Friday 06.09.13 124,72 km
You get Hakka Pass thrown right into your face, the moment you
leave the lakeside. But fine with me. Let's get over. The hairpins are on the
mountain towards to lake, so there's a view!
A last look at the lake
It's only 200 m at the most you have to elevate to get to Hakka
Pass. But it's many hundred meters you go down on the other side. Yasumiya was
after all 450 m a.s.l. It's a thrilling descent where I catch up with the cars
in front of me! They're maybe excused for having a bus in front.
Down and down it goes and end with houses and agriculture. This
valley joins the north-south going where the expressway has it's lanes. Here I'm
going south till after Kazuno.
When the diversion comes, there's a km statement: Lake Tazawako
- 75 km. I've almost done 50 till now. That's not doable. Even there was a
Now I enter new valleys heading for a pass, that I'm certain.
But there should be an Auto Camp Park, as they call it. I get up there. It's
closed. There's staff and a bus, but....
Now I've forced the pedals around for another 11 km upwards. As
the average speed is 6 km/h it must have taken almost 2 hours. Now I'm up or
almost at least. Have to find a place to camp. The altimeter says 900 m, there
will come a lake, so....
My thoughts about the area are wrong. A parking lot where people
apparently camp in their cars. More of them are put on logs. Why, I don't know.
Maybe so the bears don't use them for rollerskating? There's a warning about
bears anyway. This is not where I'll put up my tent. And there's no grass.
Within short it goes down full speed ahead. It's the wildest
downhill, I've encountered untill now. The road winds from one mountainside to
the other and to a third. Every other second it goes through tunnels. Not
tunnels through the mountain that are more or less straight, but such tunnels
you make to keep the road free from snow or water. With natural light through
the ceiling. Down and down. There's no civilisation. Pure wilderness with trees
I don't remember having seen before.
Unfortunately I haven't time to enjoy it fully. The plan right
now is to get to civilized areas and put up the tent before it gets dark.
I arrive at the lake I told about, and it shows to be a lake formed by a dam further ahead. One time I cross it on a bridge, but the hotel or whatever it is, is locked.
I didn't have time to enjoy much
I close up to 100 km and the distance to Towada shrink, but the darkness also closes in fast. I decide to go on darkness or no darkness. I have to get to Towada, there's got to be a hotel. It's getting too dark now to put up the tent. So I work hard and get closer...and closer...
At last. A gas station. Civilisation. The man asks if a camp site will do? Yes, fine. He finds a map and draws a line. That's how I should go. It's down at the lake. It's dark, but there are scattered street lamps. I think I follow the instructions, but get back to the main road further ahead without knowing if I saw a lake or not.
There's a Lawson there. And the girl do speak a little english -
and whats more - she knows how to draw a map with traffic lights and other
important things. I realize soon where I should have continued straight ahead
instead of turning. But beside the camp site she adds a hotel...and then she
remembers the Youth Hostel. That's the one I'd decided for long ago, but I gave
up because I thought it was at the north side of the lake.
And against all odds it's open and I've got my own room japanese style. I had to eat a bit first, but then down to the shower, where I find out they have their own hot spring - onsen. So I've been in the hot water. You're ready to lie down afterwards, but I have my diary to write....