Monday 20.08.13 91,30 km
Considering the lack communicative talents from the old man it's surprising that the girl at the breakfast can say: would you like to have a spoon? and things like that. The sun is shining and it's hot as ever. The dining room has no air-con - there is in my room.
The japanese are mad about baseball. I had no idea. For the time being the final
games are on.
Everywhere there's a TV screen it's showing baseball. At Nori, in the ferry and
here at the breakfast.
Yesterday I managed though to find a channel that showed athletics WC. I have to
admit I dozed off
now and then - and not because it was boring.
I think it must be the son in the reception this morning. He's much more polite and speak a bit english. I find out what the blue symbols in my japanese map means. Road Station, he says. Water, toilet. I couldn't find the map though but as I also missed my bicycle gloves the room was turned upward down and under the matress was the map. But the gloves are gone. Or they've been put down somewhere, which is unlikely. Well, nothing to do...
Low forrested mountains to the right and the flat valley that stretches against some almost invisible mountains in the far west. The air is full of (Goldsmiths they're called in danish). It must be day of breeding I think, as they come in pairs holding on to each other. Many have to die cause the traffic, it's not Road 12 for nothing.
It come to my mind that there went things along when I packed the raincovers... Quite right - there are the gloves. I also just found out my hands start snoring when I'm not having them on.
Had a puncture - the first - when I left town. Examined the tyre before anything else. There was a piece of wire sitting there. Fine, the I know where to look for the hole.
I reach one of these "Road Stations". Find the roll of toilet paper, but I didn't have to. Of course there is toilet paper at a japanese Road Station, and soap and handdrier and all.
The mountains in the west have come closer, the valley's shrunken, but the mountains are now disappearing in rain clouds. It has started dripping. I go on after a lot of consideration, but have to seek shelter in a bus shed, that turn up like a miracle. I use the time for eating. It's still dripping when I go on.
A temple or a shrine. Buddhist or shinto?
The landscape has changed. It started when the flat land turned into long small hills up and down, and from having 4 lanes with shoulders the road now has only 2 lanes, when it got squeezed between the mountain and the river. Now it's only low forrested mountainsides ahead. The road goes up the mountain side but just for short then it turns down again. We have turned left and far ahead I think there's a turn for a new valley? No, not quite. SHIT! A tunnel!
Take a look at it and look back. It has no bicycle lane or anything. I let a truck pass, now the coast is clear. It's fully lit all the way and only 431 m. Nevertheless a whole bunch of cars come whistling past my ears. The noise is as in these tunnels: unbearable. But I get through safely.
The goal for the day has been Asahikawa, or at least close. Because they should have a Starbucks. I have changed between going on the sidewalk and going in the road latest. The first is often SO bad and the last a bit dangerous, but here's the sidewalk fine. But it comes to an end... but what do I see? A real bicycle track. For the next 12,7 km! It's the old road that has been changed into bicycle track when they built the new road. It's extraordinary. And more extraorninary it gets, when the road disappears into a tunnel and I'm all to myself. Only the sound of the river can be heard. I don't meet a living creature only grasshoppers that jump and fly away as I come riding. Everywhere water comes running down the mountain. Most of the track is still wet, it must have been raining resently?
The peace doesn't last for ever. The cycling track end up along the main road again but shortly after I catch a glimpse of a poster: ... Camp and the symbol of a tent. It has to be checked. Only 1,2 km. I manage to find the place. You have to go under the railway through a tiny tunnel. The big lawn behind the house looks very wet. There seems to be noone. I grab the handle - it glides aside as it's most common here. There are two pairs of slippers. Up comes an old man. If I can put up my tent here? We manage to get an agreement in spite of language problems. He shows where the toilet is. It's not open yet he has to open from the inside, so I've still not seen it.
Under a roof are wash bassins and under another fireplaces. I put up my tent right next to them, where it looks the driest. Show him the plug for my computer. Any current? And yes, indeed. In one end of the roof are outlets. He'll have to go inside to turn it on. It's quite marvellous. Against all odds there are no mosqitoes and here I am outside sitting writing this. At first I found some rubbish that could serve as a chair, but then he went inside and fetched two small stools. It's nice and cool now it's 6.30pm
At a time he came back with a fat young man, who were supposed to be better english speaking. I understood that the man wouldn't be back before 9am in the morning and I'll be off by then. We wrote a paper with my names and telephone no. and when I would leave: 8am.
I hadn't asked how much it was but now I learned it didn't cost anything, but the lighting here at the wash bassins will be cut off at 8pm. But the power for the computer stay turned on. I think I better cook some dinner and get to sleep before it gets dark.
A minor shower turns up and I hurry to get the computer sheltered and make sure it's only the tent that is exposed to the wheather. But it soon dies out.
Always a spot for a computer
Now I've tried out the cooking and it worked perfectly. I have to find some smoked meat to add cause nuddles and soya sauce with a minimum of added vegetables don't make you cycle 100 km a day.
I have a feeling as if I sat out in the jungle. It's gone completely dark, but the light is still on here in the kitchen department. There are also two lamps out in the field and the one in the corner so you can find your way to the toilet. But besides it's the insects evening. I didn't think cikadees made noise at this time but these do. Behind their more aggressive sound are the grasshoppers and a single ... or two. It really sounds like an orchestra.
The only contact to civilisation are the trains, that passes 30 m away. First you hear the warning sound from a crossing nearby. Then the train comes hammering and a couple of minutes later the warning turns silent.
It's 7.45pm I've put on the forehead lamp and is ready to go to bed but wanted to transfer some photos to the computer first.