So the trippette to the beach was fun. It was good to just get away and not have to think about meals and washing and work etc.
The new car performed well on it’s first long trip and we got an ETC thingummy so we can glide through the tollbooths. Quite funky when you think about it. The navi actually tells us how much the toll is, then we buzz through and they send us a bill. The bill for Friday’s outgoing trip actually arrived Monday morning so they don’t waste time either.
Sometimes I forget that Japan has some fabulous scenery. Travelling from Nara through Wakayama, after the Osaka expressway things get surprisingly green. there is a climb through mountains which reminds me of the road to Scotland, lots of sweeping vistas and nary a rice field, it was all orange orchards, very splendid. Our fine young men didn’t care too much for my constant commentary on said scenery, but I felt I’d done my duty as their mother to point it out to them, I can’t be responsible for their reaction to it. Can I?
The hotel overlooked the ocean. the weather was quite grim on the first night, and the sea was pretty choppy. we saw lots of diving fish and collected lots of shells.
We saw some famous local beauty spots along the coast. One place is a rock formation that looks like layers and layers of tatami. It’s called something like 1000 tatami I forget. I almost lost my lunch when I saw Kev sitting down looking out over the sea and as I got closer to him he was sitting right on the very edge of the cliff with nothing but rocks and an angry sea below. I still have to try and shake the image form my mind before I sleep at night. But never mind, he neither fell nor was pushed and we’re all still here.
Saturday, it had stopped raining but was overcast, so we made the promised trip to Adventure World, the biggest ( possibly only) safari park in Kinki. I think I spend a lot of time on here moaning about the price of things and I promised myself I’d stop, maybe next time..it was a little bit pricey to get in and you didn’t get very much for your admission ticket, but could pay for lots of other options, like 10 quid a head to feed the dolphins, 100 quid for a family jeep to tour the safari section in, though you had a driver. You couldn’t actually drive through in your own car as I had thought you could, which is what we did once upon a moon at Blair Drummond.
On the plus side the boys were thrilled to see the animals up pretty close, and though they weren’t doing anything much other than ‘being’, it was quite exciting. There was a white rhino, which wasn’t white at all, but I later investigated through the fabulous wiki and discovered that the name got all ballsed up with a dutch accent and it should have been ‘wide’ rhino, referring to the width of it’s mouth.
You learn something new every day don’t you, if you just stay open to it ( and use wiki extensively).
there was also a white tiger ( also not white but haven’t got around to checking that out yet).
All in all the tinies were satisfied with their safari experience.
Next up, the dolphins. Fair enough, I have zero experience with dolphin shows, but it was fabulous, the day was worth it just for watching that. We had great seats, even got a bit wet, and we were all very much impressed. got me to thinking what a great job being a dolphin trainer must be, I mean there aren’t many people can say that that’s what they do right? I’m thinking for one of the kids to get into it so I can live vicariously, failing that I might have a bash at it in my next life. On the downside though, there can’t be many jobs available.
There were covered walkways everywhere, so even when the rain started it wasn’t much of a problem. All the many shops were selling plastic rain capes, but they had the words GIANT PANDA on the back and I thought if I wore one it might confuse people, especially as I happened to be wearing black and white.
Which brings me to the pandas. Adventure World is most famous for it’s pandas, mainly the panda cub born there last year. I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed in my first live panda experience because they weren’t black and white, they were black and sort of browny, nicotine stained. Now either they are smoking in badly ventilated glass cages, or I have been duped about the colour of them since as early as 1974 when I was heavily into the World Wildlife Foundation.
Jim was entranced by the bird sanctuary which we could walk through because there were chickens, we had to prise him off them in the end. For myself I am rather partial to the cranes, don’t know why, they just appeal to me and I love crane art too, that’s art with cranes in, not art by cranes, cos that’s not very good, they find the crayons unwieldy.
So we saw everything, cats and rats and elephants, we side stepped the many many panda themed gift shops and gave the boys one go each on the attraction of their choice, because they were astronomically expensive and we’re tight.
The food in the hotel was superb. the hotel is actually owned or run by a really young musician/surfer dude and he did all the cooking. It was all Japanese food and very good, though Japanese food for breakfast is not my favourite.
Sunday was gloriously sunny and hot, so we hit the white sandy beach until after lunch and then headed back. the boys must have been either satisfied or knackered because they didn’t fight on the way back.
All in all a good time.