Just next to the Yomoto Onsen camping ground is the Yukichichibu hotspring. You’d not want to soak in this one…
After wandering around the boiling pond, trying not to breathe too much of the sulfur gasses in, we were back into downhill mode for a half hour or so on the typically silky smooth roads.
The idea for today was to meet up with Saoka, Haidee’s friend from Sapporo. This would increaase our merry troupe to five happy cyclists. Saoka is joining us for three days of cycling, and we met her at the Milk Factory just out of Niseko. Hokkaido in general has a strong agricultural brand, whereby any produce from Hokkaido is considered natural and delicious (which it is). This includes dairy products. In any case, the Milk Factory is all about milk products. Icecream, custards, eclairs…
We met up with Saoka at 10:30am, and continued on our merry way, Rowland still cycling in bare feet due to annoying blisters.
The weather was probably the hottest today it has been so far. We made a leisurely stop at the Niseko View Plaza, and everyone was feeling effects of exhaustion. Especially so was Rowland. He had a sore stomach and cramps, presumably due to the same bug that Alicia was suffering from a few days earlier. He seemed more put out that he was not able to stomach the delicious foods on offer at the plaza.
Lunch over, and Saoka suggested that we head for a small swimming hole she knew about on a friend’s farm. She had once done WOOFing on the farm. A couple of friendly dogs followed us down the gravel road to a stream so frigid not even Rowland was keen to get entirely into the water.
From the swimming hole it was only a short ride to our camping spot in the foothills of Mt. Yotei. The camping ground is the Mt. Yotei Nature Park Camping Ground. It has more or less exactly the same facilities as last night’s free camping ground, but costs about 6ooyen (about US$5) each a night. Alicia was happy, however, to find a few water sources to cool off with on the way up to the camp ground.
The camping ground itself was quite new. We set up our tents with next to the outdoor kitchen area, and quickly transformed the area into our own personal kitchen/laundry.
Whether it was just due to the passing of time, the passing of something else, or the Chinese medicine we bought earlier in the day, Alicia and Rowland were starting to feel better today. It should be a great remainder of a trip.