52…

Cold night on concrete but mats, down bags, and yesterday’s cycling ensured a good night sleep…Joe up early and out tent watching lively bird action (in excitement didn’t bother to put shoes on so came back to tent frozen feet)…wonderfully atmospheric breakfast white bread and jam, heated hot choc and artificial tasting black coffee, alongside tent on concrete harbour…may not be WWOOF KUSUNOKI Miso Soup and rice, but just as nourishing…quick exchange of gifts with genuine kind lady living alone and mobility problems living next to our concrete camp spot and we off to look for cranes…
…arrive at town see sign to temple every 50m and eventually decide to spend 5 minute detour to see the damn thing…arrive calm street…we all happy and chilled…ask man nearby ‘is this temple?’…yes, yes, yes….next thing we following him to door…next thing he rings door…next thing rather annoyed zen Buddhist monk starts asking us what our purpose is…”we saw sign for temple, only wanted to see”…more heated exchanges between kind man and monk…next thing we frog marched into calm zen Buddhist temple by seriously peeved monk ordered to light incense, then to shrines, then ‘Now PRAY!!!’…we oblige, then from un-zen Buddhist monk “can you please go, I am busy”…we frogmarched out peaceful building…classic bit of misunderstandings and confusions…
Then to see the cranes that were actually there, and impressive (parents breathe a huge sigh of relief)…and on we go…weather very fresh, thick jumpers all day…finally manage to catch ferry to next island…arrive, start looking for camp spot…not much expectation, town looks cramped for space, imagining concrete again…then…one turn after the next…up a hill…and an empty playpark with a slide close to 100m long, clean public loos and breathtaking sunset views…black kites galore…Fill our stomachs good old pasta tomatoe sauce…a hugely satisfying second day on the bikes…very good forecast tomorrow…one big hill to contend with…
Day 53 of 182 (3rd consecutive day on bikes)

Wake to daily loudspeaker announcing it is 6am and time to wake up (everywhere we’ve been the same public announcement also comes at12pm lunch, and 5pm)…fantastic weather for bikes today, gentle tail wind, wall to wall blue sky, morning 3celcius up to about 18celcius…quiet road smooth surface (I didn’t expect such quiet roads in Japan) following river through deep gorges, past farmers working their small holding farms and larger paddy fields…everywhere steep forested hills (with accompanying concrete banks and, sadly for landscape, electrical lines)…one big climb which Sam was NOT enjoying…lunch time Onsen in tiny family room bath (first time we all together)…lunch rice balls and bakery rolls (always most random fillings and flavoring so, but often work!)…on we go with west sea open to us and setting sun…past a nuclear power station…with tsunami warnings on nearby signs…mmm….make ferry to Nagasaki island…arrive getting dark and manage to find ferry port town play park for tent (we’ve had better spots, but considering how pushed for time to find somewhere it’s fine)…trip to supermarket and Heidi cooks up our first Japanese noodle tent supper…with Creme Caramel for desert (very popular in Japan, which is fine by us!)…and an apple to share (man oh man but fruit is expensive)…so 3 good weather days taken advantage of, and about 180km cycled…tomorrow wind changes, much colder, and….rain…we should arrive in Nagasaki mid morning…need a rest day to clean clothes etc…

SAM DIARY ENTRY-TODAY we woke up, took the tent down and had breakfast. The Red Kites came scavenging for leftovers and we got into the habit of sacrificing daddy’s breakfast. When we were cycling we went up 15ks and then down 10ks. I wish I could do the down part again.

JOE DIARY ENTRY-TODAY right now 10 secs after Sam dropped a pice of bread, and 5 sec later a Red Kite swooped down hit the ground talon out stretched over the bread! It was a fight Kites agility and strength and the crows idle hopping! For me the Kites braveness has been a big part! They also did squabble.

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