Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Another Hard Day, but with Unexpectedly Good Accommodation at the End - 8th May 2015

Let me start by saying the first two thirds of the day was not much easier than yesterday. Rather it was very much the same, up and down all the way. Here are some photos of the terrain I had to tackle:

It started off nice and flat

Then started going up (Mt Kurakake)...
and up...

..with some of the steepest ascents...

...and descents...

...and ascents again...

that went on (Mt Iwkoya)...

and on... 
With my legs not fully recovered from yesterday, it was pretty hard going. Though there were some stunning views though when I got high enough:

I found the panorama feature on my camera
I these were from the top of Mt Iwakoya
Several times on this trip I have had the privilege of experiencing sights that are so stunning and picturesque that I get totally lost in the moment. For a few seconds I can’t believe what I am seeing, the sheer beauty of it all and the fact it’s right in front of me to experience overwhelm my ability to process the situation. Then it sinks in it is real and I get an overwhelming feeling of joy wash over me. This was one of those times. It’s these moments that make the all the hard work that has led to me to that point worth it, at least for a few moments anyway.

Eventually I made it to the town of Shitara, where I got a meal and resupplied at the supermarket:

The only kind of protein filled food that would stay good out of the fridge that they sold was whole dried out squid. I’ve had it before and it’s as hard as hell and tastes pretty lousy on its own, but I didn’t know exactly when I would come across the next shop, and I need some kind of protein or I find I get tired really easy, so I bought it anyways.

There is two of them in there, but I'm not looking forward to eating either
The two days of rugged terrain had buggered my legs, and I was limping around like an old man when there was still three hours of walking light left. I slowly made my way out of the town onto a road, which soon turned into a trail. At least it was flat for the most part:

About an hour later, GPS indicated there was a camping ground a few hundred off the track, right beside a river, and when I hit the turn off, I decided that I would go check it out and finish the day early if it was any good. I didn’t find a camping ground, but what I did find was even better:

A fully enclosed building that was for "everyone's use" according to a sign I managed to make sense of
Although the official times of use were from 9am to 5pm, it was in the middle of nowhere and did not expect anyone to come around to kick me out.
There was this tatami room to sleep in
And it even had a river next to it that I could have a wash in
The place wasn’t perfect though; it was infested with bugs and spiders, the latter being the nasty kinds that were big and fast. As I was trying to get the sink to work (I didn’t succeed in the end), a big black one came running out from behind the pipe and scared me half to death. After I collected my wits I managed to kill it so I wouldn’t be worrying about it crawling over me all night, but there were plenty of others to worry about still:

Another spider I squashed
Some other bug
A dead hornet that had me worried for a bit. I check all around the roof but couldn't find any nest or hear any buzzing.
When I couldn’t find anymore, I set my stuff up in the tatami mat room:

Then I had a wash in the river:
It was freezing but I felt great afterwards
I then cooked some instant ramen and added some meat I had bought at the store earlier, ate it all down, plugged my laptop into the power outlet up and watched some TV until I dozed off to sleep. Absolute luxury compared to camping out, and all for free.

Distance: 21.3km

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