I was pleased with my camping spot. I had a covered table area nearby to protect the bike if it rained and there was a toilet and drinking water a few metres away. Ready to fall into sleepy oblivion I crashed out around 9pm.
Then, lights scanning the tent woke me up.
‘You can’t camp here.’
You can’t camp here. You have to camp over there.
I’m just here for 1 night.
You can’t camp here.
You have to camp over there.
Here is not allowed.
I’ve just started a cycling tour of Japan, I’ll be up and gone by 6am.
Oh, you all say that. If I let one foreigner who was cycling Japan stay here for one night then there’d be one of you every night.
I can’t move now it’s pitch black.
(In English) Come on, let’s go.
I’m not wearing many clothes.
Move over there.
Ok. I got it. Move over there.
I zipped up my tent and he left in a huff. But he’d ruined my sleep. The wind picked up to a gale and by 4.30am I gave up and got on my bike.
If it wasn’t for the wind the ride would have been perfect. Mountains, views, oceanside roads. But the wind fought me all the way.
Things suddenly started looking up at lunchtime. My friend Hiromi had messages me saying she had an aunt in Kushikino and would I be going that way. ‘If there’s a bed for me I’m going that way’ was roughly my reply.
The food was spread across the table: sushi, tempura veg, huge tempura prawns, salad, soup. It was great. We talked for a long time about everything I have vocabulary for and then their English speaking friend came round to give my fading mind a break.
I write this from a very comfy bed. I don’t think I’ll want to get up in the morning.