I woke up today and deliberately did not look at the weather report because I really wanted to get going again. The village I stayed at for one and a half day was quite possibly the most deadly silent place I've ever been in Japan, and I really wanted to move on. Still, not looking doesn't make things go away..
The village's altitude was about 500-600 meters, and I had to climb another 200-300 meters to get over a mountain range so I could get to the road that I wanted to take. Yup, my first time to cycle in the clouds.
Well, that was interesting. A 200 meter early morning climb in the clouds. Because it was still quite early there wasn't a lot of traffic, but there were a lot of tunnels. I'm sure my blinking led-taillight saved my life a couple of times today. Eventually though, the road started to slope down again, and I appeared again.
Bridges and tunnels are natural enemies. Tunnels appear at the top of mountains at the highest point, meaning you have to climb to get there, then have a scary experience in the tunnel as cars go right past you, and then you can relax on the downhill towards the next hill. Bridges on the other hand are always built at a lower altitude than the rest of the road, because it's cheaper to build a lower bridge (and for the same reason tunnels are always on top). This means that you first have to go downhill and build up speed, brake because the road is more narrow on the bridge and you don't want to hit that truck, and then you have to climb uphill again. This ends my rant about bridges. A lot of weird thoughts go through my head during an average day of cycling...
The road was painful. Soon after coming out of the clouds it started to rain, and it was a weird kind of rain that didn't feel wet. It just felt like tiny mosquitoes smashing in your face and then falling off. There was no sense of wetness. Dry rain? The rain may not have felt wet, but everything else did. Today was incredibly humid, without being too hot though. I don't want to say that I had trouble breathing, but I clearly noticed that the air was different than usual, and not in a good way. I was expecting this feeling to go away as I went down, but even at sea level I have this strange feeling. It's like all the clouds have accumulated and reached sea level. A very nasty feeling.
Speaking of rain, it pretty much rained for the whole day. It wasn't very strong but it was always present, soaking me completely. I soon found out that my cycling pants become translucent when exposed to a large amount of rain. A minor inconvenience, as I still had a pair of rain trousers in one my sidebags. It rained and rained until I finally reached the seaside, and then it stopped. Unfortunately, by that time my bicycle was full of crud.
The image quality is shit because my S90 was set to ISO3200 for no good reason. The stupid scrollwheel on the back is way too loose.
I reached a little city called Nobeoka, which I only know because my former company has a data center there. While in the mountains I was getting tired (it wasn't all downhill!) and was thinking of ending the day at Nobeoka, but when I reached Nobeoka I felt that I could still go on, and I cycled 20 kilometers further to a place called Hyuuga, which is where I am typing this blogpost from.
On a cycling note, thanks to the past 3-4 days of mountains and hills I have regained my super-saiyan strength and have now leveled up to become super-saiyan level 2. I can now do a continuous 30kph on a flat road. This trip has had a really good effect on my body. I've lost a lot of weight, but for some reason I don't look any different... -__-
I'm very close now. Maybe two or three days of cycling and I can be at the southernmost point of Kyushu. As for what happens after that, I am still in doubt. My parents are pestering me to come back and watch the World Cup (football) with them, but if I want to find a job in Japan I'd better do it before my visa expires. Decisions, decisions..