31 July, 2013

Our Hokkaido Adventure Day 9

This was approximately our route. We started out using
non-toll roads, but switched to the tolled expressway
after we realised it was taking too long. That expressway
ran out before we got close to our destination,
however, as the expressways don't go that far from Sapporo.
We didn't see any more until we got close to Sapporo
again later in the trip.
Monday July 1
Sapporo to Shumarinaiko (lake)

It was a busy day, the first day in our trip where we packed up camp, drove and then re-erected our camp. Most of the boys were helpful 90% of the time. That was wonderful!
A map of the man-made lake.

It was only a drive of about 240km, but it took about four hours because speed limits on Japanese roads, rural or not, are 50km/hr.
Shinbetsu, a stop on the way. This was our last big town—
about 23,000—before the campsite and we'd
realised that we needed a few extra supplies before heading
out to the lake. I stayed at this playground with the boys while
David went shopping

This time we’re located on the edge of a large lake (8km long) called Shumarinai Lake in the north-east of Hokkaido. It was the furtherest north any of us had ever been in this world. It was about 33km from the nearest town, but that took about 45 minutes due to the aforementioned speed limit.

Lookout, pity about the power lines!

"Syu" is another way to start the name of this lake,
it looks odd to me, but is a reminder that we are, after all
 using Roman letters to represent the language.
There were very few people out there, it turned out to be our most isolated and "natural" campsite. Most of our other camps were near towns (as in less than 30 minutes from) and in campsites that were very clearly developed. This one had some flat spots levelled between trees, but I don't think many trees had been taken out.

We had only one neighbour that we could see, a single man camping out of his van, and he was about 100 m away through the trees and across a small inlet. We were only about 20 m from the water, but up a-ways.

We had a great view from our outside “dining” room. Compared to Sapporo, it’s really still, we had quite a lot of wind at our previous campsite.

And contrary to our expectations it was warm. We slept in our sleeping bags, but in shorts and t-shirts.

We didn’t have electricity, but about 30 m away was a roofed area with sinks, running water, and power outlets. About 100m away were toilets. The showers were further away up the hill, but you only need to go there once a day (“if that” some would say). The showers were very clean and deserve a paragraph all of their own (and several photos).

View from our tent at dusk.
The showers were intriguing. We've seen their type once before at a campsite, I'm guessing that a few Australian parents would like to have a shower like this in their house. You pay ¥100 for your five minute shower, and there is a countdown on a screen. When your five minutes are up, the water shuts off. Nothing will turn the water on again except putting in more money! The bonus of these are that they are private and clean. Each shower is an individual unit, that you must shut and lock the door on, otherwise the light goes out! 
Natural campsite

The outside of the showers.
Where you put your money.
The temperature control and the display where you see how much time you have left.
A view from the outside. Beautiful!
Unfortunately I left my soap-free cleanser in this shower. Cleanser brought in a suitcase from Australia. Darn!

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