The West Coast

As we are right on top of the spa resort we go and investigate. There is a mountain railway which takes you up Japans finest V shaped gorge, this turns out to be 20km long and an 1hr10mins which is good as we are still getting our heads round the exchange rate and when we work out how much it has cost we nearly fall out the train with shock. It is an amazing journey winding in and out of the mountain and bridges over the passes following the river. At the top we walk to hot springs where we dunk our feet and to loads of view points along the river. Here Roof spots an alternative route back but it is barriered off and the sign says mountaineering equipment required enter at your own risk. He pursuades me this will be ok we can turn back if necessary. It starts off ok, not well used but passable gradually the path deteriorates we are climbing up the side of the mountain, it becomes painfully clear in the next 2km that I have to go on as I am now too afraid to return down the incline I have just hawled myself up. Where once there were steps and ladders to assist these had started to break away from the cliff edge and although now almost flat against the rock face they were still of some use. My dad would have loved this route as much as Roof was. I was suprising myself it wouldn’t have been out of place as an army test for mind and body. When we finally reach the top we realise it really is the top and the path weaves along the crest, the descent is marginally better aided by some rope we found so Roof is able to dangle his wife on a rope for a bit and the steps and ladders are in a better state. It took us 20mins to do the lower river walk this adventure takes us 3hrs to complete. We celebrate our safe return to civilisation with a late noodle lunch it’s 2.30pm. Aware now how quickly it gets dark you can literary watch the sun set in half an hour we catch the 4.20 train back it’s just dusk when we reach the bottom, so we head back to our sneaky camp from last night. It rains again in the night, boy when it rains here it really rains but in the morning we pack up, we need to be moving north. Stopping at a 7/11 we get some supplies only to find when I go to pour the ‘water’ into the jerry cans we have in fact bought 1.8 litres of saki good job I had a quick glug before pouring it in. We are still unsure of where we can and cannot camp so we ask in the next town, we are directed to what looks like a summer park they have bbq pits and large grass areas so we park up and camp. It’s another wet night, this time we erected the tarp and sit under cover listening to the peeing rain. In the morning we are approached and told no camping so we try to say we are just leaving. The weather improves as does the road now hugging the coast and getting better all the time.
  1. #1 by Lyn&Arthur on October 12, 2010 - 8:00 pm

    Not sure I can get my head round this new “Roof” chap who takes you on even scarier adventures dangling his wife on the end of a rope!!! As for the rain, they did say they had heavy rain rain messing up the Japense grandprix. It is quite a different culture for you to get used to. looking forward to seeing the photos. Be safe & keep on enjoying, Love M&D

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