Well after seeing a few bear type signs and using an app ( unsuccessfully to get the meaning ) I did decide to have a good look around my camp for sign of Bear . No fresh shit so I can not cetegorically answer the age old question – lets just assume they do.
Took a few basic precautions – put my foods scraps In a bag suspended in a tree and away from the tent. Went to bed early as mosquitos are troublesome on Hokkaido. Was a little weary and started to nod while reading the iPad. Must have drifted off as I woke with a start , and heard this distinctive GRUNT
Oh bugger – not a Bear !! I listened with baited breath as I started to imagine what on earth i could do. I had my camping knife close at hand — about 150 mm blade and imagined the killing thrust. I regretted ever watching that recent film ” Revernance ” as it somehow didn’t help at all. Time ticked by slowly and no outside noises heard. Eventually I concluded that I probably woke myself with the ” Grunt” . Finally drifted off to sleep and stopped worrying 😊
Hokkaido is a particularly cold place with a very short but vibrant summer. Huge number of insects madly reproducing and one will swallow them if your mouth is open. Some nasty flies bite. Locals seem to go all out for colour , bit like the Swiss and plant incredible flowers
Started the day with a quiet climb up to about 400 metres . Had a few really nice tunnels that saved a bit of climbing effort
Cycled past lake Toya – has a resort type setup bit like Queenstown -lots of package tourists in buses and hotels. Seemed all Asian tourists – maybe Japanese
Distant snow clad peaks are hard to spot due to the haze — can you see this one ?
Was a big day — topped at about 140 kms and free camped next to a river and a wonderful Onsen up on the hill. Not sure if I am allowed here – but they can only chuck me out eh 😉