After a leisurely start I decided to follow the back road from the campsite. It wound its way beautifully alongside the Takatoki River until it suddenly stopped. Well, it didn’t stop but it was blocked with a sign that said that the road ahead was closed due to a landslide.
I’d already done 10km and really didn’t want to turn back. Besides, this is an adventure, right?
The road twisted and turned through the thickening forest and the sound of a fisherman walking with a cautionary bear bell got my nerves jangling. I whistled ‘my old man’s a dustman’ as my warning call. The road continued beside the river for another 10km before I reached the landslide. While if would’ve been tricky for a car it really posed no obstacle for me and Chari. I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t have to wade across a river with Chari on my back like a cross between Indiana Jones and Bradley Wiggins.
The real fun started when I got to Echizen and the new home of two of my former students Wako and Taishu. Wako is 7 and lives up to her name while Taishu is 6 and should be called ‘complete nut-job’. I love them both. Yuko, their mum, moved to Echizen after her husband was transferred. If is a sad but commonplace situation where company employees are just transferred across the country (and sometimes abroad) without being consulted on the matter. Yuko is obviously sad about the whole situation but tells me the kids have gotten used to it already. ‘But they don’t like their new English class,’ she adds with a teary smile in my direction.
I play with the kids and Yuko treats me to some quality sushi and then I say goodbye. I can’t stay the night because Dad is not in the house. I curse the Japanese custom but respect it all the same.
The rain is hammering on my tent but I’m happy.