|Awakened by the alarm at 6.30 we hear the gentle patter of rain outside and decide to have a catch up day. We have access to water, somewhere dry and toilet facilities so we have no great desire to move. I take the opportunity to cut Kev’s hair and his beard to make him look a little less like the wild man of Borneo then cut my hair. We use the disabled toilet to have a strip wash and wash our hair in the large basin. It has been too cold of late in the mornings and evenings to want to disrobe any more than is necessary. The rain has now stopped and the sun is shining so we go the whole hog and wash some clothes too. Feeling much better after a good scrub we drape the washing over the benches, unbelieveably it has taken all morning to do these basic chores so we cook lunch then join the washing in the sun.
Kev writes a long overdue letter to his mum who is not on the internet whilst I have a go at catching up on the blogs, it seems the more interesting a time we have the further behind the blogs get (you’ll get loads at once now we’re trying to catch up).
We play chase the sun in the afternoon as the shadows are long and we need the washing to dry. We also go wood gathering for a fire later. It’s early to bed tonight as we plan a long day tomorrow.
We are on the road by 8.30 and stop in town to fire off the blogs written yesterday and do a quick shop whilst we have a supermarket. It is not as cold as previous days and we are travelling some good roads through a sort of national park area where we find a campsite this one is officially open, however the fee is £25 so we move on. Consulting the map over lunch I pick us a devious route over two mountains to join a road that will run us straight to Osaka. The mountain part will be tricky to navigate as the map doesn’t always show the roads or numbers.
By evening we have sucessfully managed one mountain and found a cheeky little camping spot just under the bend of the road the tamac led down off the bend to a pefect grassy clearing made for us.
It’s still not cold tonight so we do some more blogs ready to send and have a glass wine/beer. We have our usual nightly blowing up of the airbed it is getting worse, as fast as we find and repair one leak when we fold it up it weakens the seam somewhere else. We will throw it away in NZ but we have not found a replacement in Japan.
We wake at 6.30am the sleeping bag is physically wet on the bottom due to the dew this morning and being flat on the floor half the time. We have to dry it out before we push on as it is damp and cold most mornings and evenings now and we want somewhere warm at least to sleep. To this end we cook breakfast in the tent but it is still 10am before we are away.
We have the other mountain to negotiate and we are on small wiggly grassy roads when we run onto reserve having drained our emergency fuel tank in preparation for the shipping. Slighty unsure of our exact location we use a combination of “Doris”, the locals and me as a guide to get back onto some mainer roads, it is only when we pull up for fuel in the village we realise it is Sunday and this one is shut. Slighty more urgently I scan the map, we have a town we pass through we hope it is close enough!
We pull into the town and see the familar signs of a fuel station. Oh the relief! We approach the pumps to realise this too is shut, spying a man just about to get in his car over the way we zoom over to ask where the nearest open one is. By way of mime he asks how low it is, “to the bottom” replies Kev indicating an empty tank, on finding this out he directs us back to the petrol station which he kindly opens up just for us. Big relief we arigato a lot.
We are now on a cracking middle route through the center of the mountains main enough to be back on the map but not busy we check out a campsite but at £20 it is still a bit beyond the budget a shame because we spy a Tentipi like ours but a canvas one it would have been good to camp up next to them.
Looking for suitable camping spots we stumble across a nice shrine so stop for photos. We have limited time to find camp now so when we see a big national power grid site with a small side access road we go and investigate.
It is a nice quiet road with some good flat grassy camping areas. We deliberate long and hard however before eventually deciding we will stay, the only draw back to this site is the rather large steel mesh bear trap in the undergrowth and the obvious signs of previous bears around scraping up the ground and bear poo!!!!
Bears seem to be a bit of a recurring problem at the moment but we have yet to actually see one in the flesh. I guess its to be expected when we are freecamping in the mountains all the time.