The day had been humid starting from the morning when we awoke in our honest-to-goodness bamboo forest campsite. The creaking and swooshing in the wind of the hollow, pliable trees had made for sublime sleeping conditions and peaceful start to the day. I didn’t mind the humidity at first since the morning was cool and breezy. We stopped at a closed riverside road stand with outdoor benches and counter after only 6 km. Dylan made a superb grilled noodle and kimchi breakfast while I worked a bit on the website and skyped with my wonderful fiancée Lori. To our chagrin, after a while, an ancient lady pulled up and firmly informed us that we couldn’t be there.
When we were back on the road, the humidity quickly turned against us when the clouds disappeared and allowed a burning midday sun to beat down on us. Glistening with sweat, we made our way over some moderate but very long hills. Somehow my odometer only read 28 km when we stopped for a late lunch at a supermarket. While we sat beside the entrance and ate, the temperature seemed to be slowly rising. When we finally got back on the bikes after lunch, the sweat and discomfort were intense. However, the landscape flattened out, and soon after a few beautiful, small rice-farming towns passed under our wheels, we were once again surrounded by countryside.
At first, rolling beside the reservoir, I thought Dylan was kidding when he suggested cooling off in it. I jokingly encouraged him to take a dip. For a moment, I could see him waver in indecision. Then, committing fully to the endeavor, he dismounted, wandered off the road, and disappeared into the trees. Next I saw him, he was several hundred meters away, barefoot in the mud next to the water. He ran into the reservoir with vigor and fully submerged with a splash. Upon resurfacing, as I recall, he eloquently described the water as “Oh man, it’s cold! Like… really, really cold!” Yet, he remained and apparently adjusted. I took a few pictures and generally laughed my head off. After 15 minutes, he was done, and we were on our way to Kameyama City.
Now, the tent is set up on some soft grass along an abandoned backroad next to a river and some rice fields. I’m typing this in a nearby convenience store. Total mileage today was an underwhelming 72 km. Tomorrow, we arrive in the ginormous metropolis that is Nagoya. City biking in the heat will take a lot of patience and concentration. With that in mind, I’m going to head back to camp and crawl into my sleeping bag.
Thanks for tuning in!
Crash: Have a nice flight, Lori!!
Spock: Chatting with the Y