Day 54 of 182 (NAGASAKI…city day)

Huge change in weather fortunes…breaking camp exactly 1 hour (7am to 8) as in such prominent public space…packing bags easy this morning because wearing all our clothes, hats, full gloves, scarves etc…Brad purple hands trying to attach panniers…at least dry so pack dry tent…cycle to ferry port breakfast soya bean cereal and yoghurt (surprisingly lovely!)…sit family foreigners bags everywhere very untidy in ferry terminal eating shop bought food using loos, charging cameras & iPad…
…what does the man running the joint think of blatant misuse of facilities he will be cleaning later?…YESTERDAY: Same man who Brad super suspicious of yesterday and cycled away from in rude manner (I thought he was a tout…offering free camping in friends garden…yea, like I was born yesterday mate)?…Man makes us coffee…man gives boys £6 free sweets…man gives us £3 free tastiest oranges EVER eaten, EVER…man gives free towel for memory…man lets us wash dishes in his office sink…oh, we also given bag satsumas from somebody else just sitting there…This theme of free gifts common theme in Japan (crucially, with no apparent hidden agenda)…this feature consistent with accounts of first Westerners arriving 450 years ago (thankfully we not also seeing accounts of Seppuku & Samurai & Ronin)….
Leave warmth of INSIDE and go OUTSIDE…snake way through town and up, up ,up…tight road loads concrete Lorrys….big concentration required by all…and then….cresting the hill…NAGASAKI!!! So much to write about…city in stunning position amongst hills and protected bay…maze of urban sprawl…historic…
…arrive main streets and sleeting…decision made…cheap hotel tonight! Explore city few hours (especially DEIJIMA…only place of West link to Japan during the 200 years Japanese self-imposed isolation)…eventually, braving more sleet and bitter north wind check-in hotel…
…all 4 in tears of joy at warmth of INSIDE…Heidi ONSEN and clothes washing then city walk with Sam…Brad 1 hour bath reading ‘Samurai Williams’ (incredible story which inspired SHOGUN), then shave and Internet time…Sam playing secretary for Joe dictating Facebook message about recent bird sightings…7pm Brad change out of hotel pyjamas and slippers all 4 hit the streets of Nagasaki…
….stunning night scenes from their 12th room floor…walk streets, so many other foreigners…most shop/waiters decent English…sample different eating places…walk into red light zone by mistake…oops…eventually boys to bed…Heidi and Brad whisper plans for next block of cycling adventure…one more day bitter cold then slight improvements…but at least mostly dry…tomorrow visit Nuclear Bomb museum (irony of such a buzzing, vibrant, exciting, city)

SAM DIARY ENTRY-TODAY LEAP YEAR. Today we arrived in 長崎 and tonight we will sleep in a luxury hotel. For supper we each chose a meal from a restaurant of their choice. We also went to an island which used to be an island but is now concreted in. It was cold outside, we went to an art museum but none of the exhibitions were free and we spent most of our time in the shop. For lunch we had an incredible tasting burger (my favourite one I’ve ever had) all for £2.50 each.

JOE DIARY ENTRY-TODAY we all went to take refuge from the rain (ed. and snow!!!) in a big hotel (ed. Draws pictures of day in city)


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