At 8:38 precisely the Nozomi (a very strange name for a very fast train) rolled out of Hiroshima and I was on the way to Cape Sata. Behind me I left Lorraine to make her own way to Tokyo. She should be fine because despite how confusing everything seems to outsiders everyone is here to help and with just the name of your destination and a valid rail pass you can get anywhere.
4 trains, a ferry ride, a hitch, a bus and 9km later I’m finally here at Cape Sata. At least I think I am. I arrived after dark and I can’t see any path out of the car park except the tunnel I am now camped in. It’s blocked off by a gate and they will ask 300¥ to go any further if I’m still here at 8am, which I won’t be.
The trains were fast and mostly smooth, as Japanese trains should be. A newly-trained tourist guide talked to me for a lot of the second leg and it wasn’t until the ferry ride that I properly spoke to anyone again. There was the kind grand-motherly one who talked to me first. Next arrived the local business man, no suit, he actually works for a living (this is all guess work). A much older lady sat to his left, never spoke to me but did about me. A middle aged lady sat across from me. She talked incredibly fast and I didn’t understand a word of it, but she gave me a bag of food anyway. Oranges, dry crispy things and bread. And shrunk into the corner was a girl I expected to speak English but couldn’t or was too shy. They had all been told what I was up to by the grand-mother as they arrived and they discussed it at great length, only involving me to suggest a youth hostel instead of camping in the rain.
It was dry when I got off the boat so I headed for the cape with the help of a ride to the other ferry terminal (I should have gone one station further on the other side) from grandma. She called her brother to explain in English where I should get off the bus then gave me some biscuits and oranges and was gone. So very nice and friendly I would have liked to write to her when I finish, perhaps she will read this and contact me.
So that almost brings me to here. In the mouth of a tunnel on Japan’s southern-most point (of the four main islands). All day I’ve been concerned how to get here as much as why. Right now there are a lot of easier things I could be doing. But this is my plan and by hook or by crook I’m going to see it thru. Tomorrow I put on my walking shirt!
Word of the day: ame = rain