Monday, 27 April 2015

Up and Down and Repeat - April 19th 2015

Last night at the mountain hut turned into a bit of a party. More and more people kept coming in until there were ten of us in total. I guess it’s because it’s the weekend. The guys who were up there were all just staying one night then going home, and for some they all brought way too much stuff. Soon I found myself be offered pickled garlic, strips of fish, vegetables, and to top it off I was given half a bottle of sake. We all sat around talking for a few hours, then the alcohol got the better of me and I had to go to bed. We were all packed in like sardines when by the time the last person got to bed. There was snoring, and the constant creaking of air mattresses, but in spite of all this it was still really refreshing to have a night inside. In many ways it was luxury compared to the last few nights.

We all kind of woke up together at 5.30am and started making breakfast and packing up our stuff. For breakfast I was offered a instant potato soup and coffee, which I graciously accepted. A few of the guys moved with a lack of elegance that betrayed to me they had a hangover, but for some reason I felt fine though. They all said goodbye to me one by one, with one gentleman giving me a bottle of tea and a sports drink before he left. Naturally I was the slowest and only got out of there by about 7:30 am.

The trail was quite flat for a bit and I came across the same gentlemen who had given me the drinks, we swapped contact details so if you are reading this thank you very much!

Thank you, Sir
I came around a corner and the next thing you know I had a beautiful view of Mt Fuji.

I have rarely seen it this clear. A few years ago I climbed it but did not actually get to see it because it was covered in clouds the whole time. So getting a view like this was a real treat. The trail takes me right around the base of Fuji so expect a few more photos of it in the next few days.

I followed the relatively flat trail to Mt Sodehira, then it descended sharply and gave my legs hell. It seemed like it would never end. I was going down inclines such as this for around two hours.


Coped some good views though:

I got to the bottom and there was a river I had to use a rope to reach where I refilled my water and cooked some lunch. I thought about having a wash but the water was ice cold and there was a cool wind blowing so I decided against it.

The next section was the opposite, the trail had dropped me in a river valley and now I had climb out of it. I was completely fatigued and honestly it was one of the hardest climbs of my life. I would go maybe two hundred metres up the track and then need to take a short break. It was so demoralising seeing the regular signs indicating how slow I was going. At one point I started to rage a bit and was swearing in English when two people suddenly came around the corner. I was shocked and embarrassed but still managed to belt out a “konichiwa.” They reciprocated my greeting without missing a beat, but I’m absolutely sure they heard me.

After reaching the top I had to go down once again. It was hell and at one point I honestly felt like crying. This walk has been much more physically demanding than I anticipated. I hadn’t done much mountain climbing before and this last three days in the mountains has been a serious shock to the body. With that said, in spite of all the aches and pain I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far.

So after this final steep decent I found myself in another river valley with reasonably flat paths with the occasional sharp decline. There were a few sakura trees still in bloom that stood out amongst the backdrop of green trees.

The trail then led me too a road, and I can honestly say I have never been happier to be walking on such a flat surface. It was a pleasure, absolute luxury compared to the last six hours.
I love this road!

Nobody home :(
I went past a camp ground which I was keen to stay and headed down the steps for it but it turned out nobody was home. I could not find anyone, staff or campers, it was really quite odd. What made it stranger was there were smoking embers still in the fire pit. It was like everyone had left in a real hurry. I decided to move on and walked a bit further down the road and managed to find a really good spot out of view by a river. Now I am quite tired so I am going to cook dinner and go to bed.

Night night

Distance: 21.5km

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