In university I had a dream about going off on an adventure around the world on my bike. Just my tent and food strapped to the back, riding through the wild mountains of India, the bustling streets of Istanbul and the vineyards of France. Most of all, I was looking for freedom. Freedom from fixed plans, freedom from where I had found myself, freedom from the walls I had made. I wanted to feel life, not just drift through it. The cycling trip I took wasn't as long as I dreamt of in those late night study sessions, but broke me open to the power with all have within us.
Remembering previous overseas trips and the burst of confidence I felt when exploring new places, I booked a flight with two days notice to Osaka, Japan. This series of posts is the journal of my journey there.
Each blog post will be one day of the trip, accompanied by photos. Without further ado, here's the first post.
After two days of semi preparing and looking around Osaka, I set out into the wilderness of bitumen roads. I headed out of Osaka city around 9:00am following route 128. Slowly I left the confined space of the city and felt it expand as I moved my way north. Switching to route 173, I started to ascend into the mountains.
The roads had wide edging for bikes and all the drivers were very courteous. The hardest bits of the day were when tunnels started popping up regularly. With very little room on the raised side edge, I did feel vulnerable. Eventually I hit the snow line. The side of the roads covered in freshly fallen powder. The huge birch trees met with the road, clearly defining where humans dared to enter.
I made it to the top of the pass and was treated with a long downhill run, weaving through the forest. After this there was less forest and more rice paddies, waiting for the turn of the season. By now I was feeling exhausted and was on the lookout for somewhere to pitch the tent. I found a bit of clearing next to a rice paddy, sheltered from the road by a line of trees. Perfect for the budding wild camper! After pitching the tent, the farmer drove passed and stopped for a chat. After much incomprehension on either side, he got back in his truck and drove off. Possibly wondering if I would survive the night. Finishing the day with a healthy dose of chocolate and approximately 10km south of Ayabe, I dosed off eventually to a very cold night.
Campsite Location: Average
Sleeping Quality: Poor (boggy & on a slope)
Sleep Quality: Poor (very cold)
Want to book your own trip to Japan with two days notice? Search for flights here! 😉