On my way to Hokkaido


1. CPH 12.08.13

2. Narita - Tone 13.08.13

3. Tone 14.08.13

4. Tone 15.08.13

5. Tone - Oarai 16.08.13

6. Oarai - Tomakomai 17.08.13

7. Tomakomai - Iwamizawa 18.08.13

8. Iwamizawa - Azahikawa 19.08.13

9. Azahikawa - Kamikawa 20.08.13

10.Kamikawa - Nukabira Onsen 21.08.13

11.Nukabira Onsen - Tokachigawa 22.08.13

12.Tokachigawa - Kushiro 23.08.13

13.Kushiro - Shibesha 24.08.13

14.Shibesha - Lake Kussharo 25.08.13

15.Lake Kussharo - Lake Akan 26.08.13

16.Lake Akan - Abashiri 27.08.13

17.Abashiri 28.08.13

18.Abashiri - Sapporo (tog) 29.08.13

19.Sapporo - Otaru 30.08.13

20.Otaru - Kamoenai 31.08.13

21.Kamoenai - Makkari 01.09.13

22.Makkari - Yakumo 02.09.13

23.Yakumo - Hakodate 03.09.13

24.Hakodate - Aomori 04.09.13

25.Aomori - Lake Towada 05.09.13

26.Lake Towada - Lake Tazawa 06.09.13

27.Lake Tazawa - Hanamaki 07.09.13

28.Hanamaki - Tsukidate 08.09.13

29.Tsukidate - Sendai 09.09.13

30.Sendai - Tone 10.09.13

31.Tone 11.09.13

32.Tone 12.09.13

33.Tone - Kurihama 13.09.13

34.Kurihama - Hakone 14.09.13

35.Hakone - Gotemba 15.09.13

36.Gotemba 16.09.13

37.Gotemba - Fujinomiya 17.09.13

38.Fujinomiya - Shizuoka (Kyoto) 18.09.13

39.Kyoto 19.09.13

40.Kyoto 20.09.13

41.Kyoto 21.09.13

42.Kyoto - Nara 22.09.13

43.Nara - Wakayama 23.09.13

44.Wakayama - Higashikagawa 24.09.13

45.Higashikagawa - Takamatsu 25.09.13

46.Takamatsu - Iya Valley 26.09.13

47.Iya Valley 27.09.13

48.Iya Valley - Imabari 28.09.13

49.Imabari - Onomichi 29.09.13

50.Onomichi - Hiroshima 30.09.13

51.Hiroshima 01.10.13

52.Hiroshima - Takayama (tog) 02.10.13

53.Takayama 03.10.13

54.Takayama - Matsumoto 04.10.13

55.Matsumoto - Hakuba 05.10.13

56.Hakuba - Nagano 06.10.13

57.Nagano - Tone 07.10.13

58.Tone 08.10.13

59.Tone - Narita 09.10.13

60. Narita - CPH 10.10.13


Letter 6


Saturday 18.08.13     21,64 km


It's 6.30am. I fell over in the dormitory last night at 9pm and slept till 5am. Then I lay there thinking. I guess I'm the only foreigner onboard. There's one among the staff that both speaks and understands english. The girl in the reception was able to understand "Drinking water?", and happily she led me to a water machine I hadn't seen.

There are a lot of motorcyclists onboard. I had read about it. Hokkaido is a must if you want to play cool. Like Tibet was in China. There was also a group of cyclists. I will meet a lot of them, says Nori.

The breakfast in the restaurant is 1000 Y, less than 10 . I think I'm gonna spend! One thing has the japanese adapted for sure: small sausages. The breakfast is a buffet and sausages there are. The fish is salmon. A delicious corn soup, totally blended, Mango, almost made into jelly. Yougurt with an unknown fruit. The miso soup is without the lasting potatoes and onions I know and a lot of other stuff. The european flavour are dreadful buns and small packages with "Jelly and margarine". I search the restaurant for a knife. There are none. Forks and spoons, but no knives. I inspect the package, how to get it out? Nothing to get hold of. Only there is a strange structure on the one side. Try to break it and suddenly - out comes two thin stripes of both.

The young english speaking man from yesterday is in the restaurant too. He wants to talk. Will travel to Europe next month with a backpack. To 6 countries in South-and Middeleurope. If I'm on Facebook? He wants to be friends with me. I refer to me webpage. Until now noboby has contacted me that way, but he could be the first.

He's not the only person speaking foreign languages it shows. The girl, that stands thanking at the exit dare ask, where I come from, and she's been in Europe. Has studied music in Salzburg, so there we are speaking german - funny.

                 Wooaw. The ocean is big

After having eaten as much as I can, I feel the need for a visit to the toilet. It's gonna be me first meeting with the warmed up toilet seats the guidebooks always mentions as one of the first things. A control panel the size of an arm with at least 10 buttons. After having pressed a lot of them also the green one on the outlet (which I think is reset...?) I turn down the seat and find an ordinary mechanical handle - and then it flushed... I think I could have been both sprayed and dried, but you have to sit down before it works...

I've found an electrical outlet. (110V like in the US). I have an adapter with me as it's those outlets with the flat pins, but luckily all that has to do with charging both on 110 V and 220V. It would be different if you've bring your hairdrier. I don't think they can dry much hair here! I wondered for a moment when I saw the electrical installation at Nori's place. 50A! At home I've only got 25A totally. But if the voltage is half the current has to be dubble to get the same efficiency. But they must have greater loss in the cables?

The sea is calm, but now we're in the straight between Honshu and Hokkaido. There're 2 hours left, scheduled arrival 1.30 pm. The ship was rolling a bit last night, but chains attached under the tables in the restaurant tell it doesn't stop there sometimes.

When I want to go down with the elevator because the ferry is docking it doesn't work. And when I try the stairs they're also blocked. Luckily my english speaking friend arrives and says, I just have to wait here. In the end we're allowed to go down the stairs. Motorbikes and bicycles are in the lowest deck. I guess they don't want us down there before most of the cars are out.

I get ashore. Tamokamai isn't to be seen but there are not many road to choose. I go on till I reach a bigger road and Tamokamai is to the left. I would have been to the east, but now I decide to go to the center to buy supplies. I don't pass any supermarket sp I choose to go for the station. As a miracle a sign after the first stair says: Tourist Office. In the office is a girl who speaks a little english. The supermarket is at the other side of the station. It's not easy crossing the rails but by the help of a map I got, I succeed. She also marked a cheap hotel in case I want to stay.

In the supermarket, which is HUGE, I manage to get my stuff pretty fast. But there's one problem. I've bought a meal of nuddles and I can't read the instruction. So I go back to the tourist office. Now I know how to cook it. I also get water for my bottles and hear about the wheather out east. It should be cloudy the next two days and after that some sunshine the next. Sounds good for camping. As the last I ask for Starbucks. Yes there is one which shows to be at the main raod east.

But I don't get that far. The lowest attachment for the left front pannier has come loose. It takes me some time to realize that the upper bolt has disappeared. It's because we had it taken apart. It wasn't tightened properly. Damn....

As a new miracle there are a lot of garages at the road. Soon they're searching for a new bolt. But they only have 5 mm, not 4. As a result they suggest it put together with plastic strips. And they have some bigger than those I bought.

5 min's later I'm on my way again.I still miss having checked the bolt in the right side. I'm too busy finding Starbucks. If I don't upload today I don't know when. Now I'm sitting with my cappucino worth a small fortune and connected to the net immediately. But now dear friends it'll properly last 3-4 days before there're any news. No, maybe longer. I've just asked. There are only 4 cities on Hokkaido with a Starbucks and Kushiro where I'm heading is not one of them. But I'll maybe figure out something - maybe - you never know...