And so it ends: Moron no Tabi 2007

We're back at the youth heim! The last days have not been very stressful, but that's a good thing after all the pain and suffering we went through on the north part of Okinawa :D It was raining in Naha yesterday so we didn't do much, and today we went to the beach, which was actually kind of disappointing since it was quite dirty, but for the most time we were waiting for the plane or the bus to take us home.

The first thing we did when we arrived was carry our bicycle bags to Sukiya :D After that we put our bikes back together and walked home (tyres were empty). After talking for a while with my parents and a nice shower I finally have time to relax and recap the trip. I'll have to make a full report later. Let's see if I have the resolve and willpower necessary to put all the pictures and placemarks online later. I kept a log during our travel, but it got soaked in water during the hellwater day in Okinawa, so I'll have to see if I can still read it. Anyway, I remember most of it. We met so many nice people on the way! Japan is such a nice country to travel in.

Actually, we are beginning to think it might be 'too nice', since it takes away part of the challenge. That's also because we were actually able to understand and speak Japanese with most of the people we met, which is I guess a new experience to us both. When we came back to Haneda airport, however, some guy started talking to us about boarding the bus to Atsugi and we couldn't understand him at all because he used lots of complicated words and talked really fast. Countryside people are a lot easier to understand ^^

Here's an overview of the things we did during the trip:

Day 1 - 04-27 - Nagasaki
Took a plane from Tokyo to Nagasaki. Put the bicycles back together, got a hotel, went to peace park and A-Bomb museum, Orandazaka (Holland slope), harbor festival, and got our luggage from Kuroneko sent to the hotel.

Day 2 - 04-28 - Amakusa island
Mounted luggage in the morning, drove to ferry to Amakusa, cycled about 60 kms, saw lots of cool stuff on the way, took a ferry to Nagashima, cycled for a bit more and camped in front of an expensive hotel with our tents.

Day 3 - 04-29 - High pace to Kagoshima
Packed up the tents, cycled from Nagashima all the way to Sendai, got lost on the way and ended up in a hospital (this happened more than once for some strange reason!), went a bit farther than Sendai and ended up in a small countryside Onsen (hot spring) town, took a bath there, while looking for food we were picked up by nice Japanese people who brought us to their countryside home where we camped in their backyard.

Day 4 - 04-30 - Kagoshima and beyond
Left early for Kagoshima, arrived early in the morning, took a ferry to Sakurajima, the island with the active volcano. There, we went around the island a bit, and started going up to an observatory. After 2 hours and lots of suffering we climbed 375 meters, but had a crappy view because it was cloudy and foggy. We had the best ride ever down the mountain in 6 minutes flat. After that we waited for the ferry to Okinawa in an internet cafe.

Day 5 - 05-01 - Arrival at Yoron
Took the ferry to Yoron, arrived late in the afternoon. Cycled to campsite, but Kamil got a flat tyre when we were halfway. A nice guy carried Kamil and his bicycle to the campsite, and we camped in a bungalow bird house thing. Spent an hour on the pitch black roads looking for restaurants. Eventually had to settle for a supermarket, but we had already walked across about half the island. Quite small.

Day 6 - 05-02 - Touring Yoron
Visited most famous attraction of Yoron: a beautiful white beach that appears 500m in the sea in front of the actual beach when the tide is low. Cycled around the island after that, and went to 'town' for food and to buy some Omiyage and souvenirs. The island is really small. We took the straight way back from one side of the island (town) to the other (campsite) and it took about 20 minutes. Yoron is beautiful!

Day 7 - 05-03 - No more Yoron :'(
We went to the beach again to buy some stuff from the nice Obaasan, who supplied us with tea and snacks. Took the scenic way back along some beaches, and made it well in time for the ferry to Okinawa. Ferries are nice: they have showers :) We arrived in Okinawa before dark, and we drove on for about 2 hours before it was completely dark. We camped underneath a bridge with a lot of Japanese families doing barbecue and lighting fireworks.

Day 8 - 05-04 - To the North, and fast
Took the West road along the coast towards Cape Hedo, the Northernmost point of Okinawa, which was about 50km away. We arrived there 2 hours later thanks to the wonderfully flat road. After that we started to suffer a lot because of the many uphills and downhills of route 70. We found a cool festival in a city located in a valley between two huge mountains. We stopped at the next village because it was getting dark early and it was getting very cloudy and it looked like rain was coming, even though it was sunny and hot all day.

Day 9 - 05-05 - Tropical Hell
It started raining right after we packed up our tents and were set to go. Route 70 proved to be a terrible pattern: a terrifying uphill, a quick downhill, a very small village, repeat a million times. Tiring and terrible, the rain drenched us after only half an hour. We drove 80km this day to try and get to the ferry to Naha, which departs in Motobu, in time. We left at 6 in the morning, and we arrived at Motobu at around 3 in the afternoon, after an excruciating bike ride. In the end the ferry was late and only left around 6. Ha ha... We got out at Naha and found a nice cheap Hostel. Got a nice dinner too!

Day 10 - 05-06 - Rainy Naha
It rained until late in the afternoon, so we spent most of the time wandering around in Naha and in an internet cafe. After that we went to the old headquarters of the Japanese navy in the second world war: a cool area of caves underneath a hill just outside Naha. The evening we spent shopping for souvenirs again, and finding nice things to eat ^

Day 11 - 05-07 - Beach and back
Left in the morning for Nashiro beach, but found it to be closed after a 1 hour bicycle trip. Found a very small road nearby going to a very crappy place just next to the beach, and we managed to sneak onto a very empty and dirty beach. Lots of seaweed, and lots of stones and sharp things in the water that hurt your feet. Not a very pleasant swim, but at least we swam during this trip :) After that we had lunch and went back to the airport and disassembled our bicycles.

What can I say? It was a great trip! It was random, unplanned, and lots of interesting and unexpected things happened. And every person we met on this trip was nice to us. That's just unbelievable. I'm too sleepy now to type more, so I'll keep it like this for now. Oyasumi :)

Posted in Uncategorized