Aoshima - The fifth step ... the length of Japan. - CycleBlaze

October 9, 2018


We landed in Japan nine weeks ago - three weeks to go until we leave.  It is usually at about this point that we start thinking about where we will go to next.  Over the last few days many ideas have been flowing through our heads.  We will have to wait and see where we end up after checking in with family and business partners back in South Africa.

Last night's campsite, which we had to ourselves, was a great find.  An onsen and a konbini close by with the sound of the sea to lull us to sleep before being woken by a Brown Shrike declaring its territory.

Last night's campsite.
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Halfway through the night, I woke up and realised that I couldn't remember packing my clothes back into my pannier after finishing up at the onsen yesterday afternoon.  So between packing up and picking up breakfast at the konbini I had to go back to the onsen, find the manager and recover my clothes.  One of the great things about Japan is the knowledge that, should you leave something behind, it will still be there when you go to fetch it.

We didn't think today would amount to much.  The objective was to get through Miyazaki and find somewhere to camp south of the city.  For most of the way the ride was like a ride through any other city but eventually we emerged into the coastal countryside and stumbled upon Aoshima, a pretty little island joined to the mainland by a bridge.

The causeway to Aoshima.
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After visiting the island we went looking for lunch and found a great supermarket with a bakery making real bread.   We enjoyed an great Mediterranean style bread roll stuffed with bacon and herbs before continuing south to find the campsite we had seen on the map.

The campsite we had earmarked for the  night was just two kilometers south of Aoshima and was also a great find.  A wonderfully helpful camp supervisor, a great BBQ area and a laundry.  Things started to fall into place.  After a shower, Leigh got started on our laundry while I cycled back into Aushima village to pick up some meat, fresh salad vegetables and some more real bread.  I also managed to find the same brand of Chilean wine with which we celebrated our arrival in Puerto Natales earlier this year - the wine is so-so but the label features a bicycle.  Supper was a great braai (BBQ to the non-Jaapies) with food tasting quite different to what we have been eating for the past two months.

Ons gaan nou braai!
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Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 3,009 km (1,869 miles)

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