|DOWN TO THE COAST|
64.8km Back on the road after Day 10 resting and we're headed back to
the coast where everyone suggests we bike due to the flat terrain. It is
a bit of a push however with a head wind.
But the roads have a wide
shoulder and we bike inside a solid white line or on the sidewalks where
there are plenty of very wide ones to our advantage.
Steve notices that the Corolla's are 4 wheel drive and the weed eaters use circle saw blades.
I notice the Japanese leave their cars running while in the Seicomart, sometimes even with kids in the car. Today saw a bicyclists wearing a cowboy hat!!
Today we are
riding past corn fields and very agricultural area between two hilly
We stop at almost every Seicomat to
refuel ourselves. Actually that is Steve's excuse mine is to use those
sit down toilets with HEATED seats.
I like the Jet dry air towels too not like our wimpy fluff dry ones.
That reminds me.... when we say" a dog is a man's best friend" the Japanese say "is a friend WHOLLY" Go figure!!!
Finally we reach a campground which doubles as a community area with outdoor theater, little cabins along a stream, playing fields, handicap toilet for our laundry, green grassy spot for our tent and a sento across the street that we have all to ourselves.
Day 12 74.5km A big day biking. We are back on the sea. Lucky not much wind and it is overcast, even foggy in places. The sea looks vicious with coffee color water crashing onto a littered shore. It is not too pretty and neither is the octopus (tako) and squid (eika) drying on wooden racks.
Also had 3 more tunnels. On the last two there was a uniformed flag man, in charge of slowing traffic due to some construction ahead. We got another polite bow, a wave of a white gloved hand and the assurance that we had the tunnel to ourselves. One time we were stopped and given a free florescent arm band to wear in the tunnels!!
We pushed on and on not finding that onsen or camp ground and ended up in a town, Kushiro. Lots of baggy pant teens and an industrial feel so chose to go to our first Youth Hostel.
It was in the style of a big Japanese barn. There were 6 rooms with 4 sets of bunk beds in each. Almost had to sleep in separate dorms but do to the season and lack of kids we had a room to ourselves and the bath too! We ended up putting the futon from the bunks on the floor. Japanese style.All this for a whopping $23 apiece. That really blew our streak of low budget accommodation, more than we have paid for the entire time biking so far.
40km Steve has been choosing the route,
using his GPS and always seems to find the wind, usually a head wind or
beam reach. So after that long haul yesterday I took the helm and
chose to navigate a new route.
I am taking us back into the hills only on a route beside train tracks and rivers keeping waypoints for onsens and camp grounds. The wind factor was cut down, the scenery beautiful and we saw one of Japan's famous white cranes.
Stopping for lunch at a canoe rental place we gave one of our cards to a friendly man who was so desperately trying to talk to us and us to him. We ended up with a can of SEAL MEAT and one of BEAR MEAT.
YUMM!Once we bought a lighter for our stove in a hardware store and ended up with two very expensive little trekking packs. We are almost ashamed to give out our cards......seems every time we do, we get something back two fold.
We've had our onsen, but the campground next door is closed down. (no handicap toilet washing this night).
Feeling pretty good with fewer miles and looking for a similar day tomorrow. Now we must go set up our tent...it's dark but we have scouted out the area, under a ramada in the camp area where it seems we will be the only ones there.
Pachinko Parlors, Karaoke and Entertainment is a Japanese belief