiling."
The Duck itself is a half–million dollar amphibious vehicle that can cruise the highway and then just as easily glide straight into the Pacific. And Okada promises, the ride the duck experience is anything but fowl.
"It's totally awesome," he shared enthusiastically. "So coming from land you get a nice water in a nice ocean breeze. So it's awesome."
The tour includes a trek from the heart of Tumon all the way down to Commercial Port in Piti, complete with a GPS-aware guided tour in five languages, and riders get a duck call quacker to blow throughout the trip to let onlookers know what a fun time they're having.
But the most fun is the transition between cruising around on solid land along Marine Corps Drive to floating around Apra Harbor. "We start at the Sandcastle and we head up Route 1 and we go all the way down to Family Beach and we have a sea ramp there and we splash into the water - and we do make a REALLY big splash."
You too can Ride the Duck for the special introductory local rate of $25 for adults and just $15 for kids. The tour lasts about two hours, so call the sandcastle at 646-6800 for more information.