Day 79 of 182

…early wake-up (Brad regrets drinking two beers and Sake)…sharp packing give loads time for unplanned city riding delays (very likely)…breakfast with YOSHIOSAN (look at photos of our host teaching tennis to Emperor !)…8.30am ready to go but first…YOSHIOSAN kindly invites us to see some of the land he manages when not doing his main job as Tennis Coach (was Kyushu champion back in the day…Brad suspect still pretty nifty on the court)…boys in front of bakkie, Heidi and Brad back…off we go for quick tour before cycling laden bikes 60km into heart of 1.5million population city and find campspot likely as sun setting…

first…drive up hill…hop off back of bakkie check out Japanese Blueberries (cool)…hop on bakkie…check out neighbours garden (chat, receive fruit)…hop on again…Stop, hop off and check out neighbours garden…hop on again, drive…Stop, hop off and check out amazing mini golf/croquet course YOSHIOSAN is building (with another Pizza Oven)…hop on again…Reassure Sam that we’ll be fine for time…STOP START HOP ON HOP OFF HOP HOP HOP looking at beautiful rural Japan…Heidi and Brad get fantastic view of the flat valley with maze of roads that they will soon be negotiating…arrive back at patiently waiting (loaded and ready to go ) bikes..but first some photos with very kind neighbours and friends Brad thinks he may have met at party (beer and Sake)…and around 9.45 four bicycles wobble their way down the hill wondering what a WWOOF with YOSHIOSAN (A man who clearly has a joy for life, with a love of People and Hobbies…Pizza Oven, home baked bread/muffins, Tennis, variety crops, mini golf course, incredible selection of english DVD’s on lazer disk, electric blankets, etc..etc…) would have been like.

…all day snake along the valley floor with many map consultations inching towards FUKUOKA ferry port (and lure of two weeks easy cycling on Honeymoon Island JE JU)…Glossy Magazine deep in pannier safely out of harms reach…enjoy semi-urban-rural japan, many small farms/plots being worked…not sure when FUKUOKA starts because whole valley seems to have merged…roads become narrower and more plentiful…more and more difficult to route…Heidi stops every junction to check map… eventually Brad loses it (still suffering from two beer and sake binge) “will you please put that b….y map away and just ride North…the ferry port is North…just ride North…North”…navigate North by compass North and back to being PINBALL…Heidi gets to stop every junction to check map…Brad is silent…smooth route into centre of FUKUOKA (stopping along the way at first proper Bike Shop since NAHA to get Joe’s rear wheel trued)…find campspot in a London Hyde Park equivelant…now sleeping taken care of…find ONSEN…

Brad FINALLY gets to rest his delicate head on sidewall of ONSEN…Jolted out of pleasant slumber account of Jets hitting delicate bits…SAM and JOE swim away giggling…Brad thinks about Heidi in Female ONLY section…Eventually, Brad falls asleep in NO button ONSEN bath…naked…warm…safe…wakes up…disorientated time and place…sees Joe, naked, frolicking away happily in jet stream bath…being watched by naked men…sees Sam, naked, chatting away to middle aged, naked, man…”Sam and Joe, lets go meet Mummy down stairs, shall we?”…

Heidi busy writing letters…”how was it”…”oh, fine”…go next door check out Japanese Restaurant where diners catch their fish and then eat…from the side of a boat…using fishing rods…indoors…I KID YOU NOT…drums go off each time a diner catches a fish…

Brad not up for the drums…return to ONSEN for great meal…SAM very high because gets to order meal from vending machine (Sam LOVES vending machines)…8.30pm make way back to identified campspot…late night tent erect…Brad & Sam fall asleep while Heidi & Joe check out the nearby night lit Sakura Trees…and the many visitors also looking at nearby night lit Sakura Trees…didn’t anticipate THAT in the daylight…so slight edge to nights campspot…

…Tomorrow we have to leave Japan because our Visas are soon expiring…we will ferry to Busan, South Korea…we have 2 nights accomodation booked because arriving late and need a day to catch-up on washing, charging ipads/camera/nooks etc…etc…then ferry to JE JU Honeymoon Island for what should be an easy two weeks cycling on a warm island…can’t wait…then back to Japan and renew (hopefully) visa…

JOE DIARY ENTRY: In Fukuoka one would easily miss an ONSEN to go to a restaurant where diners feast on their newly caught fish, caught inside. Scraggy mosquito bitten cyclists would miss out the restaurant to go to an ONSEN with jets of water that make your body fly up and in the deep part you can’t swim against it. You put your feet on the jets and the jets lift you up an extra 30cm.

SAM DIARY ENTRY: Today we went to an ONSEN full of buttons. You pushed a button and strong jets of water came shooting out fast. For the meal, we were given pocket beeper things which beep when your meal is ready.

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