The Internet Café I had chosen last night had quite a suite of services. First in line was the oxygen chamber, I’d always seen athletes and the like use these and I thought it could soothe some of my aches and pains. It left me like a cloud, floating across to the sun, which was to be my next experience in the solarium.
Now I had never been in a solarium in my life and my Japanese hosts vocabulary revolved around shaking heads and smiles so I didn’t get much instruction. I figured I should do it right and off came the underwear and I lay down to receive my artificial radiation. There was a knock on the door to tell me time was up, in getting up I noticed my arse was a little sore (no not in that way) and had a look in the mirror. I was presented with 2 red ripe tomatoes where my bum cheeks used to be, my poor virgin buttocks had never seen a UV Ray in it’s life and had now looked like an Englishman on an Australian beach in Summer. I was severely bummed (sorry) at this as riding a motorbike would require sitting on my rare rump all day.
Well after that I crawled into my cubicle, stuck my head under a desk to block out the fluorescent lights and shrunk into the fetal position (no legroom) to try and get some sleep.
I had another little walk around town before heading off south to the coast. First call some coffee..
With the horseman I decided that was enough of Sendai and off to the coast I went, not before hitting a few more mountain roads however. My bum was surprisingly ok with it’s new found colour and it didn’t hinder my riding one bit. I was however once again stuck at night, looking for food and a place to camp, I came across a general food store which was the only place with any lights for miles. I was met there by a exceedingly friendly Japanese family who sat down to have some dinner with me.
Their daughter in the middle was only 14 and was taller than me (a proverbial giant in Japan) and hoped to make the Japanese Volleyball team one day. Alas, I had to leave my comfortable place and find a patch of grass to call my own.
Again with the rain and darkness I scanned my surroundings, trying to find the smallest patch of grass to sleep, ever the while cursing myself for wasting these mountain roads riding them at night. It was still raining and I was desperate, I spotted a driveway and thought, let me just have a look up here. There was a farmhouse up the top of the hill with lights on but there was a tiny patch of grass that glistened in the rain like a diamond would to Elizabeth Taylor, I was powerless to resist it’s charms.
I figured the worst that could happen is that they tell me to move on, so I started pitching the tent. I was just about finished when I started seeing movement up at the farmhouse. I was using a head torch so I assume they saw me doing something down there. 2 guys came down in a truck, I waved a friendly greeting and one guy had a big smile on his face, the other man was not so amused.
He continually pointed at my tent and made a big cross with his arms to signal that it wasn’t allowed. I tried to plead my case and made sure I told them I was Australian rather than American, that’s all they understood I think. In any case they relented and went back up, I was not sure what their next course of action was going to be.
Sitting in my tent I heard the rumblings of another truck coming down. I sheepishly poked me head out to see another man had joined them, he looked a little more in charge and had a smile on his face. With great relief he gave me the ok and Mr. Crossarms now had the sheepish look.
About 10 minutes later they came down yet again, this time they presented me with this –
What another little stroke of luck on the road, I said my Domos and Arigatos and happily tucked in to this quite delicious meal.