A thick mist blanketed the valley and left water on the ground and on my tent. I twisted out a crick in my neck and looked at the time. 5.45. I poked my head outside and could barely make out the ridge line of the mountains that surrounded the valley. Coffee. Finally, the kind of morning I’d imagined; still, quiet, the sun burning off the fog and a cup of coffee in my hand. After breakfast with my host, her name it turns out was Yoko, I set off towards Nagasaki knowing I only had around 40km to the ferry port and around 4 and a half hours to do it. After passing Hondo I decided to risk the inland smaller roads. One thing I’ve learned about Kyushu is that if the road on the map is white then it’s going to go uphill. There were no intimidating mountains and I had time to burn.
If yesterday’s seaside road was my favourite so far then this deserted mountain road came a close second. Between them, and Yoko’s kind hospitality, they gave put Amakusa ahead in the early stages if the race for best spot in Japan.
The ferry was a high speed ride across a glass-like inland bay to Nagasaki.
Here I’ll stay for the weekend to let my body and mind recharge (with some special company).