Soon, the road ended and then we saw it. A long flight of steep stairs painted bright pink and white leading to a grotto where three huge crosses were erected. The grotto was a natural enclosure in the mountain wall.
The bright paint stood out among the green shrubs and flowering plants. If it was late in the afternoon or early in the morning, I might have been tempted to climb the stairs up to the top, but not in the sweltering heat of the mid day.
There was no one around, but Jack said that during Holy Week, especially on Good Friday, the place was filled with people from Songsong and Sinapalo. He said people camp out on Thursday night and make the trek up to the crosses along with other Catholic devotees.
The place is Rota’s equivalent to Saipan’s Mt. Tapochau where people go on Good Friday. The only difference is that here, you get to the top by climbing comfortable and well-maintained stairs.
The drive to this place of prayer is rough but the view along the way is worth it. Far to the other end of the cliff wall were more enclosures similar to the one where the grotto was located. These were caused by bombs during the war.
If you want to visit this place when there are a lot of people, do it during Holy Week, but if you want silence, you can go at any other time of the year and have it all to yourself.
First published at the Marianas Variety HERE