Monday 02.09.13 112 km
At 5pm yesterday they all went home and left me totally on my own here on the
mountain. I saw 3 alternatives: 1) putting up the tent, 2) sleep under a
sheltering roof at a building, 3) sleep in the ladies bathroom (most space there).
I chose the latter. A night with sleep now and then, but from 7pm till 4.30am it
is worth a lot. Problem is the matress is punctured. In half an hour
you're down on the ground.
4.30am the day begins. So I get up. Take it easy. The wheather is cloudy but
dry. From time to time the wind waves the japanese flag in front of the building.
Just as the panniers are mounted it starts raining. I sit and watch speechless....
It's 6.30 and I leave, rain or not. When first I'm down from the mountain and
have reached Makkari the rain has stopped. The landscape now becomes wavy
surrounded by low mountains, except for the giant to the left. It's as if it's
dragging up the clouds to cover the peak.
I never saw the peak
According to the direction I have to go between two mountains to get to
Rusutsu, but the road don't just incline as a "killer", but winds wavy upwards.
Fortunately Japan can be like this too.
In Rusutsu I turn south. A bit surprising there are two 6% downhills! We have
to go down to cross a river. Then it goes up again. I follow road 290 and am
lucky to look in the map: There's an opportunity to go close to the
caldera lake instead of just following 290. So I turn and via a speedy downhill
I end up at the lakeside where there's a lot of wind. But trees shelter most of
the way. There's no traffic here - a wonderful part.
Here I am in front of the caldera lake
Two tunnels bring me from Lake Toya and down the the coast. The plan right now is to get all the way to Osamanbe, then it'll be 100 km to Hakodate tomorrow. My Hokkaido adventure has to finish.
Along the coast the mountains reach all the way to the sea, which means I hardly see the ocean. The road winds its way up over the mountains inside the country, often with a tunnel in the end. It's not for sissies. The road is narrow also through the tunnels. Dazzling descents change with hard ascents.
In a last extra long downhill we suddenly end up in the flat countryside along the coast going south, where the mountains start a bit from the coastline. The hardships are over. The road now is totally straight along the coast where the wind comes howling.
The flat road goes along with the railway
It's a bit like at the North Sea in Denmark. Luckily a wind from the side.
But quite exhausting anyway and when I reach Osamanbe I'm finished. On the other
hand it's only a little after 3pm. I sit in the waiting room at the station to
sort things out and recover. A rice packages with salted apricots and half a
plate of chocolate and some water, make me ready for the final part. According
to my map it should be 30 km to the next town, Yakumo, at the most, which means
74 km tomorrow to Hakodate. That's the way it should be, and it is.
I have to eat some slices of bread and cheese and more chocolate in a village
under the way, but eventually I get there.
The two first hotels are full, but in the third I get a room, european style. It just lacks wi-fi to be perfect. I discover a switch I'd forgotten about at the power supply for the computer. It was simply turned off. Then I see a cable outlet for internet in the wall. And I'm prepared for that. So nothing to complain about!