Although my haphazard style of cycling is fun sometimes, I can no longer continue. The weather is just impossible. It’s about 10 degrees colder than I expected, and this makes camping at random places pretty much impossible. The wind chills you down to the bone in seconds, even inside my tent, which is not very windproof. I camped under a bridge today, a fairly nice place, but the wind was very strong and froze me at night. I’ve decided not to camp any more at least until after Kyoto. Until then I will be planning my route and my destination every day so I can stay at youth hostels or other cheap hotels instead.
Depending on the circumstances I will also no longer cycle in the rain. Because of the rain I had an unexpected surprise last night: my sleeping bag was soaking wet… It was already very cold inside my tent, but not being able to use my sleeping bag made it worse. I opened it up, reversed it, and used it as a blanket, avoiding the wet parts mostly, but it was still very very cold. I need to laundrify it when I get to Wakayama, which is my destination for today.
Today I am angry at everything, because things are simply not going the way I wanted. I’m always too positive about things, but today is certainly a reality check. I woke up at 5AM from the cold (and at 1AM and at 3AM), proceeded to pack my stuff and started to cycle at around 6AM, taking route 42 towards Wakayama. By 9AM I was completely dead and sleeping on my bicycle. It really felt as if I was blind. I was somehow able to see the road, bumps, cars, traffic lights etc., but I didn’t have any energy left to look around and enjoy the scenery, or even figure out which town I was in.
The road is megatough yet again. The uphills are longer and steeper than yesterday, and the wind is incredibly strong, severely limiting my speed on the downhills because of risk of falling over on a strong gust of wind. On the straights I am pushing hard but due to the wind and tiredness I can only manage about 16-17kph today. Despite all the bad parts I’ve done 60km so far, about 50km left. If the road stays hilly like it was for the past few hours then I will die along the way. If it improves a bit then I might reach Wakayama before dark.
I encountered another touring cyclist yesterday: a young Japanese guy going in the opposite direction of me. He started his trip 5 days ago and planned to circle Japan. He told me he didn’t have a tent, but he had a sleeping bag which he would use for example to sleep at bus stops. That’s hardcore, and I have to admit that my trip is luxurious compared to his. I thought about continuing to circle the whole of Japan after I get to the tip of Kyushu. It took about 0.1 seconds thinking time before my mind answered: NO WAY. Kyushu is the end of my cycling trip in Japan, I’m sure of that now.
Also, I smell like shit.