When the highlights of your day revolve around familiar supermarkets and unexplored convenience stores, it’s a clear sign you’ve been away from home too long. Being on the road for six weeks has really illustrated how many comforts you can pare away from daily life and still get by as well as which comforts are essential to happiness. For example, Andrew wouldn’t be happy without an internet connection, Scott is deeply invested in the sanctity of his tent, and I get pretty morose if I go for too long without granola. Luckily, thanks to a good find today, I won’t have to worry about that for a little while.
Today was an uneventful and somewhat unproductive day. After oversleeping a bit, we took our time getting on the road, with a lazy miso soup and oatmeal breakfast and some planning and accounting time on the netbook. After an hour or so of biking, we hit our first highlight, a Trial Supercenter. Trials are a bit like Wal-Mart, but with a more developed food side and delicious 50 cent tubes of crackers. Up until Nagoya, we had been seeing them frequently, and usually stopping, but after then, they completely disappeared. We thought we may have seen the last of them for the trip. Turns out we just had to wait. We all stocked up on food, maybe a bit too much, and I, of course, replenished my granola supply. Our panniers bulging with snacks, we rolled away happy.
Not much happened between that and our second highlight, which came around 60 km later when we stopped at the seemingly Hokkaido-only SeicoMart. This convenience store blew us away with its extensive and cheap baked goods, ice cream, and snacks. Scott wasn’t quite ready to let it replace his favourite combini (Circle K) as number one in his heart, but it was close. We even took advantage of the free hot water to save some time making stew for an evening meal.
We got back on the road around dark to make a few more kilometers before stopping, and to warm up from the chilly Hokkaido wind. Unfortunately, a sharp rock decided our campsite for us. My rear tire popped a slow leak and we had to settle for a somewhat out-of-the-way spot in the corner of a school grounds. The bikes are settled, the tents are up, and I’m going to go have some granola and try not to think about fixing my flat tomorrow.
Spock: crunch crunch crunch