Day 62 of 182 (Start heading towards WWOOF 4)

Transition period begins today (move Eastward towards WWOOF 4 located in Aso Region). Shimabara was a hit (people, scenery, geography, history, fauna, Onsen, terrain, camp spots)…weather helped a lot. Ferry Eastwards to Kumamoto 熊本 (unexpected treat for boys of feeding gulls from passenger deck)…effortless riding through pan-flat (a rare thing so far) 熊本 (Aberdeen sized). Warm & dry with tailwind. Unfortunately, got delayed in city trying to address some bike issues (some still frustratingly unresolved).
Although we still managed to cross 熊本 and strike camp near the foot of climb into Aso ‘caldera’, we didn’t quite make it over. Tomorrows forecast is lots and lots of rain (<30mm). Difficult to imagine after our purple patch of fine Spring weather.
CHOICE: With a couple of hours daylight remaining you stand at a junction: cycle upwards towards an open designated camping ground (it has been confirmed there is NO ONSEN) with view to using as base camp for rainy day. OR to carry onto next village, free camp, and push on in rain for a couple of hours or less (you hope) to a known tourist destination with abundance of Onsen, laundromats etc…
A tough decision with Brad, out of character, opting for the more conservative ‘stay-put’ option. Ultimately, the ONSEN (or lack of) swung it.
Tomorrow we don full water proofs, and head for the pass into one of the Worlds Largest Volcanic Caldera (crater of 128km circumference)…

JOE DIARY ENTRY-TODAY we saw a programme of a luxury yacht (before boarding our boat) with pictures of gulls atakin French fries off the passengers hands. Next thing we were doing that! (ed. draws gulls ‘atakin’ French fries).


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