Day 63 of 182

The fair weather patch of last week ended about 3am. Extreme weather conditions (Brad blown over) and some good fortune (independent minded train driver) meant 4 sodden bikes and bodies loaded onto a tourist train, and safe entry into 阿蘇山 caldera finally made. Arrived at destination town 高森. Thaw and dry at our new best friend: Japanese Laundromat! Warm, surrounded by hi-tech machines, including shoe wash & dry. Next to supermarket. Rain subsided to reveal other-worldly scenery. This place has seen some SERIOUS volcanic activity over the years. Cycle to ONSEN offering mysterious outdoor panorama of unfamiliar mountains. Strike camp railway station (permission received!). Small thing, but significant for peace-of-mind. Meant we could celebrate end to a 13 day cycle tour at authentic Ramen (noodle) bar. And then, for the REALLY exciting bit… return to already erected tent. Tomorrow we meet our new WWOOF hosts. Usual blend of excited trepidation.

JOE DIARY ENTRY-TODAY gale force 7 winds and hale invited us into a house where a train that could save us 1 day cycling! Maps really are criptic.

SAM DIARY ENTRY-TODAY we tried to cycle over the crater to our WWOOF host. The wind almost blew us off our bikes. (ed. draws detailed volcano).

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