Yakushima – some kind of tropical paradise. Sure, with its lush foliage, balmy weather, and jagged mountains that meet a gorgeous coastline, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. But it also really knows how to hand it to you. Let me explain.
Monday April 11th
As Andrew shared yesterday, I woke up yesterday morning to find my ipod missing. Yes, my ipod with 80 gigs of wonderful music and my bose headphones that I purchased specifically for this trip. I’m most concerned that without my music I have nothing to distract me from my thoughts. Ask anyone who knows me, 3,300 km is a long way to go with nobody else to listen to.
A bit distraught over this loss and tired from Sunday, the ride back really took its toll on me. From where we stopped yesterday and posted our last update we had another 25 km to make it back up Yakushima’s East coast. A couple of near clip-falls and a mighty headwind made this quite a long trip.
We set up camp in the dark again and as I fell asleep I thought the punishment was over.
Tuesday April 12th
Not so. AaaCKRrOOAOAOAAArrW!! A gang of roosters and hens surrounded our tents at 5:30 and started their battle cry. No amount of shooing or reason would pursuade them to leave. They were on a mission to take back their campground.
The birds won and we set off to go hiking. Andrew was just about as tired as I was so when Dylan said he wanted to spend the night on the mountain we agreed to split up. Andrew and I would go for an easy day hike and Dylan would prove himself manlier than us.
After biking about 5km up to the trailhead with portions of the rode at least at a 25% grade, Andrew and I were really ready for some easier adventuring. It didn’t take long for us to realize that we hadn’t brought any food, so we decided to turn around after making it up the trail to a pretty stream and three huge cedars. About halfway down the trail I grabbed onto a branch for stability and snap, stumble, grab, snap, claw, twist, tumble, thump. I fell about six feet from the trail onto relatively soft ground between a tree and relatively hard boulders, one of which I pounded with my shoulder. I’m very thankful that I didn’t tumble down the whole mountain and also glad that Andrew saw the whole thing so I can laugh about it.
You know, as I’m writing this back at the campsite swinging on a hammock with blue sky above and a refreshing 65 degree breeze passing by, it’s a bit hard for me to complain about Yakushima. I didn’t sign up for this trip because it would be easy and now that I think about it, Yakushima may just be preparing me for what’s to come.
Track 2. Jamie Woon – Night Air (produced by Burial)