I've finally arrived in the Kyushu that I remember! Kyushu is great. It has all of the good things of Japan, but none of the bullshit. It's got convenience stores, vending machines, beautiful natural sights, and kinder people than elsewhere in Japan. But it's not overpopulated, and there's not that much traffic. Excellent. I only wish it was 5 degrees warmer....
Here's some photos of today. I really went to all kinds of places: seaside, mountain, forest. The whole route was beautiful.
I went into the center of Karatsu to eat some lunch, but I got annoyed with myself because I couldn't pick out a restaurant. Weird! Every time I saw one I kept on cycling, all the while thinking that I should have stopped. Just couldn't control myself somehow. In the end I passed through the entire center of Karatsu and ended up at the next train station at a tiny restaurant, and had the best cooked fish I've tasted on this trip so far. I forgot the name though, as it was called "today's menu".
As I was leaving a lady who just arrived asked me about my trip. We talked a bit, and she gave me a good luck charm ^^.
Leaving the restaurant I started cycling again, changing from the coastal route 202 to route 33 which cuts across the mountains and saves me about 50 kilometers of cycling around the mountain area. The road was tough, but not too long, and the scenery was of course great. I'm really running out of words to describe the things I see..
The road tricked me a bit, because I cycled all the way to the top, enjoyed a very nice downhill, and then had to climb all the way to the top again! Seems there's a valley in the middle, so I had to climb the hills twice.
New speed record: 56.1 kph :D
I cycled a bit further until I came to a large bridge leading to a fairly large island called Fukushima. It would be a dead end, but I went there anyway, having already done 85km's, thinking I could find a very nice tenting place on the island.
I went around for about an hour and found one camping place where they charged me 1500 yen to stay. I would have accepted, but it was only 3PM and I thought I could find something better. I'm starting to enjoy the search for tenting places actually. Much like women enjoy shopping for shoes, I enjoy shopping for camping places.
In the end the island kinda sucked though, and I decided to go back to the Kyushu main island and cycle onward. I didn't go far when I discovered this place:
Those who know me know that Into the Wild is one of my favorite movies, and suddenly remembering the movie when I saw the old bus, I strongly considered camping here tonight. I had basically decided on this place already when I went out to find a vending machine to get a drink. I found one at a nearby garage, and I figured I might as well ask if they knew a good place to put up a tent. A mechanic told me there was a beach not too far away in the middle of nowhere, and there's usually no people around. I decided to go there, and didn't go back.
I also came across this specimen:
Today was very nice! As I am typing this I'm looking out towards the bridge in the second-to-last photo, and my hands are getting quite cold! The wind is chilly. I'd better dress warm tonight.
Tomorrow I'm continuing on my journey towards Hirado island. I'm not quite sure how to cross over actually. There seems to be a bridge, but that might be a toll road only for cars. I guess when I get there I'll ask some people and things will work out.