61 days remaining
Today we woke in a hut hidden amongst white Silver Birch and Bird Song. Joe’s clothes from yesterday’s hike & river crossing ‘swim’ are nearly dry. Heidi stokes up the fire for a pot of coffee. Dark rain clouds hide Mt Yotei-zan. We push our loaded bikes through mud down the hill and wave good-bye to a remarkable WWOOF host. Another family, another dream being lived. Later, in Niseko, we will soon meet Dennis, born in Holland. Cycled to Japan 17 years ago. “I arrived in Beijing and couldn’t decide whether to head South to Thailand, or catch the ferry to Japan”, he tells us. “I chose Japan – knew nothing about it”. Now Dennis sells the best tasting waffle & Gelato ice-cream we have ever tasted. Next we meet Tom, living HIS dream. Each winter he skis the world’s best quality snow. This Summer, he will lead cycle tours through Hokkaido. We press on, skirting the base of volcanos and following rivers. Tonight, we will camp beside a lake inside a Caldera. After an ONSEN in water heated by the earth, we will all lie inside our tent, side-by-side on the ground, listening to Jack London London describe Buck’s journey in a foreign land.
Tomorrow we will visit an area where mountains are much younger than David Attenborough. Happy Birthday, we salute you Hero.