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Continental Divide Trail 2011 close to 3000 miles through new mexico, colorado, wyoming and montana. May 1 start date.

first week

JAPAN | Monday, 10 January 2011 | Views [598] | Comments [1]

It has been a lovely first week of travels. I won't really start traveling until I leave the comforts of Okinawa, but I am greatly enjoying the time I have here for visiting and relaxing. The weather has been mostly dreary so I find myself curled up with a book most days before venturing out. Sarah and John have me hooked on Harry Potter. I am almost through book one and am hoping to read a few more in the next couple of weeks. It isn't often I can be free to just read and relax. Sarah and John have been wonderful hosts. 

On Saturday we took a nice drive to the northern end of the island, where all the green is, and blue waters. Took a nice stroll to Hiji Falls, more of a tourist destination, but beautiful and refreshing to be out in the trees. Yesterday I went for my first dive on the island. It was kind of a comedy of errors. First I forget to rent fins and we had to return to the dive shop to retrieve them. We suit up in the light rain with booties, gloves and 5mm wetsuits. I have only ever been diving in the Caribbean on sunny days, using short-sleeved wetsuits so of course I underestimate the weight I need to descend. Luckily John had some extra weights for me to use and I was just barely able to get below the surface. I then had some trouble with my regulator making loud disturbing noises with each inhalation so I was able to practice switching regulators underwater straightaway. On top of that, my fins kept sliding off. I could only laugh. It was good to get a practice dive in before our boat and drift dive specialty dives this weekend. How embarrassing if I can't even get underwater. =) We saw a few cool creatures despite my clowning around with the gear: a green eel, large clam, and some of the largest starfish I've ever seen. Great to get out in the water again!

Last week Sarah and I visited their local petstore called: Pet Box where one can find your "favorite cat, favorite dog, or etcetera pet." Etcetera pets there were. We found hedgehogs, sea anemones, jellyfish, a large sad-looking turtle. We decided to check out the fish when we come across some strangely-patterned small white fish. I asked Sarah if they commonly drew on their fish here. No, she said. But sure enough, someone must of have thought no one was interested in plain white fish so they drew hearts, polka dots and stripes on the fish. I've never seen anything like it. We still aren't sure how they managed that one. 

I have gone for a few walks around town, along the seawall and around town. I am fascinated by the elaborate vending machines at random spots. Sometimes I find one sitting alone in a parking lot, or in front of someone's house. I even discovered an aluminum pepsi can with a bottle-neck. 

One day it was warm enough for ice cream so I take a break in an ice cream place and when I go to use the restroom I discovered, for the first time, the Japanese Super Toilet. I wasn't sure what it was at the time. There were lights, and buttons on the side and when I sat down I found the seat was warm, and not because someone had been using it before me. Apparently these super toilets are common in Japan. Most of them have a feature that makes a fake flushing noise since it is rude to hear someone tinkle. Some of them even spray you down and play music. I've seen some interesting toilets over the years, but nothing quite like the Super Toilet. 

I have been getting used to driving on the left side of the road. Japanese people seem to drive slowly so I am in good company. I have two weeks left in Okinawa. I plan to continue reading Harry Potter, venture out for some sightseeing, and go on a few more dives. I hope you are all enjoying the new year. 



Hey Em! I'm now catching up on your blogs so far and that thing about the fish sounds quite crazy. Also, those have to be the nicest toilets that a person can sit on...even so the woods provide a nicer view ;)

  Dani Jan 17, 2011 9:04 AM

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