Day 76 of 182

Leave sea level and arrive Yufuin Town nestled amongst a series of volcanic mountains (rising about 800m above the 700m elevation valley)…ONSEN (♨️) galore…hordes of tourists so expecting local population frazzled with visitors…relieved to find good spot on flat grass near public loos AND right next to beautiful thatch roofed RYOKAN 旅館 (traditional Japanese style inn/ hotel with ♨️)…
first stroll into town, eat Ramen restaurant (cheap noodles)…buy alcohol and breakfast (standard practice when sleeping in parks)…Finally dark so begin to erect tent…tricky because can’t see Joe who has fallen asleep on the grass of public park next to public loos…tent UP, sleeping mats blown UP, wake Joe UP…cross park with 7 & 9 year old in Stupor State, carrying ♨️ soap & towels in white plastic bags…pass RYOKAN window and well dressed diners carrying plastic bags & Stupor State children…
BUT THEN enjoy ♨️ to ourselves in dark beneath bright Full Moon silhouetting lumpy volcanic mountains…return to our public park & loo tent carrying plastic bags with wet towels (passing well dressed diners)…
back at tent…Car stops (mentally prepare to get told to move on)…man gets out car…bags in hand…delivers hot food, pudding, + + + snacks, juice & TWO beers! Gift from the hotel!
Try imagine THAT happening in Aviemore…a second supper devoured…put two exhausted boys in sleeping bag…Parents drink beer in public park under full moon, planning tomorrow’s route through the mountains…Lonely Planet silent on next 2/3 days…tomorrow we cycle blind…

JOE DIARY ENTRY: After an outside ONSEN in the dark we were given a free meal!!! (ed. draws ONSEN using cross-hatching)

SAM DIARY ENTRY: Today we went to a 100% outdoor ONSEN with a full moon looking down on us. When we got back to the tent, a kind man who works at the ONSEN gave us spaghetti, takoyaki, yakutori, pancakes, beer, juice and a bag of snacks. Very very kind.

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