I woke up this morning after the stormy night and the tent had held up superbly. I was worried about having to leave the bike out in so much rain, it can’t had been good for it but I couldn’t very well bring into the tent with me.
When I got out if the tent I saw dozens of fishing boats, all line up a little ways off the coast of Tomakomai. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ships fishing in the same spot, it was bizarre.
After the hurried day of cycling I did yesterday, I resolved to take today a little slower, and not just get tunnel visioned into covering the k’s as fast as possible. I was aiming for somewhere near Oshamanbe. the road to Oshamanbe was pretty straight and easy to follow so i would cycle in that direction until I had to stop. I was currently a day ahead of schedule too, so I could afford the time. There was still a low hanging cloud and that misty sort of rain, so I had to wrap up and accept that everything I was wearing would remain damp.
The rain got heavier so I stopped cycling for a bit and ducked into a rest stop on the highway for a coffee. This was a nice little break and also alerted me to the fact that there was an onsen near by. I hadn’t bathed properly since Wakkanai, and I had yet to experience a Japanese hot spring so I resolved to visit it. It turns out that the road out of Tomakomai has a whole bunch of onsen. I just went to the nearest one.
It was an fantastic time, bathing in a hot spring in the rain. It likewise felt great to be clean for the first time in three days. I continued on towards Muroran in the rain, but much more refreshed. Really enjoyable cycle to Muroran, not least because of the tail wind I had on the way there.
I stopped for lunch just outside Date where I saw a sign for a Nepalese restaurant. I figured if someone was to set up a Nepalese restaurant out here in isolation it must be the real deal. And it was too. The food was great and the chef, Ram, was an incredibly friendly and nice guy.
Fuelled with a decent lunch I turned inland a bit towards Oshamanbe and began climbing over the hills that led to it. The road had a lot of ascents that I think were supposed to afford wonderful views that I unfortunately missed out on.
At around six a settled into a spot to camp a bit off the road. With the rain continuing to fall and having exhausted myself climbing the hills and cycling through the tunnels that made up the route to Oshamanbe I stopped about 15km short, but it wasn’t too much of an issue. I had two days to get to Hakodate and the distance that was left I could do in one.