Approaching Nasu should have been a straight forward affair. I made sure it wasn’t though and spiced things up by taking a country road that would essentially lead on for an eternity and further on into oblivion. Things always get a little nervy when you haven’t seen a road sign for a town for at least an hour, the only sign I did come across was a ‘BEWARE BEARS’ sign and a picture of an angry bear revealing his flesh rippingly spiteful gnashers, just to emphasize the fact that bears have the integral power to be nasty bastards. Statistically however it is most commonly old ladies that get eaten by bears in Japan when their out in the woods pottering about looking for mountain veg for their supper. I should imagine that they taste a little overly ripe to me, but then I’m no granny munching connoisseur like the big bad Brown Bear.
The road twisted and it turned and possessed the seeming ability to lead off on a tangent to nowhere in particular. Yet, when one is so far down a road it gets to a stage purely out of stubbornness that one just cannot simply return from whence one came. So you just have to be a little reckless and keep pushing forward in the hope that at some point you are imminently thrown a bone. My compass although relevant cannot deter a country road from changing its alignment, if the road wanted to suddenly change direction and go the complete opposite way to your liking then it will damn well do so! And this is what can make these country roads such hard work at times, it appears that they have no passion for common sense, they will just meander on like a winding river and do as they please. Where they end up is stuff of legend….well, it is if you are me anyway!
Eventually I would get back on track, and when one does actually see a sign for your designated town, in this instance ‘Nasu’ you become endowed with a brief burst of excitement that you’re doing the right thing. You even peddle a little faster, not to fast, but just enough to feel a little extra pain. I made it to Nasu a little before dusk and noticed how significantly colder things had begun to get the more northerly into the mountains I proceeded. Thankfully I was staying in a cosy cabin for the next couple of nights, to camp would be to compel oneself to a certain death. In the back of my mind lay the Fukushima Skyline, just the mildest of thoughts made me shudder with dread. I compartmentalized the thought to focus on the present.
There were just a few other guests staying at the Ittan Guesthouse. The two young chaps working there Kubo and Kazuyuki invited me over to the lounge area for some food and drink. Kazuyuki cooked up a mean feast for a meagre fee to which after a long day I gladly wolfed down. His partner in crime Kubo, dressed in snowboarding attire tried his best to engage me in conversation amongst the other Japanese guests. But alas after feasting and the all important compulsory beer my Japanese was about as good as that of a carrots. My cabin bed was willing me over with its snugness. I said my farewells for the night and retreated. It was freezing outside as I walked back to my room and snowflakes were beginning to gently fall around me. It appeared that Tochigi’s winter was still in full swing. Yet inside my room the gas heater was raging, warm and cosy like a big lovely vagina, I slept like a corpse.
14oC Bright, windy.
Today – 55.7 miles (89.64km) – ODO – 573.0miles (922.15km)
Total Run Time -61:13