GIRLS GALORE at AHA FALLS (Sorry Guys, NO NAKED BOOBS)... and a LONE MARINE to KEEP THEM COMPANY (15-second Video)
OK...there were a lot of other Marines here, too. They seemed to have disappeared when I whipped out my camera.
HEY....what do you mean I pan away from the girls too fast ? That's what the PAUSE BUTTON is for !
This was shot at the LOWER falls just below LAKE AHA and the main falls above the lake.
The idea here is to show you that, (1) if gaggles of young Okinawan and Filipina Girls can find their way in --- and never come to any harm --- as well as (2) reminding myself of the recent visit of an eight-months-pregnant woman I saw enjoying the lake with her husband and son --- you KNOW that (3) the new trail in and out makes AHA FALLS as accessible as it has ever been, and one of the most enjoyable "swimming holes" that Okinawa has to offer.
As I write this, 20 folks from my wife's Church are all back safe-and-sound from a full day of swimming, jumping, and picnic fun up there.
The above video clip was shot at the LOWER FALLS, just 30 yards down-stream from the exit-rapids of LAKE AHA. Here, the entire flow of the much broader UPPER FALLS and Lake is forced into a narrow and more dangerous channel (if you get sucked into it) as it drops into the LOWER POOL, which, if caution is exercised, is a fine "Jumpers Pool" in its own right.
THE RULES : Look before you leap ! Know your surroundings ! Check the spot you want to Jump at for submerged rocks or boulders --- in most cases, you are good to go ! Stay clear of the rushing waters and possibly slippery rocks around the "intake" portions of the upper and lower falls ! If you swing on the rope swing, LET GO when you are supposed to ! Don't "copy cat" anyone else's antics unless you, yourself know how to do what they are doing ! Stay hydrated ! Wear Sunscreen ! Eat something if you're hungry ! And finally.......
PACK OUT ALL OF YOUR TRASH WHEN YOU LEAVE !!!
DRINKS, FOOD, AND BATHROOMS ARE DOWN AT AHA VILLAGE 1 KM AWAY.
OR, 3 KM BACK, THERE ARE VENDING MACHINES AND BATHROOMS AT THE FUNGAA DAM PARKING LOT !
AN OLD "AHA JUMPERS" VIDEO : www.youtube.com/watch?v=cc_pYWfNWfY
WHAT DOES * TANAGAA GUMUI * MEAN ???
The Okinawan Language name for LAKE AHA is Tanangaa Gumui / タナガーグムイ
Tanagaa means "Long-armed Prawn", a local type of Freshwater Prawn --- which is a kind of Shrimp. The lake used to be teeming with them !
Gumui means a forest Lake, or Pond.
For the Okinawans, the focus was always on the lake, and not the falls that accompany it.
So, it was simply an obvious, almost generic thing for the folks down in Aha Village to refer to this place as Tanagaa Gumui --- "The Prawn Pond."
These days, the once abundant prawns are are now largely (or completely) gone.
WHAT HAPPENED ?
When I first came here in 1973, the lake was filled with the freshwater prawns that gave it its name. You could see them all around the edges of the pool, especially in the shallows where light grasses and vegetation overhung the water along the earthen banks. These days, I never see them. It has become a Gumui without the Tanagaa !
"Progress" called for a big dam to be built upstream back in the early 1980s, and the occasional water releases form huge, forceful floods that seems to have washed out the pond so many times that the poor little Tanagaa have never recovered. I hope that humans will eventually re-stock the pond from other nearby streams where they still survive. Until then, LAKE AHA is a more honest name for the place than TANAGAA GUMUI.
From THE PRAWN POND to LAKE AHA to AHA FALLS.
The American Military --- especially the Marines --- who have been coming here to swim and relax for well over 50 years, simply called it LAKE AHA, after Aha Village which sits at the mouth of the river only one kilometer away. Nobody called it "AHA FALLS".
At some point in time during the last 20 years, when HIJI FALLS and TAA FALLS started getting more media attention as a place to climb, swim, and play, and the idea of Okinawan Waterfalls being a destination activity even for the Okinawans and Tourists (which it never was prior to those years) saw LAKE AHA get listed in the "FALLS" category, rather than the "SWIMMING HOLE" or "LAKE" category.
HOWEVER....as of 2012, due to the number of accidents befalling the Okinawan and Japanese tourists, the tourism department of Kunigami Township has stopped promoting Tanagaa Gumui, and has already dropped the location completely from some of its tourist maps !.
They realize that word-of-mouth will keep the U.S. Military and their families coming there as they always have, and that it is mostly on U.S. Military property to begin with. At the same time, they hope that the numbers of accident-prone Japanese showing up there will drop to the point where they become as rare as the long-armed "shrimp" for which the fine little Lake is named.
♥ FULL PHOTO SET and MAIN CAPTION HERE : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/sets/72157630539746956...
♥ OKINAWA ! (Local Government Version) : www.youtube.com/watch?v=InlJMwu8GTk&feature=related
♥ OKINAWA ! (Local American Version) : www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UZQokrPxKE
タナガーグムイ 国頭村 国頭 沖縄県 安波 沖縄 タナガーグムイ植物群落 安波滝 安波湖 湖 池 滝 Lake Aha / Aha Falls
RANDOM SOBA : www.flickriver.com/photos/24443965@N08/sets/