One Man Walking

2008-04-17 Miyakanojo Marathon

April 17th, 2008 · 5 Comments

I think I knocked out a marathon today. Without a data book it’s hard to tell but around 10 hours on my feet should have done it. And I don’t feel too bad. I do however reek, so my apologies go to the staff at Miyakanojo Ward Office where I sought help locating a much deserved cheap hotel/hostel. It seems I would have to walk another 10km to get to one cheap enough so I thanked them and headed for the park.

The storm had raged throughout the night but I stayed dry and set off early under heavy skies. It hasn’t rained yet but the threat has been hanging overhead all day. I reached Osumi by 1pm and didn’t even bother looking for a place. I was that confident of Miyakanojo’s size that there had to be cheap accommodation. On the way out of town I spotted a path parallel to Route 269 and took it. Either the old road or just a scenic bike path, it is by far my favourite road yet. Getting back on to 269 was a disappointment until I tried to pass three little boys.
“Gai-co-ku-jin!” they said, shocked to see an alien amongst them.
“Hai, konichiwa” I replied.

Like kids anywhere they were curious and rambled questions at me I couldn’t understand. I could explain my hiking poles though (thanks Gossamer Gear, they are indeed uber light, just waiting for some trails to put them to use). I bowed and said goodbye but they followed and talked more. They followed quite a way and I was beginning to worry they’d get lost or be missed and I’d be the vagrant they were last seen with. But since my strides were about twice the size of theirs I lost them on the incline, waving from the top before stomping my way to the next town.
path parallel to Route 269    three little boys spot a gaijin 
I don’t recall if it was Lucky Joe or The Noodleheads that taught me never to make a major trail decision when it’s raining. Don’t think of this as a decision but a possibility. If I set a good pace I may be reaching Nagano before the trail from Komikochi to Tsurugi-dake is clear of snow. Thus I may skip it and do it at a better time. Such are the forfeits of a thru-hike.

And I almost forgot to mention the random driver who pulled over and gave me a can of hot coffee. “Less sugar, more coffeeness” it said. Thank you, whoever you were.
Less sugar, more coffeeness 
Word of the day: kita = north

hiking  ·  photo

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Apr 19, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    It looks like ‘STRONG’ coffeeness (rather than ‘more’) to me. I love their matching bags, but one’s missing his name tag / tracking device!

  • 2 Alison // Apr 19, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Parallel paths may be the answer to less vehicles and more noticing things of more local interest.

  • 3 Chris ( // Apr 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    The Hotel Tateyama site often posts recent photos of the area around Tsurugi – you can get a halfway decent idea from them of the conditions round the peak:

    The snow should be largely gone by mid-late May this year I think…

    Good luck!

  • 4 craig // Apr 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    thanks Chris. Tsurugidake would be awesome to reach. I’ll have HQ (dad) watch the webcam for me :)

  • 5 Peter A // Apr 21, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Those kids look straight out of an anime. I love the “Target me strange girl” t-shirt.

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