Sun! Load the bikes and park at the ferry port. How to kill a few hours? With a fantastic 3 hr walk amongst the wild flowers, alongside steep cliffs protected by solid railings of plastic made to look like wood. We shuffle past throngs of walkers also enjoying these open views over cliffs to wide open sea, a million miles from URBAN Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, and the rest… THIS is what Rebun island is famous for, and we are getting it all. On a beautifully sunny day!
Later, we walk along the road back to the ferry port, waving to the passing tourist buses. We chat. We laugh. We reminisce. We wide-eyed wander. On board the ferry we sit on the top deck and fall asleep in the sun. Finally we dock at the North Western frontier town of WAKKANAI and find a man with 55 years experience of fixing bikes. A father to son story. While he replaces and repairs, with Brad ‘helping’, Heidi, Sam, & Joe sit cross legged in his lounge being fed by his wife. For supper we eat in a Nepalese restaurant: naan bread & proper curry.
There are two days of rain forecast, but we fear not the rain. Tonight we will camp under cover in a semi-tunnel. Commonly known as THE DOME. Something of a legend amongst cycle tourists. When the man in the tourist office tells us about THE DOME we smile: it’s one of the main reasons we are here in WAKKANAI. Today. Before the rain. A dry place to pitch our tent. Happy Days!
We arrive at THE DOME as the sun begins to set. Signs everywhere to wipe the smile off our faces: CAMPING PROHIBITED.