Of course the time came when we had to venture out. We were comforted by the fact that it was only 30km back to Sapporo.
About half of that distance was covered on the fantastic cycling road that cuts through forest and urban sprawl into Sapporo, running from Kitahiroshima. On a nice day, it looks like this: http://www.14degrees.org/en/?p=1579.
On a cold wet day, however, it looks more like this:
Safe and sound at home before 10am, after seeing our remaining companion off (Aki), we were happy to have the rest of the day at home to get laundry done and a wet tent aired and dried. Tomorrow it is back to work.
Despite the rain, it was great to get out and about for a well needed long weekend. The campsites we stayed at were great, considering the very close proximity of the hotsprings. Worth noting is that all the hotsprings had attached restaurants with very reasonable priced meals (between 600yen and 1200yen (US$6 to US$12)). We could have gotten away with not cooking any meals at all.
All up, we probably spent around 5,000yen (US$50) a day for the two of us (Haidee and Rob) for food, campground accommodation, and hotsprings. If it had been sunny, and hence had we been more motivated to cook more, it might have been slightly cheaper.
A big thanks for our fellow HIOC members Aki, Rick and Michal for the company!
Approximate route: http://goo.gl/maps/NzLUj