The Shonan coast, perhaps my favorite area in the whole world. Well, parts of it. The coastline gets nicer as you travel more westwards. If you head eastwards you will find more pretentious hipsters, more rich assholes and more foreigners. Those categories tend to overlap. It also gets a lot, lot busier, with constant traffic jams on the weekend and all restaurants being overcrowded. Seriously annoying. Enoshima appears to be the focal point of it all. Everything east of Enoshima is overcrowded, rich and ridiculous, everything further west is slightly more normal, for whatever 'normal' means in this context.
The rain that had been falling down constantly for the last 3 days finally stopped. The clouds won't let up, and the rain's expected to start again tomorrow, but at least the late afternoon was free of rain, so I took the opportunity to cycle my newly rebuilt bike around a bit. After taking it out of the bike bag I somehow managed to create a loop in my chain again, but somehow managed to fix it myself this time. I don't even quite know what I did, it just seems that if you spend time fiddling with it you'll eventually discover a magic solution. I'll need a few more tries before I'm able to consciously know what I need to do to fix it. Oh well, got results.
No rain, a flat road, a light bike and a well-oiled chain make for a great ride! The temperature was perfect too, although it's definitely getting more humid lately. I zigzagged a bit around Atsugi and ended up heading towards Hiratsuka and my usual spot on the beach. There were less clouds near the seaside, and even some blueness in the sky. With Oshima in the distance and some nice cloud formations I had a great moment of peace on the beach. No matter where I am in life, if I want peace I will think back to the times that I came to this beach. So many times, day or night, sun or rain, summer or winter. I feel privileged and lucky to still be able to cycle here. The feeling of peace has mostly been internalized already and has taken on a meaning of its own inside my brain, disconnected from the actual physical location. But it feels good to strengthen (recharge?) that feeling with some actual experience.
I haven't had much luck on the accommodations front. Weekly mansions are apparently now called 'flexstay' and are no cheaper than a business hotel. Business hotels get progressively more expensive the closer you get to Tokyo. Even camp sites are ridiculously expensive. I found one in Hiratsuka, but it charges 3000 yen per night for a tent spot. Hell fucking no. Staying at random parks, seasides or river banks is definitely an option, provided that 1) I'm on the move so I won't have to camp at the same spot twice, and 2) it stops raining. Given that I'm about to do PADI and that the rainy season is here, neither seems very likely. Oh well. Something will happen.