Sea cucumbers among us

Hello everybody!

It was a lovely down-pouring rainy day here in Okinawa and my first thoughts for this weekend was to break out the bikini and head to my favorite local beach. But then I checked the weather forecast, alas…rain all weekend.

Okay, no problem, time to get out the camera and do a little adventuring. So I not only got the camera out, I bought this extraordinarily cheesy  little “Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands” book. The writing is so hackneyed and ham-handed it is hard to get through, but there was a free map, so I bought it. There are all kinds of photos too and ideas of where to go.

Well I haven’t seen much of Uruma or anything that way unless you count my little trips to Camp Hansen or to go up to my Seaglass Beach. I decided to strike out in that direction. So out the door I went with my bag of Family Mart soy flavored snacks and some fresh coffee.

I ended up going through Uruma and out onto islands: Yabuchi, Henza, Miyagi and Ikei. But I am getting ahead of myself!

I found a beach and pulled over because it was getting very rainy…I had just passed the turn off that would take me to Katsuren, but since I’d been there on a different rainy day I decided to keep venturing on.

So yeah, I was soaked to the skin within a  minute, which was fine because it’s about 75 degrees and so who cares if you get all wet. I forgot extra clothes, but I always keep a big towel in there, so I knew I’d be fine.

rocks with green
Rocks and seaweed at low tide.

So I picked my way through coral and slippery lettucy seaweed out to where people were stooping and collecting things.

So as you can see there were sea cucumbers everywhere. They were a little creepy and I was nervous about stepping on one or two, but thankfully I did not. I did touch them and they were kind of felt like poking a marshmallow. The rain was so loud on the videos, it sounds like when you’re lying in a tent and you just know you’ll be drenched in moments!

Here are a few other pictures from out there…

Glorious seaweed. And by the way I did eat that piece of seaweed from the Facebook post. It looks like lettuce, unfortunately it did not taste like lettuce..  :/
rocks and seaweed
Rainy day and low tide.

So after that little adventure I decided to head out to Yabuchi Island, well that makes it sound like I had a plan, which I did not. I ended up on Yabuchi Island and saw a sign to the Janee Archaeological site. Being that I have a degree in Greek and Roman Civilizations, Language and Culture concentration (I don’t get a chance to say that too often) I took the road to that site. I guess road would be a little grandiose for what it was I was driving on…let’s say packed mud and water…it was worth the trip.

yurbi  cave
Yabuchi site – coral spearheads dating back 6,500 years were found here.
Stalactites you say! I wonder how many habu I was sharing space with in that cave…

I think they said the coral spearheads dated back to 6,500 years and were similar in form to some found in China from that time period, reinforcing that travel to China had been going on longer than suspected, and that the Chinese were in Okinawa to buy absolutely everything and then bring it back home…okay I made up the last part.

I came out of the cave which also has a shrine and I know the procedure now, so I was good to go. There was also a little pathway down to the beach, which of course I took.

I don’t know why I found this so compelling, but I did and still do.

I don’t know how to describe the impact of yet another beach that opens to this stunning green/blue water with these giant coral rocks dotting the waterline. It’s incredibly beautiful and it never fails to take my breath away.

Okay, so on to Miyagi Island.. and the Nuchi Masu  Salt Factory. Ho hum right? How exciting can it be to see salt being made? You would be surprised. First as I pulled in the parking lot I saw a little path that led up to a bluff…bluff indeed…a cliff! I wandered over and peeked down…stunning! A nice Chinese man and his family were there so I offered to take a picture, they kept exclaiming something very loudly but thanked me for taking the shot.

Here is the shot of overlook:

panorama from salt

And then this…

coral overlook
Coral rock overlooking aqua water.

I then went into the little salt factory. They have these posters to show and explain how the salt is made and inspected for purity. Then they have these rooms where the salt is made that you can view. I was fascinated! It looked like a room of snow in there.

salt house
Salt! The word salary comes from the word salus which is part of the Roman Soldier’s pay..with salt!

So I could have spent a great deal of time there, but I wanted to check out two other sites before heading back to Mihama for some world-class soba.  The first were the Shinugu-do cliffs that overlook the island.

It was a gorgeous view which I only had to share with a little snail.

Then one the way back down there was the Yanga Spring…it is one of many springs on Miyagi Island but this one has water used for new years rites.  Here’s what one of the websites say:

“Mountain spring water located in Miyaji Island of Uruma city, high quality water and full quantity of water is rare even in Miyako Island which have many spring water. Inside the spring a tunnel stone leads through 2 spring opening, and shows the high skill architecture of 1849. Every year the new years water Ubinadi, wishes of good health to Yanga.”

So, it was a great day and I had fun just getting out there and exploring. On the way back I had this beautiful view!

back toward the island
How am I supposed to leave this island and head back home?

Have a great week everyone! I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with too much video! Let me know!!