Raj had a four day weekend for Columbus Day, so we thought we'd spend part of it camping. We haven't camped since getting to Okinawa, so I did some research online and in the end, we decided we'd head north to Cape Hedo, the northernmost point on the island, and then just find a spot on a beach to camp up there.
We set off Monday morning for Cape Hedo. Here, the East China Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, resulting in some gigantic waves.
It was very windy up there (I had a hat on to keep my hair out of my face and at one point, the hat blew right off and I had to chase it down) and as you can see, not the sunniest sky. But at least it wasn't super hot out for once. We had a picnic lunch and then continued on in search of the giant chicken.
Ok, it's not really a chicken. It's an Okinawa rail, an endangered flightless bird native to the north part of the island, known locally as the yanbaru kuina. Either way, there's a huge statue of one that you can kind of see from Cape Hedo in this picture.
On the way, we stopped off at the beach you can see in that photo, where I collected some shells and coral, we climbed around on the rocks a bit, and Raj found a level grassy spot up some rocks from the beach that might work as a campground. Then we continued on to the giant bird.
Ok, fine, really the danger is in the way that it's kind of falling apart, so you can no longer climb up inside it. No big loss there, as far as we could tell. From there, we went on a hike for a couple of hours, the highlight of which was lots of little butterflies everywhere that turned out to be impossible to photograph.
By the time we headed back to the beach, we weren't sure whether we wanted to camp there, head south in search of a less windy spot, or just drive the 2-3 hours home. We decided to take the tent up to the spot and see what we thought before dragging the rest of our stuff. Except when we got the tent out of the car, Raj kind of thought it might be the wrong tent. I had packed it, unaware that he had two. That was an important piece of information, given that one tent was missing parts.
We climbed up to the flat spot and unpacked the tent. Which, yes, was the one that was supposed to go to the thrift shop. So, decision made for us, we'd just drive home. Raj went to put the tent back in the bag and jumped straight back. Why?
That thing is about as long as my hand. For once in my life, I am not even exaggerating. I just checked with Raj to make sure and he says it's safe to say it was six to seven inches long. In the time it had taken us to get the tent out of the bag and decide that it was the wrong one, that centipede had slithered (scooted? shimmied?) its way into the tent bag. It didn't stay long after seeing Raj. I took pictures (from afar - there's a lot of zoom and cropping involved in that picture) and kept an eye on its general direction while Raj stuffed the tent in the bag and then we got out of Dodge.
When we got in the car, Raj handed me the bag of trail mix. "It wasn't exactly a dementor, but maybe some chocolate will help."
Then we came home and watched some Shakespeare on DVD like the party people we are. And slept in our pleasantly arthropod-free bed.