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Week 2 - From nowhere to somewhere!

It is amazing how motivating fear can be! After our previous day's 22km effort in search of the next available toilet, we had vowed never to go over our daily limit of 15km again - ever! Our bear encounter the night before had changed all that. As we tightened the last strap and walked out onto the highway heading south, we were looking down the barrell of what would be our longest walk to date - 26kms of nothing but coastline, birds, and lurking somewhere in the bushes beside us, that bear.

As we walked along, there was something about this wild place that I knew I was going to miss once we began reaching the towns again. Out here where the only thing before you is nothing, you begin to enjoy the anticipation of what you might find over the next hill or around the next corner. With nothing to keep you occupied except for your imagination, the excitement of that unknown is something that is easily lost in the city where our senses are overridden by the gadgetry that has taken up such a big part of our modern lives.

Sitting here in the comfort of my gadgetry filled room however, it's easy to say that! I do recall now that our strongest thoughts at the time revolved more around food, toilets, baths and bears. Ahh the simple things in life! By kilometer 20, our imaginations that had been so happy anticipating what was around the next corner, had obviously failed to make an accurate mental note of the distances between sign posts and as we approached Teshio, we were shocked to discover that we had a few more than the few kilometers we had been dreaming of. With parched throats and a setting sun, all we could think of as we struggled in to Teshio was 'I hope it's around that next bloody corner!!"

We did make it, and the effort called for our first rest day of the trip. After waking Miki from the dead, we revelled in our first day of sun in what has to be one of the prettiest towns we have ever been to. Grass like a well manicured golf green lined every street of this ancient Kofun village. Famous for its Shijimi jiro - or mussel soup, we indulged in as much of the local produce as we could, knowing full well that from tomorrow, we would be back on the soggy sandwiches once again. It was a job made easier by our fortunate meeting with the Mr and Mrs Kuwamura, locals who ran the best restaurant in town, who kindly filled our tummies with the most delicious tonkatsu and our imaginations with the most fantastic tales from adventures past. Contented, we ended our most perfect of days with the sun setting over the sea from a little place that had, in such a short amount of time, managed to steal a little piece of our hearts.

Little did we know, that the going was about to get much tougher!

posted by Mick and Miki Tan @ 3:21 PM,

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