Hokkaido – first day and a great introduction

After a day off in the city of Hakodate , relaxing , recharging all systems but mostly ME I headed away at about 6 am, Sunday morning . The day promised to be fine and so it was , with some sea mist earlier on.

The route pulled away from the coast after about 35 kms and headed up a long valley climbing up to over 200 metres. The contrast with Honshu was immediate , suddenly insects , birds , and maybe chattering monkeys laughing at me assailed the senses . Almost zero traffic , but so many other sounds from nature. This is Hokkaido — chalk and cheese to the rest of Japan. The small villages now have corrugated iron roofs and more colour , the roads are wider and more like home. Reminded me of the difference felt after crossing the England Scotland border town at Peebles. More like NZ. 

After about 80 kms I returned to the Sth western coast and headed steadily north again . A few more cars , but almost no trucks. Some cool tunnels — actually getting to like the tunnels , cool air on a hotter day and a just say ” thanks guys ” these tunnels save a heap of pushing up hills.

The route was amazing , smooth roads , magnificent views and superlatives inadequate to convey the pleasure of this ride.

Some old piece of Japanese naval history – no English signage 

After about 120 kms headed back inland for another crossing – only went the first 6 kms , as far as this Onsen in the forest. Had a great soak then headed out and found my first free spot to camp tonight. Just off the road . 

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