What a morning! I can’t find the maps now but one of them has a lot to answer for. The ‘road’ that short-cuts over the mountain via Ushikubi-toge (pass) dissolved into a gravel path and then a water course before becoming nothing more than a part of the forest that had less full-sized trees than areas around it and fading to eventually nothing. It had been raining all night and was still drizzling as I clung to a vine hanging from somewhere in the canopy above me. Below a large mudslide lead to the rocky river and when that vine snapped it took some quick footwork to keep myself from becoming more forest debris. I should have turned back a long time before that. The only person I spoke to this morning had never heard of this pass and I don’t blame her. Only the crazies would try it. After a few worrying hours I stumbled onto a dirt road, possibly the one I should have been on to start with, and followed it north-east to 254. From there everything was back on my Nokia’s maps. Just east to 153, north a bit, more east and I’d be there. I was there. Charles however was five 100ths of a degree east in Okaya which explains the confused look on the face of the nice lady whose door I knocked. Out there in the country-side you don’t get many foreign tourists, on foot, finding themselves 5km off course and heading into the clouds. I’d only gone a few hunded metres off the main road and with Charles’ help I was soon in the right place and rapidly removing a few days of sweat and grime. It’s his birthday on Saturday and there is quite a party on the way, which explains the make-shift coolers and the meat defrosting in the shower.
P.S. in one of the mountain towns this morning I found a ITTF: Table Tennis Training Facility
Word of the day: mo-ri = forest