Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day Seven Ie Island/ Okinawa

DAY SEVEN IE ISLAND/OKINAWA: Wednesday September 11, 2013

Amazingly we were up bright and early, but I was saddened to find that my cold had gotten a bit worse over night.  My traveling companions decided to head down to the beach one last time, while I tried to drink hot tea and feel a bit better.  Soon I headed down to the breakfast buffet because I needed something stronger than tea- coffee.  This was not your typical American breakfast buffet, no sir.  This buffet had a blend of cultural staples from Japan and America.  I did not get a picture of the fruit/salad bar which had extremely fresh pineapple; nor did I get a picture of the juice bar which had about 8 types of juice including guava. 
However, below is a picture of the array of foods offered:

Hashbrown triangles/ Toast (with cheese, ham, cream sauce)                         Fried Rice/ White Fish Picata

Grilled Horse Mackerel/ Fried vegetable and noodles                                                   Loin Ham/ Sausage 

Simmered Beef with Potato/ Scrambled Egg                                                                Steamed White Rice

Chinese Dumpling/ Mustard/ Soy Sauce                                                         Miso Soup/ Vegetable Soup

Fried Burdock Root/ Sauteed pork with egg                                                      Soy sauce/ Pickles (variety)

Assorted Breads (rolls, Pancakes)

After a very filling breakfast it was back to the room for one last turn in the massage chair and packing.  As we wandered around the grounds before being taken to the ferry, I snapped the following two pictures is some very interesting trees.  I do not know what they are but I find the root system fascinating and the "fruit" it seems to bear is also intriguing.

Then it was back on the ferry to Motobu port on Okinawa.  It was a picturesque ride home and I enjoyed comparing the right side of the boat; which was cloudy and rainy, while the left side was bright and sunny.  I snapped a picture of a group of students on a field trip looking over the railings and the YYY resort from the boat as we left.

As the boat pulled into port there was a dragon sightseeing boat moored at the edge that begged to be captured on digital imaging!

After disembarking, it was back down Route 58 but a quick stop for lunch was calling.  Now, anyone who has traveled with me knows that I have a very strict policy about food on trips: "You don't eat anywhere you could eat at home!"  So it might seem surprising that I had lunch in a McDonald's.  However, I must amend earlier rule to exclude foreign countries because while many standard menu items are there and taste no different (fries, cheeseburgers, etc); there are often local cuisine options.  The chicken sandwich with egg, bacon, and special mayo was not something I remember seeing in the states.  What I was most excited about was the fountain drink.  Fountain drinks are NOT common in Japan.  In fact this is the first one I had since arriving.  There is also no diet pop on the menu, coke zero is sometimes offered.   One of the reasons there are few fountain drinks has to do with ice availability which is not something that is plentiful.

After lunch there was a brief side trip to Todoroki Falls off of 58 in a small village area.  This waterfall is often referred to as the Ice House falls because you must travel down a very narrow road that dead ends at an Ice House. Makes sense I guess.  After walking a short, well maintained path you arrive at a concrete viewing area and shrine.  I do not know what the custom is but there was a area that had coins that had been offered.   The rock work both natural and man made was beautiful and the falls gorgeous though small.

After that it was back to our hosts home where I immediately went to lay down and slept until late evening. After getting up briefly and taking some medicine, I went back to sleep to try and get ready for another day.  Stubbornly keeping on here in Okinawa!