19 August, 2013

Our Hokkaido Adventure Days 15 & 16

Monday 8th July

Travelling from Nishi Okoppe to Abashiri.

On Monday we had another slow start, but were still packed up by 10am. During our pack-up Mrs N (the lady we'd worshipped with the other day) came by to say good bye. Of course we were in the middle of town, anyone who wanted could come and see us! Our hostess also came to bid us farewell, and we said good bye and thank you to the park custodian too, who happened to be a neighbour of the family we visited. Everyone knew everyone!

The boys found this a bit boring, it didn't bounce.
We're finding as they grow that it's harder to find parks
that they enjoy!
On our way south-east along the coast, just past Mombetsu, we passed an
intriguing looking large playground.
One structure in the large playground.
Because we weren’t in a hurry, we turned around and came back to check it out. It turned out to be a great stop that included lunch.
A road photo. Love the green! 

After lunch we drove past three lakes, one is the largest in Hokkaido, we believe. It is only separated from the sea by a thin isthmus. There were buoys everywhere; it is obviously a good fishing ground!

We picked the largest trees around and camped on the
west of them. Seeking that elusive morning shade!
Lake Saroma–one of the large lakes we drove past. It
is the third largest lakes in Japan, the largest in
Hokkaido. It is a salt lake, separated from the sea by
only a thin strip of land. 
By mid afternoon we arrived in Abashiri, which is the largest city we’d seen since Sapporo (we bypassed Asaikawa). Our campsite was up on Mt Tento. There was delicious word-play in the name of our campground: Tentorando. (The ‘r’ and ‘l’ being interchangeable in Japanese English).

We had a lovely breeze and a view of the sea and the remote peninsula of Shiretoko, which we plan to drive partway up on Wednesday. We also managed to set up camp on the west side of a stand of pine trees, which would give us morning shade. 

Tuesday 9th July
A day in Abashiri

It's hard to see, but being on top of a small mountain, we had a view
out to sea here.
Tuesday was a rest day, so we tried not to do much at all that morning. The boys played games, we read, I typed here, etc.
Pancakes for breakfast–yum!

In the afternoon we went down to the town and bought some more supplies as well as a replacement for our gas cooker (only a single burner and cost about AU$30) which seemed to have died, partly due to the high winds we experienced in our previous campsite. 

On our way back to camp we parked at the main gate and split up into two groups: I went inside and played a simple version of pool with our middle son and the rest went out and played a couple of rounds of Park Golf. Then they joined us inside, we also had a go at table tennis.

The free "rec" room.
For our evening meal we built up a nice big fire (free firewood at this campsite) and cooked ourselves a lot of meat. We were planning to have burgers, but when we got back we discovered our campsite had been raided by crows. We’d been negligent in storing our food and some had been just in plastic packets stacked in open topped boxed. The crow/s stole a dozen rolls, a packet of Japanese rice crackers, and five cakes of instant noodles. We weren’t happy, but that didn’t stop us enjoying our BBQ. We baked some potatoes in foil and made sweet potato chips too. Very yum!

This campsite turned out to be the adult's favourite. It had the best facilities for the price we paid (all the sports we did were free, including two Park Golf courses and the equipment). They also provided free wood, which makes for lots of fun!

The campsite also hosted my biggest cooking triumph of the trip. Because our gas cooker broke, I had to make our entire dinner on the first night over a wood fire. Our planned meal was Curried Eggs in a white sauce with rice. And I did it too! I made a white sauce from scratch over a wood fire, I was very impressed.

Can you see the sea? This was our view.
A strange aspect of this campsite was the regular gun-shot sounds. They weren't actually gun-shots, but rather a device the farmers used to scare the birds away from their crops.

Finally we got everyone to bed as the light faded (between 7.30 and 8.00). We were very tired due to the sun rising so early, plus a busy Saturday-Monday, as well as our broken night on Saturday night. It was lovely to have a slow day followed by an early night. Good thing too, because we were blissfully unaware of the new challenge that would face us the next day. 

No comments: