It was a nice cool Friday morning as I started out from Katsuyama Christian Church where I was blessed with the wonderful accommodation last night. Rain was predicted for the next few days and I was just hoping for the best. Today I continue with day 2 of my 3 day journey heading back towards Kanazawa, the home of the Munday family (for those that remember), and the neighboring town of Uchinada, where I need to be on Monday for my lift over to Miyagi Prefecture, which is on the other side of Japan. The next leg of my journey through Japan continues in Miyagi where I will be spending time with some of the OM missionaries based there.
(Oops, I notice a big gap in my chronological postings here, as I realise that the blog readers that did not follow on Facebook are still in the dark about my first visit to the OM team in Uchinada and the whole trip around Noto Peninsula, with my 2 amazing new cycling friends, Adriano and Steffi from Switzerland, that followed before visiting the Munday family on 19 June and continuing on to The Lighthouse after that, which I posted about already. All the Facebook posts up to 19 June is still missing from the blog. Will see when is best to incorporate them, but will do so at some point. I still need to make a video too, actually!)
OK, so back to what I was busy telling you about. I was about to leave Katsuyama… Here is the front view of Katsuyama Christian Church, nicely tugged in between two houses. My fabulous sleeping quarters are not visible on this photo as they were at the back, on the top floor.
Even Shummie had a luxurious undercover parking spot last night and seemed well rested when I started piling up the bags around her.
Shortly after leaving, rain came down and I opted to hide away under some trees for a while.
The route took us through stunning scenery, with the first hour or two riding up into the mountains, then down, and finally about 15 to 20 kilometres of mostly flat riding along an amazing cycling path along a very scenic gorge that I just ‘happened to stumble upon’ and had no idea was going to be part of the day’s route. It was simply awesome and pure joy! Had a nice long spell with no rain too.
Then came one of those moments that give me this deep inner appreciation as I see one more piece of evidence that mankind was created… to love. To simply be the Love that we are…
So here comes a guy walking past me where I am taking a break at a rest stop, busy studying the local map just before setting off on my bike again. He stops and tries to help me out with direction. When he can’t help anymore, he greets and walk off to his car in the parking lot. Moments later he comes rushing back and say ‘wait moment, wait moment’ as he rushes past me to the vending machine. Next thing I hear the coins falling into the machine and he puts this sports drink into my hand, give me a big smile and walk off! I still wanted to take a picture of this angel, but he just waved as he rushed back to his car (the car on the left in the picture). As he drove off I shouted ‘Kampai! (Cheers!)’ holding the bottle in the air, and we waved and smiled at each other, sharing a moment of connectedness and joy. His intentional act of kindness touched me deeply. Bless your soul, dear friend!
Imagine a world where we all can easily just flow in expressing love and kindness to everyone around us.
Later in the afternoon my eyes started searching for and ideal camping spot, knowing that rain was predicted.
I noticed a deserted little park with a small veranda-type shelter covered in leaves, and decided to go for it! It was getting dark and this was my best option for shelter against possible rain tonight.
Not long and my tent is up and coffee ready. Quite cozy don’t you think?
I heard the rain coming down hard during the night and am so thankful for my tent. Can really recommend this Outdoor Escape Sunny II tent; its been a source of tremendous joy on this trip.
My ears awake first, I think… as the first sound I register in the morning is ‘rain drops falling on my roof…’ Smile… I love this sound and cuddle a bit deeper into my sleeping bag to enjoy it a little longer. Finally I sit up straight and start organising myself and packing my bags inside the tent. The rain could continue the whole morning or even the whole day, so I better grab my electronics and coffee essentials and go see if I can find a spot somewhere to settle down for a while. I can use the time very well to catch up on my backlog of Facebook postings. I escape from the tent and run to check out the ablutions first. Can you believe it, in THIS deserted little park there are even two benches in front of the ablutions. And power points to charge my devices! Wow, what a blessing! Soon the kettle is going and I cuddle up on one of the benches with Facebook on my mind.
Boy oh boy, what a morning! It feels almost unreal… rain is coming down harder and harder and lighting and thunder even lights up the sky. Truly thankful that I have this roof over my head right now!
A dry spell comes out of the blue and I quickly run to fetch my bags and move the tent to the ablutions too. Would be first prize if it can dry out a bit before being packed away.
So here I camped the whole morning. Had breakfast, lunch and several cups of coffee right here while the rain kept coming and going and thunder and lightning had me utter a nervous laugh every now and then.
Finally at around 2pm the rain seemed to stop, I packed up, loaded Shummie and left by 2:30pm for the final stretch of 20 odd kilometres to Kanazawa where I will be staying at the Munday family again for the next two nights.
I am very happy and thankful to report that the dry spell continued all the way there! It was a glorious two hours of riding in the fresh clean air and the smell of wet earth in your nostrils.