Sunday 19.08.13 80.10 km
When I came out of the center where Starbucks was, it had already started getting dark, 6.15pm! It surprised me and I hurried to get out of town. But new areas with low japanese house started. I turned off the main road at a small wood, but couldn't find a place. Drove on a bit. Up comes a toilet building in front of a large field of grass which is on three sides surrounded by trees.
There's also a playground. Here it is!
I move down in a corner where there are some benches and between the trees
behind it looks perfect.
When I've started putting up the tent, I realize the mosqitoes. Hungry. And I'm
steaming with sweat.
It must have been quite a view to see me throwing my arms about, wriggling my
head, hopping up and
down, while I tried to get the poles through. At last. A plug in each corner and
the tent is upright.
First the bags inside. Then myself inside. Then the bags into the sleeping cabin
and in the end me too.
No mosqito managed to join me, as I sat there with the sweat pouring. I gave up
all thoughts about
boiling water for my hot meal. I just eat a tin of pineapple and a slice of
white bread they call
I forgot to mention it started raining while I put up the tent but I didn't really feel it because of the mosqitoes. It was a night with sleep now and then. It rained from time to time, but never hard, but the wind was dragging and pulling especially when it was not raining.
At 4.30am it was time to start the day. Now I could see a track for motionists not far behind the tent. The first one passed by before the tent was down, but he acted as if he didn't see me. The wind had grown to a small storm, so I worried at the thought of a flying tent, but now I have a fair tactic for situations like that.
I sat on the bench and eat a yougurt with fruit. Very good. I'll have more of these. Before I had sat my teeth in the camembert it started raining. A lot. I've backed the bike into the toilet for handicapped and awaits the situation. It has been raining
HEAVILY. Half an hour I guess, but lesser now - oh, I said that too early. When it finally has stopped I go outside to be convinced, and I see under a small roof an iglo tent and a bicycle. So I wasn't the only one....
I've started. Am in doubt about which way to go due to confusing signs. Think I've taken the wrong direction and go back another road through an industrial park. The rain gets heavy now but I reach under a shelter just in time. The first one I've seen. After quite a while the rain stops again. Only 5 min but I reach back on the main road and find shelter under the bridge at the highway. It looks like it'll keep on all day. Not the most exciting spot to stay for the day.
While I'm there I make a decision, I'll go up north in stead of along the coast. A long boring part, said Nori, he'd done it.
Waiting for the rain to stop
At 10.15am it has almost stopped, but it will again no doubt. I've had the rainjacket on for long, because of the temperature that's come down several degrees.
Then I go, rain or not. It does rain quite a lot and my shorts are soaked, but little by little it stops. I reach some areas that might look quite danish. I see a field of potatoes.
On the road
Now at 1pm I've reached Mikawa, where I've gone a few hundred meters down to the rainway station to eat. Thought it might be possible to sit here. And it was. The toilet is primitive and with no water. But it's there.
Now the haze has lifted a bit, I see I'm in a wide valley with low mountains to the left and higher far away to the right.
It also helped my decision to take this road that I have a tail wind. And that's not bad.
Then I'm sitting on the floor in my room and all electronic equipment is charging. It wasn't easy to get that far, but I managed. It's not european style. No bed but a foldable matress. There are no chairs just a low table. Toilet is in the corridor and the shower is downstairs. And it costs including breakfast 4.900 Y around 60 €. But how did I get here?
Well, I had decided not to go any further than Iwamizawa. The last 10 km repeatedly said "Central Iwa..", but when I really was closing in according to the km's: nothing. I tried to ask for "center", but that didn't ring a bell for the girl, but "station" worked. I just had to go on. First I went under the railway and tried to ask a couple, but they were completely blank. Not even a trial to say like a train rang any bell. Maybe japanese train have another sound?
Names of dead soldiers at the station in Iwamizewa
Anyway, I managed to find it, and it wasn't as small as I feared and next to the ticket office was something called Travel Office.
The word Hotel meant something to them, and they pointed out two in a map, but when I asked for the prize they thought around 7000 Y. That was too much. So the lady phoned the other one and came up with the prize I mentioned earlier. I was in. It's name should be Akitaya Inn and was pointed out in the map. Very close to the station. I went down the street and watched out for the name, it should be easy.
When I had passed the road under the railway I felt unsecure and took a look at the map. The thing was, that the name only was written in Kanji. And it wasn't exactly as in the map, but the second house down a street. The old man in the reception was only strong in japanese but we ended up cooperating.
So here I am with a cup of green tea. They serve you hot water like in China, fine. Now I'll put on my kimono and go and wash the salt out of some t-shirts.
When I go to shower I wonder. That the shower is so low I don't mind, I just take it and hold it in my hand. But the mirror... It's so low that I only see my legs. They have to sit on the floor when they shower? I don't remember having read about that.
I had been thinking to go out to eat, but when I come down it rains. I borrow an umbrella, but soon it's raining cats and dogs. I find some shelter where I stand to wait it out, and I don't realize my trousers getting wet before it's too late - and I put one the long nice ones. I end up buying something in a kiosk at the station. Not exciting.