Waking up to a beautiful morning on the beach in front of the kayak place this morning was magic. Following a quick breakfast, we were onto the kayaks for 3 hours of very relaxed paddling around the coast. The tour guides were not quite sure what to do when Rowland and Alicia decided it was time to cool off by jumping into the ocean…
Following the kayak tour (which ended at around 12 noon; the height of the heat of the day), we set off on the bikes towards Bikuni, a short 20km cycle away. Lunch was had at a local rider’s house, accommodation for cyclists and motorcyclists. They must be accustomed to cyclists’ appetites, because the portions were massive.
The heat made the following 20km a real challenge. There was one big hill in the way. If I had any doubts about getting a geared hub for my bike (it is still set up as a single speed), this hill swept those away. I was standing the whole way up, essentially on a stepping machine for about an hour. Things were tougher for Alicia, however. Rowland and Alicia had just come from a week in Indonesia, and Alicia had picked up a tourist…some sort of stomach bug, which was sapping her strength and making the whole experience rather trying.
Tunnels continued along our way to Bikuni, some with wide walkways, some without.
All in all, we arrived in Bikuni quite disheartened and dejected. We were hoping for beautiful empty beaches and wondrous coastline, but what we got was lots of traffic and congested campgrounds. The likely culprit was the timing of our trip. Summer holidays coupled with a weekend meant that campgrounds were full of noisy Sapporo City residents enjoying the beaches with their BBQs and loads of beer. We checked out three campgrounds (all free) before reluctantly settling on a steep, stony beach away from the maddening crowds.
The site ended up being great, however. Quiet, toilets nearby, and a fresh water spring (what looked to be that, in any case). After a nice meal of potatoes and eggs (the guys at the Blue Holic gave us 10 fresh eggs), we were quite happy to be sitting on the shore listening to the quiet lapping of waves. The water was even tempting enough for a couple of the troupe to go for a swim.