NAGASAKI’S NATURAL COASTAL BEAUTY can be deceptive. Today, the team started out around 9am from our campsite in Kumamoto. After pedaling 20km, we rode onto our 11am Nagasaki-bound ferry amidst the motorized vehicles, left our bikes with the ferry staff who strapped them to the cargo bay walls, and proceeded up to the passenger seating area. A short but enjoyable 30-minute nap later found us docking in Nagasaki Prefecture. Although this sounds like we were only a small distance from the atomic bomb memorials, the prefecture is actually quite large.
The bottom line was this: we had about 70 km of long hills and ferocious headwinds between us and Nagasaki City. In my memory, I will mostly recall today as a day of pedaling along Nagasaki’s gorgeous coastline while wondering if I was traveling forward or backward against the wind. In the end, we did make it to Nagasaki City where we gratefully consumed champon, a Chinese noodle dish for which the city is famous. And, despite today being tough with all the gusty weather and inclines, I am greatly encouraged that my body is finally handling the enormous amount of daily work.
A few other things happened today. A nice bicycle shop owner spent about two hours fixing two broken spokes on my back tire, also truing the wheel in the process. Furthermore, Scott purchased a Japanese prepaid cell phone. Now, the whole team has a way of reaching one another if we need to separate.
I write from a tent in a small, out-of-the-way location in the Nagasaki city park with Dylan’s feet inches from my face. It started pouring rain as we looked for a campsite and in our hurry we could only find a spot big enough for Scott’s tent. So, all three of us are crammed in here together. Clearly the people who labelled this as a “3-man” tent had a dark sense of humor. Tomorrow, the team tours the atomic memorials in the morning and, if time permits, we’ll try to see some other Nagasaki attractions.
Crash: Awake but barely