The problem is, it gets light so early that it’s hard to know whether you’ve slept in or not. I need to set an alarm, not to wake me up but to let me know not to wake up if I haven’t heard it yet. We obviously got up bright and early this morning and were packed up and on the road by about quarter past six.
We had more scenic mountain roads today and most of this was in forested wilderness. Eventually we came out of the mountains and arrived in Furano, where we stopped for a cup of coffee and some bread, as well as getting some shopping done. We had a tailwind up the road to Nakafurano and then Kamifurano. It was nice, flat riding, with a tailwind and mountains on either side of us.
We had lunch another early lunch in Kamifurano and then headed up the road o our campground in the mountains. The ride up was about 16km at an average gradient of about 5% but the last four kilometres averaged just over 9%. I’m pretty sure the Trucker weighs in at about 30kg at the moment so Kazuko was able to gloat as she cruised past me unhindered by having to carry any baggage.
When we finally arrived at the top of the road, we got to our campground and pitched our tent. Luckily, the campground also has an onsen which boasts 100% volcanic water, so we were able to relax in a healthy, sulphur bath and recover from our climbing efforts.
After dinner, we went for a stroll to a free onsen that is nearby. Some rock pools have been built to catch onsen water that flows out of the mountain. There is another hose that channels in cold water from a nearby stream but that stream is drying up as the snow has just about all melted so the water was intolerably hot. Neither of us could get in. I sat next to the pool and used a plastic cup to scoop the hot water up and pour it over myself.
In contrast to yesterday, the campground is quite full tonight. Hiking is pretty popular in these mountains so we are guessing many of our fellow campers are going to spend the weekend wandering in the wilds.