Sunday, February 13, 2011

Faces and Darkness and Caves, oh my!

Today's Okinawan adventure took us to Okinawa World, which is a combination cave, tourist trap, and snake park. Needless to say, plenty of opportunities to take pictures, spend money, and get into mischief.

Behold: Okinawa World.
First stop, the snake park. Naturally, you can't have a snake park on a mongoose-infested island without at least one mongoose...
A tree full of Habu:
At the entrance to the snake museum, we encountered this baffling sign:
It's not so much that I don't understand the meaning. But, is there an epidemic of marching bands descending on unsuspecting snake museums or something?

The museum contained numerous gigantic and awesome photos of Habu, so of course, we did what we do best. Acted like morons:
I was decidedly unimpressed with the snake show. It wasn't so much the language barrier -- though I didn't understand a word the guy said except "Habu" and "mongoose" -- but the fact that the guy was not very nice to the animals. Here he is being a reasonably decent human being with a Habu.
Quite frankly, if you're going to smack a cobra and make it faceplant on the stage, I think you deserve to be bitten. Just saying. However, the cobra displayed far more restraint than I would have in its position, and the douchebag handler finished the show uninjured. Kudos to you, my hooded friend.
And one last serpent, this being a corn snake that had made a cozy home out of snail shell.
After finishing up the snake shenanigans, it was time to descend into the awesome -- and humid -- depths of the caves:
And I swear, the more we looked at the stalagmites and stalactites, the more I was certain some of them looked like faces.
Freaking FACES, man.
I'm not crazy. Tell me you don't see any faces.
You're all liars. They're there. Just LOOK, dammit.
Anyway, there were also lots of stalactites hanging from the ceiling, which prompted Eddie to note how much it would suck if there was an earthquake.
Thank you, Eddie. I needed to think about that.
Yeah. Really needed to think about that.
An underground stream:
And an underground waterfall:
Apparently this is the cave where bats come to lay their eggs:

Now, being down in a cave with minimal lighting, getting pictures was difficult to say the least. Just for the hell of it, I decided to play around with some long shutter speeds, etc. And the results, while not exactly worthy of the cover of National Geographic, were kinda cool:
Because, really...why settle for this, taken with the on-camera flash...
...when you can set the shutter speed to two seconds and slowly zoom in while the shutter's open and get this:
Yes, I was having way too much fun.
We continued through the cave until we reached the glorious elevator that effortlessly whisked us back to the surface. Once there, we had to get through a gauntlet of gift stores and such. One of the highlights? Glass "healing sticks."
Interpret how you will.

So, there you have it. Another lovely day exploring Japanistan. We're planning more craziness in the near future, so check back often for more pictures.

Also, I have several books due to be released in the next 2-3 months, which means I'm going to be up to my ears in edits, etc., for a while. So, updates may be somewhat sporadic and quite possibly more writing-related, but Eddie and I will try to get out and take pictures, if only to preserve what's left of my sanity. (You'd be amazed what Microsoft Word Track Changes does to my fragile little brain) Expect to see some cover art and linkage soon, too.

That's all for now - stay tuned for more!


  1. But...bats don't...lay....*head asplodes*

    *snickers at the healing sticks*

  2. I see the faces. I absolutely do.

    As I try my best not to squirm and cower at the snakes' pictures. I do not have a good relationship with snakes!

    You know, I am endlessly envious of your Japan posts :) I really hope to have the chance to go see everything for myself one day :)