Friday, May 24, 2013

There and back again.

Yes, it has been a few days since I posted, but I am sure no one thought that I died on the roads of Japan. I hope not anyway. Driving here is a bit of a trip. The whole left-side, right-side switch is harder than you might imagine. It is easy if there is someone in front of you; you just follow along. It is the turning that is the trickiest. But I managed. I was lucky with the weather too. The forecasted rain didn't happen until I was well on my way back and it wasn't particularly heavy. Now the next day was a different story. If it had rained on Wednesday like it rained on Thursday, I would have just parked the car somewhere and had lunch. 

Just to do the housekeeping on timing, I am typing (I guess "keyboarding" is the real term) this at 01:00 AM, Saturday. I have been in Fukuyama since 3:00 PM, Friday afternoon. I just got back from doing a walk around the Fukuyama JR Station. I am here because I couldn't get a room in Hiroshima. I wanted to go to Hiroshima for usual reasons and when I had to book a room here, I figured that I'd take the train in, since it is not that far. But after my walk-around tonight, I am not sure I will do that. Fukuyama is interesting enough on its own terms. I also don't have a lot of time here, so I'll see how it shakes out.

Now the photos. First, shots of a couple of differnt buffet items; the drive there; there; the drive back; a couple of dinner items. 

The auto. I am not as confident as I look.

All I had to be able to understand were the numbers and the arrows.
I did get the GPS in the auto. Very helpful, but not the piece of cake I would have liked it to be. The deal is that you can either have it speak in English, but must input in Japanese; or input in Japanese, having it speak the directions in English. Problematic, however you slice that loaf of bread. The woman issuing the auto to me was kind enough to set it up. She couldn't. She got so frustrated that she decided I needed a different car with a more cooperative GPS. I was cool with this. The problem was that in all the confusion getting shit together in the first car, I needed go get my camera out of my hand. Thinking that was the car I was getting, I put it down in one of the recesses. As you have guessed, I did not think of it when we switched cars. Off I drove.

It is only because I take a lot of pictures that I discovered my screw-up before I got too far along. I was thinking I should have the camera out to take shots through the window. Ha!, no camera. Turned around (turning around on the street I was on took about 10 minutes), rushed back, hoping they had not given the car to someone else. The interior of that car is black, the camera is black. It is possible a person could have driven a long way without noticing the camera. And if they had, they might have wanted to keep it. Fortunately, I had all the photos backed-up, but it is an expensive camera and I wouldn't want to be buying a new one over here, as I am sure it would be more expensive.

She had not given the car away; had not noticed the camera. It all turned out well. I lost about an hour, but I deem it a small price to have paid.

I had a choice of taking the Expressway for half the trip up, but chose the scenic route - two-lane highway the whole way; with construction. I took the express way back. The GPS was happier.

Almost there. The blue line is the Expressway; the machine marked my path in red, as though it disapproved.

The road leading into the parking lot.

The Okinawa Rail (Gallirallus okinawae), Yanbaru Kuina.

These rocks are very sharp.

This shot is here because there is a waterfall in it. I had been looking at it for a long time, but didn't realize it was there until I remember that I had brought along binoculars and should use them. 
Told you so.

Look closely at the top of the foremost hill and you'll see another sculpture of the Okinawan Rail.

You have to look very, very close and believe, but you can see an island out there,  even on this very overcast day.  Look right in the center above the water line. It is there. Believe me.

When you look down into the water, you can see the rocks below the surface ( fish too), why you would need to be warned not to dive is beyond me.

The facilities.

The road back. I should have had both hands on the steering wheel.

Part of dinner. This is pig, not a dessert.

Green papaya sautéed with fish.

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