Add lots of sunshine, palm trees, white sandy beaches, coral reefs, a tropical jungle and a few typhoons in a 700 sq km area in the South China sea, mix well whilst adding a few snakes and some rare black rabbits for flavour. Bake in a humid oven at about 30-35 degrees for a few million years and you will have fantastic Amami Oshima. Serves quite a few – but hardly any western tourists can be seen enjoying this little Japanese delight.
Arrived by overnight ferry having shared a dorm with about 120 other people in one of the many cabin areas on board. Not as bad as it sounds, in fact it was quite comfy because you are allocated a floor mattress with a little cubicle in which to place your head for privacy. Got off the ferry at 5am and had to walk through town until the bus service woke up to take us the 30 km to our hotel.
Hotel Caretta is like an American motel from the 60’s, for those who have seen the film Bagdad Cafe you would probably appreciate how we felt on our arrival. Somewhat remote and lost in the 60’s -70’s our little hotel felt like a time capsule and was perfect.
We very soon got the lay of the surrounding area including the best local restaurant and the whitest sandy beaches.
We saw an abandoned looking kayak at the hotel which at first we were told was not for use but quickly hotel staff relented and after tipping out the rain water, it was ours to explore the local beaches with.
After two days of kayaking and swimming we are right now bunkered down at the hotel waiting for a typhoon to pass over the island.
Most of our time in Japan has been overcast due to the rainy season. We have really missed the sunshine, as some of you know, so we wanted to share these photos sooner rather than later. The typhoon is due to blow over by tomorrow and the sun will return, we have another week here to enjoy…