Hiking Kumejima: Heat Exhaustion in the Ryukyu Islands

We had hiked the entirety of Kume. We wandered for hours over beaches and roads and paths and more beaches until we eventually made it back to where we started – a grocery store. It was around that time, after hours of exposure, that my co-adventurer started to feel ill. I chalked it up to her just being unfit...until she dizzily stumbled over to a storm drain in front of the store and puked. Our only witness was an elderly woman nearby, who shook her head with a tsk. She was old as time itself and had a skin so weathered and wrinkled it could have stopped a bullet in its creases. Stooped by her years, she smiled and laughed at my seemingly-frail companion as she hobbled away.

at Mifuga, on Kumejima   

at Mifuga, on Kumejima


I couldn't help but smile as well, though I now had to help my friend recover from her dehydration and heat exhaustion. I had water to lend, but nothing to help with the...uh, mess. I searched my bag for some toilet paper or a bandana or something. Nothing. But I did find my cheque book.

I tore off a cheque, voided it, and handed it to her so she could wipe the vomit from her mouth and hands. She glared at me.

You voided it!?”

Yeah, I voided it. You can never be too careful, right?”