My National Park Adventure : 'Classic Tanya'
I was greeted at 3 am with hella strong winds and the need to head out into the wet to re-enforce my tent. When morning came it was still tap tap tapping away on my roof, I was like NOPE. I finally got a dry window around 9am to shake off the rain drops and get on the road. The day was Pretty Yukky, The cycling was wet and boring as I was just sticking to the main highway towards Sakaminato.
But when motivation to cycle in the rain was lacking, I saw another cyclist a little way in front. I’m pretty competitive by nature and decided to give myself the challenge of catching him up. When I did we played tit for tat for a while and kept over-taking one another, it was pretty amusing and took my mind of the pissing down rain. When I pulled into the convenient store he followed suit and we became cycle buddies for the next 20 kms or so.
Funny how things work out.
The rain let up late afternoon just in time for me to have a goosy gander around saikomanitos harbour and monster town. It was pretty cool actually, little monsters lined the street and the stores sold lots of handmade monster goodies. Even the bakery made monster shaped bread. Their where plenty of street-food options and salt flavoured ice cream? WTF most random flavour but…. Yummyish.
Matsue was the next destination, I wanted to go check out the castle. It’s a fine-looking building and the beam structure of this castle was impressive. I appreciate a good beam after getting up and cleaning the beams of the kominkas at work. Dotted around the castles fortress where lots of lunch spots and of course Japanese sweet stores. Its all-traditional Japanese buildings and very nostalgic. It's worth going to have a walk around the area just to munch on all the goods.
Then that afternoon, I did exactly what I said I wouldn’t do any more of... make a half ass plan. I was pretty bored of the highway, I’d been dipping on and off it since the sand dunes and it’s faster but not scenic cycling. I looked up onsens inland and found one on this beauty of a gorge, their also looked to be a camp nearby… SOLD.
So I cycled the extra 48km to Tachikue and what do you know? The onsen was closed for the day, Shit...If I had brains I would have called ahead, but like everything else in life I need a slam dunk to see the errors in my ways. Maybe now future me will be more organised. But the cycling was still lush and the camp site too…
Today has been all about making friends. I happened upon Iwado café and met Taniguchi san.. what a guy! He love, love, loved the ‘United Kingdom’ and was very excited to meet me. We had an invigorating chat about UK bands and my time in Japan… lots of body language was used on my part, I probably looked as if I was signing or busting a move at karyoke.
When it was time to go, he gifted me my coffee and a copy of his CD. I was over the moon, I really hope I represented England well and met his expectations. Fingers crossed he gets their some day.
Iwami Ginzan Silver mine was amazing. The Mine itself was OK but for me the town makes it... I love the traditional Japanese style housing. I also met Rika and her Dangos, biggest Dango I ever ate. The favourite was the Sakura dango with miso sauce and a happy side dish of storytelling from her Nomadic travels.
Im now in Yunotsu it’s a small heritage town famous for shipping the mined silver and its bloody HOT HOT onsen. I did have a rather funny/slightly embarrassing encounter. This onsens super local, it doesn’t have showers so it wasn’t the typical onsen procedure i'm accustomed to. I clearly looked dumfounded as the ladies took it upon themselves to show me how to wash, then found me highly amusing when I was dipping in and out of the pools… So freaking HOT! I was definitely their entertainment for the week!
Another bakka gaijin.
So week one is over, I have now cycle 477km, my legs have now started to adjust and the bum feels good. Im treating myself to a stay at Wotawa guest house. The facilities are great and the food was delicious!
For those that read my implant dibacle its now been over five weeks since I got that little fucker out and I can honestly say I'm the boss of my own brain again ;) my constant anxiety has dissipated and I don't think it's due solely to my change of scenery. I did get a side effect of B to the O for about four weeks until I had my next mensuration but I'm pleased to inform you I now smell of roses 24hrs a day even with the cycling. Take care what you add to your body folks!
As for my twenty pence today, its nice to have a comrade in arms for life battles and to help you through the storm ;)
Catch you soon.
Thanks for reading!