I started to get into a routine between working out and studying. I was spending most of my days studying at a cafe, and staying at our hotel when the weather was bad… Unfortunately, it rained for most of the week and I started to get cabin fever, so when I saw that Friday was going to be sunny, I decided to go for a hike while Aaron was at work!
DRIVE TO THE MOUNTAIN | April 12, 2019
I was so pumped to go hiking. I even bought a knife the day before. I wanted to be prepared. I’d skin a habu if I had to. Come Friday morning, I woke up, packed all of my gear, loaded up a map, and started driving!
nearly an hour away from the hotel
I was about 10 minutes away from the trailhead when I drove up to a big fence at the top of the mountain. I wasn’t sure if it was something magical like Wonka’s chocolate factory or something fairly commonplace (at least in Okinawa), like a military installation.
not pictured: my disappointment
Regardless, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to finish the drive to the trailhead because neither Google Maps nor Maps.Me showed the roadblock I encountered or any alternate roads that connected to the trailhead. Slightly disappointed, I took some pictures and made my way down the mountain.
still a gorgeous view!
Just a side note – It’s actually very difficult to navigate in Okinawa without a phone plan/WiFi. Google Maps does not support offline maps of Okinawa. Normally, we plot our route into Google Maps before leaving the hotel. Alternatively, we use Maps.Me (an offline map of Japan) when we get lost and can’t load up Google Maps due to a lack of Wi-Fi. I would definitely recommend getting a phone plan, or at least a portable Wi-Fi console to anyone who travels to Okinawa for an extended period of time.
VILLAGE | April 12, 2019
After my failed attempt at hiking, I decided to check out the beach! However, after trying to drive up to some beaches, I realized that resorts own many beaches in Nago. Without Wi-Fi, I had no way to tell which beaches were open to the public, so I started heading back south to see if I could find something to do. I saw a sign that pointed towards a village and information center, so I pulled in and checked out the information center!
I grabbed a couple of information pamphlets on wildlife to avoid in Okinawa, along with some tourist information pamphlets, then I saw what looked like a trailhead!
I excitedly grabbed my pack filled with gear and headed to the trailhead to start hiking. I was a little spooked because I had just read the deadly habu snakes in the information center, but I was so happy to be out on a trail!
The path was very well-maintained and I caught glimpses of the ocean at the top of the trail.
There was lush greenery, a nice view, and a little pavilion! The path was very well-maintained, but I quickly realized it wasn’t a very long trail, so I took some pictures and headed back to the car.
CAPE MAEDA WALK | April 12, 2019
I started to feel bummed driving back because it felt like my initial plans weren’t working out… so when I saw a sign for Maeda Point, I thought it would be great to end my little adventure on a high note with some snorkeling!
Mother Nature thought otherwise. The water was really choppy, so the launch point was completely shut down… Oh well. I had already put on all of my snorkel gear, so I removed my already sweaty westsuit and decided to hike along the trail that stretched along Cape Maeda.
There were so many beautiful butterflies and cute critters.
In the end, I tried to do so many things that just didn’t work out, but I still had fun seeing more of the island and breaking up my regular routine!