It turns out the tunnel I was camped in the mouth of was the path to the cape. I found this out at about 5am when a fisherman came to climb the fence to reach his favourite spot. I had already climbed over to avoid the rain that was blowing in but not ventured much further. His friend came along soon, complete with custom rope ladder and helped heft my pack over too.
Though the therma-rest was comfy enough I couldn’t sleep much longer so in the grey hours of Monday morning I made my way to the cape. A derelict building along the path would have made another fine shelter point. At the final point overlooking the light house I said a few words to camera and set off back the way I had walked last night.
There were monkeys in the road again which was probably the most interesting thing I saw all day. A number of people said hello, asked where I was going and tried to tell me I was actually walking to Cape Sata not Soya and I was facing the wrong way.
A guy in a car stopped to say hello and spoke English much better than I can speak in Japanese. Others I used my pigeon grammar to nut out things like “do you have drinking water?” And “which way is north?”. By midday I was standing by a sign claiming to be 23 km from Cape Sata. I heard a car stop and the reverse a way. Footsteps approached from behind and the driver asked me if I spoke Japanese. Enough to get out of him that turning right stayed in the mountains and left dropped back to sea-level, which I took. My shins are pretty sore and no-one else will mind. I need some easy days to warm up. Which makes me wonder why I have done about 40km today.
That distance was to get past the long section where steep green mountains, that seemed to fall out of the clouds that hung there all day, and the road leave very little room for houses/tents. I wound up asking for water at Omaha holiday camp and finding the first driver from this morning (Kawaguchi-san) talking to the guy in charge (Taka). I was invited to stay and I accepted, a free room is a free room after all. We’ve been talking and drinking as others arrived. Two ALTs, two more locals and a retired sashimi chef roaming in his RV. Someone had fresh fish so we saw the master at work.
All the while I nursed sore shins. It can’t be shin splints so early, not on day one but I took two ibuprofen just incase. I’m going to keep to a normal pace tomorrow. Maybe sleep-in and find an internet cafe.
Word of the day: ganbatte! = good luck (lit. Fight!)
ganbatte masu = I will fight!