Monday, 4 May 2015

The Soon to be Adventures of Nineteen Nail Tom – 29th April 2015

Whilst I was a bit sad to be leaving the comfort of my hotel, I needed to get back on the road. So I was packed up by 7am and then went down to eat breakfast. Now what this breakfast lacked in quality, it made up for in quantity; it was all you can eat. And eat I did: three plates full of pastries, five bananas, two bowls of tuna and salad, two cups of coffee and two orange juices. I find now when I'm in a situation where there is an abundance of food I just eat as much as I possibly can. I guess my body is making up for all the calories I have burned climbing mountains. I am getting thinner, I can see it, but I will have to wait until I get a set of scales to find out just how much I have lost.

Getting the bus to back to Ushizuma was a bit confusing, but I managed and by 9am I was on the trail again: 

Now whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of walking the Tokai so far, there is one thing I absolutely hate that happens on a regular basis: spiderwebs. There is just no avoiding them, and you find yourself walking through the things eight or nine times a day.

Like this! You hardly ever see it until it is too late!

Luckily Japan does not have many poisonous spiders so it is not really a worry if I get bitten, but the feeling of the web all over me is disgusting. This morning, I was walking along a road of all places, when I got tangled up in the biggest web yet. If someone had been watching they would have seen me walking along normally then the next second struggling for his life with and invisible foe. It took me a good five minutes to get it all off me, and by that time I'd worked up quite a sweat.

After that encounter I was extra careful, often holding one of my trekking poles (which have so far worked out great) extended in front of me in order to avoid any more webs. So very carefully, I trekked up Mt Daisen:

At the top was a huge radio tower of some kind and a great view of Shizuoka:

I decided to have lunch up the top and as I was cooking I noticed this:

The nail on my right big toe is coming off! It has split away from the skin and it is only a matter of time. I pondered wether I should help the process along but just couldn't do it. I'm a wuss. It will eventually fall off on its own I guess, until then I am still Twenty Nail Tom.

The descent was decent, along a mountain road, and dropped me in a village where there were some interesting, if not a little bit spooky, scarecrows:

But I put my fear aside and bravely continued down the valley seeing these sights along the way:

First suspension bridge of the trip

Tea is definitely the crop of choice in Shizuoka

The last mountain of the day was meant to be a short one, but it turned out they had rerouted the track recently and it took me on a massive detour that made me an hour later than I had planned. By the time I got down I was pretty frustrated; it was starting to get dark and I had no idea where I was going to sleep. There was a consolation prize though, this shop was open:

And it sold two of my favourite things:


and meat

Very happy! I could have a protein filled dinner with a beer to wash it down. Now the only problem was finding a place to sleep. More often than not the villages I descend into are wedged tightly in between two or more mountains, and thus almost every square inch of space is taken up by buildings and tea fields. Kuromata, the village I was in, was no exception, there was just nowhere out of the way to set up. So I kept walking the trail, hoping for something to catch my eye.

It was getting dark

By the time I found a place it was completely dark. I almost missed it entirely, except there was a sign saying something about a park a few metres after the turn off. I went up some steps and there was a small, but more importantly secluded, park with a nice sitting area I could cook my dinner. I'm now going to set up my tent and head straight to bed.

Distance: 31.9km

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