I suppose it’s about time for another update. The beginning of May is known as Golden Week (GW) because there are three holidays all in a row, and one right at the end of April. Basically it’s a good time to take off because you have super long weekends and don’t miss a lot of work! So I’d been hoping to go up to Korea, but that fell through for various reasons. I had about 2 weeks before GW and was frantically trying to figure out what to do and book tickets and arrange whatever. I ended up talking to two friends from the area I live in and we decided to fly down to Okinawa for the week!
Ready to start our vacation! Me, Sarah, and Mary
Since it was so close to the time we were lucky to still find a semi-decent deal on airline tickets. About 500$ roundtrip on what would normally be around 300. Once we had tickets the next step was to find a place to do and figure out what we were going to do with our time down there.
Over winter holidays I had pretty good luck with couchsurfing, so I went that route again and asked around down there for a place to stay. I think we ended up with one of the greatest hosts ever. Pete works at the Naval Hospital down there and was super generous with his house and free time. He had great suggestions on activities and places to go which really helped make the week that much better.
Pete, Mary, Me, and Sarah. At the Pineapple park. An interesting tourist experience to say the least
We ended up going to the Churaumi Aquarium which is famous for its Whale Sharks. They also had a dolphin show, and nearby is a giant gardens area with all sorts of flowers and fruit trees. The day before that we had gone to an adventure park with loads of ziplines and various rope course type setup.
One of the rope courses
Mary and I got two days of scuba diving in, and Sarah tried it on the first day. My one regret is that we didn’t have a camera. It was absolutely gorgeous. The waters were so clear and blue. We took a boat out by the Kerama islands, and had some fantastic guides. Hopefully Mary and I will be going back down for a full week of scuba diving later this summer with Reef Encounters again. We were able to see some squid and a puffer fish, a whole bunch of Lion Fish, an octopus, a manta ray, sea turtles, sea snakes, garden eels, and pretty much everything else, but those were the exciting ones. Our guide spotted an octopus on one of the dives and urged it out of its hiding place so we were able to see it closely and feel it. That was one unhappy octopus and it inked its way away from us as fast as it could once the guide let it go.
pretty islands! and water! and just yay!!!
During the week we were also fortunate enough to be allowed on base a few times for some absolutely delicious and much needed American food. Yum! And we got our fix on various other foods off base too, some Thai, Indian, Pizza, Mexican, etc. It was such a different world and experience down there with a huge American presence.
Soundtrack of the week was Neon Horse. Claritza had burned copies of their discography for pretty much everyone we hung out with/drove around with so it was playing in almost every car. It was awesome.
And more pics can be found on facebook of course. But here’s a sampling.