The ‘Specialised’ top, bought in Perth, has survived remarkably well although much faded and about to disintegrate after 10 months of riding.
The ‘Swrve’ shorts are the second set and have lasted 6 months through both NZ and Japan. They’ve become really grubby and nothing seems to wash the filth out.
Both have been excellent kit and I’m both sad and overjoyed to be saying ‘goodbye’ to them!
The horses are resting with only two more half days of riding. I can’t quite believe it! Sapporo tomorrow.
This is the road we’ve been following for the last three days. Don’t be beguiled by the bright sunshine. It is cold and windy and feels very wild up here. We pedalled around a desolate sandy bay to come across the half eaten carcass of a beached seal.
Heading inland and south. Finally it’s getting warmer!
At Cape Soya, the very top of Hokkaido and Japan looking directly towards the Sakhalin Islands, now Russian, some 45km away.
Having planned to camp in Hamatonbetsu we were told on arrival that the campsite was closed because a bear had been seen in the vicinity and it was too dangerous. In some ways this is a good thing. We are now staying in a simple guest house down a dirt track on the edge of town and will have a warm bed tonight. It is still freezing here and today at lunch time, on a bright and clear sunny day, it was only 10 deg C. Again the wind was like ice and my shins and toes were numb most of the day as we pedalled south-eastward along the beautiful coast. If we’d camped it would have been a bitter night but this can now be avoided.
We’re in dairy farming land where most of the milk, butter and cheese is produced and the landscape is like no other. The trees have thinned out to be replaced by huge expanses of waving dwarf bamboo with grassfields in between. The cattle are mostly kept indoors in sheds so it is always a nice surprise to see a field with a few cows in them.
This evening we’re having baths and dinner at the Onsen, a habit we are really starting to settle into!
These are my ‘clean’ trousers after another machine wash. A year of riding almost finished and there seems nothing that will remove the grime. We’re starting to get desperate for new clothes!