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Friday, 30 June 2017 – Mom’s tent passing the rain test

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.

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Even Shummie had a luxurious undercover parking spot last night and seemed well rested when I started piling up the bags around her.

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Shortly after leaving, rain came down and I opted to hide away under some trees for a while.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Not long and my tent is up and coffee ready. Quite cozy don’t you think?

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

Thursday, 29 June 2017 continued – Mom feels like some adventure again…

My next destination was to return to Kanazawa where I would get a lift with Stephan Smithdorff to Miyagi Prefecture on Monday…  Instead of returning there in one day along the same flat coastal route that I came with, I opted for a rather more adventurous 3 day course through the mountains via Katsuyama, Hakusan and Tsurugi.
I left The Lighthouse in Mikuni at 06h15 this morning with the aim of reaching Katsuyama by 10h00, finding a nice camping spot, set up camp and off load all my gear so that Shummie and I can go ride some mountain bike trails in the mountains between Katsuyama and Ono. Apparently stunning trails, and Mom has not even seen a mountain bike trail since her arrival in Japan, so hearing about these possibilities was cause for great excitement!
Well, that was the idea… What was to unfold this day was a completely different story. However, Mom wanted adventure and Mom got adventure! Smile…

Started out with a nice and relaxed ride enjoying the fresh morning air.

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Going past a building that was on fire when I passed it 2 days ago on my way to Eiheiji Temple, now only the remnants remaining…

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Took a little bit of a detour to go see the Maruoka Castle that my Warmshowers host of 15 June, Taka , recommended.

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Enjoyed breakfast there in the gardens of Maruoka Castle.

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Reached Katsuyama by 10h00 as I was hoping, so all going well according to plan. In my search for camping options, I spotted the Yoshinogen Auto camping ground on the way up to the ‘Ski Jam’ area where some of the mountain bike trails start from, so figured that may be a good spot for setting up camp. It is quite a climb up there, and not first prize with this heavy load, but I will just set my mind on it and do it! Turn by turn we will get there.
So I asked my Maps.Me app for the route and it gave me a ‘scenic’ option through green areas on the map, instead of the normal tar road. I was all set for the tar road, but since the app now suggests the scenic version, I went for it. Why not? The distance and ascent was similar to the tar route.

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But boy oh boy, was it tough! The pictures don’t really reflect it, but it was very hard climbing. My legs were burning…

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It was humid and hot and I stopped often to give my legs a break and wipe all the sweat that was streaming off my face…

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Then… the foresty type road covered in leaves and pine needles all of a sudden became like a new road that is busy being built. Very excited I pedaled on as it was much smoother than the uneven surface of the forest road so far. Until I saw this baby blocking my way! Eish, what to do??? There is no way I can go over…

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So I will have to go under…
But… with Shummie loaded with about 40 kilos of stuff, it is impossible for me to pick up the rear side and get her to move once she is lying on her side! It took about 20 minutes to get Shummie through this opening.

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Relieved to finally work Shummie through there, my jaw dropped when I saw a few more logs that had to be taken on… Slowly me and Shummie worked our way through each of them, some over and some under…

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More and more logs followed and about 2 hours later I was forced to take a lunch break when Shummie’s back tyre was all misplaced after getting through this last challenge. The wheel could not turn anymore and I had to remove all the bags to see whats up. It was 2pm and I was exhausted… I I decided to have lunch first, sat back, enjoyed the view and regained some strength.

Checking out my progress on the Map app, it showed that I was not on course anymore. This ‘new’ road was not reflected anywhere on the map. Eish!

I knew I just have to trust God to get me safely out of this mountain, as I don’t know if I will be be able to fix this wheel, I don’t know if any more logs may be blocking the way ahead, even lying flat on the road and blocking any further progress completely. I do not even want to entertain the thought of having to turn back and work my way through each of the logs I had to deal with so far… And then everyone keeps telling me of the bears in these Japanese mountains!

All of a sudden I heard the sound of a chain saw higher up in the mountain above me. Wow, at least there is other life around!

With my body fed and full of new energy, I looked closely at the wheel and noticed that the whole axle came loose from where it is suppose to be. Very greatful that I was able to fix the wheel I loaded Shummie again and set off to find the chain saw people!

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Amazed but very happy to find this machine on the road, I stopped and tried to get the guy’s attention. When he spotted me, he immediately started clearing the road for me and removed all logs and branches covering the road.

 

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Once the road was cleared, he parked the machine and came to greet me. Meet Hiro, my next angel! What an amazing man with a caring heart! He spoke quite a bit of English, was very interested about what I was doing in the mountain and filled my water bottle TWICE from his own sports drink (I was very thirsty and without water for long by now).

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Hiro said I am completely on the wrong road and the only option for me is to continue with this road now, it is a comfortable road… just keep to the right at every turn and it will bring me all the way down and back into town again.

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So I kept right at every turn… Wow, this was fun! It was steep downhills and I enjoyed the wind through my hair. But then the road started looking a bit  dodgy and I started laughing nervously… This cannot be the right way! There is no way that this can be labeled a comfortable road!

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No way! Cannot be! Look at this!
Well, I truly hope this will take me all the way down, cause there is NO WAY I am turning around and battle all the way back up again!

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OK, so here is the good news! Amazing news, actually. My Father provided as just He can, again!!
I continued down that road until it came to a t-junction. Did not know which way to turn. Hiro said to keep right, but right was now UP hill and I wanted to go DOWN hill! Still busy looking at my map, a little van came out of nowhere from the left… 2 people totally stunned to find me there. Happens to be environmental people on their way into the mountain to get water monsters….
So they directed me out of the mountain. I had to keep left, going down, thankfully!

All of a sudden the clouds are building up and the wind is blowing… Boy, oh boy, where will I go camp in this weather now… need to find a spot with some shelter hopefully.

Upon reaching the town I stop to check out the map. and see a message from Chika (from the Lighthouse)… Now hear this! Wow! She says she arranged with her friends from the Katsuyama Christian Church for me to sleep at the church that night should I want to….
Oh YES, I want to! I am tired and dirty and sweaty AND the rain is about to come down! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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And look at this! Never mind just a warm bed, I was blessed with a whole suite! A kitchen and a lounge and a lovely bathroom WITH a washing machine and all the necessary detergents!

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On top of all this, the very friendly ‘stranger’, yet brother in Christ, first made sure there is good coffee before he greeted and left. I did not even mention coffee, he just knew… Thank You, Father!

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After 2 cups of coffee, a nice shower and washing on the line (under roof), the rain stopped and, as if the day was not full enough, I decided to go for a ride to the highly recommended Heisenji Hakusan Shrine, apparently covered in moss and very beautiful … Well, I am glad I went, it was very beautiful and tranquil.

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And the setting sun on my way back completed an amazing day!

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A stunning and blessed day!!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 – Mom visits Mille Graines, the cake shop

I got to visit the famous cake shop – Mille Graines (meaning thousand seeds) of Chigusa and heard all about how this dream became a reality for her. The tour through the kitchen area and conversations with some of her regular customers were very interesting.

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So many delicacies to choose from… which one will it be?

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The baked cheesecake it will have to be…  And a good choice it was – absolutely amazing!

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017 – Meeting ‘the cake lady’ and visiting Eiheiji temple

I went for an early morning run and was blessed by nature…

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A typical sight in Japan… you find them everywhere.

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Back at The Lighthouse, like every other morning, breakfast is an absolute feast! It is a precious time of sharing in the company of these two gorgeous women and is easily stretched out to an hour, once even to 2 hours! When the coffee plunger is empty Chika simply makes a new one! Hahaha.

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And this morning I finally got to meet the ‘cake lady’ – Chigusa Sasaki! She came for an English lesson and I was to be the teacher! Hahaha

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We had a great time of sharing...

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Since it was a stunning day and I have  not been on my bike for a while, Chika suggested I go for a ride to check out the scenery around Eiheiji temple. Eiheiji has this famous temple set in very beautiful natural surroundings. So I went to have a look.

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Just as I arrived I saw monks taking a picture of some special occasion. They were using the self timer on the camera so that all of them can be in the picture. Seeing their need, I walked closer and offered to take some pictures for them which they happily accepted. They looked way to formal for me so I got them laughing by taking photos from all sorts of angles, even got down on my tummy to shoot from the bottom up,  hahaha. When done they smilingly asked for a photo with me too… Some even copied my hand gestures of giving thanks. Smile… It was a special moment shared with them.

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The way back rendered some nice scenery too…

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And I made it home just in time to view another special sunset at Mikuni Beach…

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Meeting and chatting to this lady – finding out later she happens to be a friend of Chika…

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Spot the fisherman in the water? Standing on rocks in shallow water…

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Sunday, 25 June 2017 – Baking rusks, enjoying fellowship and volleyball

What an awesome day! I got to bake rusks, yes, real South African rusks!
Chika got me all the ingredients (with a little bit of Japanese tweeking here and there) and we were all very excited to taste them… Heee haaa! Tomorrow’s coffee will be South African style again – WITH RUSKS.

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At 2pm we had a combined church service with Bunkyo Gospel Centre from Fukui and another church at The Lighthouse.

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A bunch of great people – Dan, pastor Satoro, Karen, Jingli, Satchi, and pastor Chika!

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And then a sudden departure from church as I got invited to go play volleyball with Bunkyo Gospel Centre’s own volleyball team! June and Keiko take me into Fukui City but first treat me to the most amazing sushi on the way there!
Here I am with June… Such a caring heart and looking out for my well-being the whole evening until I was safely on my way home (The Lighthouse) again.

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All sorts of salmon delight… some of the best sushi I have had  in my life – it just melted in your mouth!

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Keiko, what a blessing you are. Thank you June and Keiko for this blessing and special time together!

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Two hours of volleyball…
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Had a great evening with these guys!
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And then more sharing over dinner afterwards.

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Still some sushi in my tummy so I opt for sweet potato in a desert form… Very nice indeed!
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Wednesday, 21 June 2017 – Special time with suicide attempters

Wednesdays are ‘attempted suicide ministry’ days… The Lighthouse is a shelter for people who got rescued from attempting suicide by the nearby Tojinbo Cliffs. See pictures of the beautiful cliffs below. The cliffs are patrolled to identify any possible attempters who are then brought to safety and counseling. They can stay at the Lighthouse for a month after which government take over with further support. Wednesday afternoons is a time to get together for fellowship, encouragement and sharing a meal together. Here are some pictures of the 2 Wednesdays that I was privileged to be part of this beautiful service.

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The Tojinbo cliffs…

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21-29 June 2017 – Mom at the Lighthouse… in Mikuni, Fukui Prefecture…

The Lighthouse is a shelter for people who got rescued from attempting suicide by the nearby Tojinbo Cliffs, one of the passions of Chika Onoyama, an amazing lady whom I got to meet here in Japan. I spent 8 wonderful days of caring, connecting, building new friendships, and sharing in the lives of many people while at the Lighthouse. A rich time indeed…

Let me share just briefly who and what I got to enjoy in this wonderful place.

The moment I walked through the door it felt like home… I am welcomed by Chika (on the left) and Satchi (one of the volunteers helping at the Lighthouse, and then dear Mitsuko, an 87 year old lady currently hosted there after being rescued from the cliffs.

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Chika… What an amazing heart full of love this woman has! My sister, you are such a blessing to every one around you and I got to be one of them for 8 days… I treasure the time we spent together and take beautiful memories with me.

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22 June 2017 – I went for a stroll through Mikuni Sunset Beach… A cute little town with amazing sunsets indeed.

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Friday 23 June 2017 – It was a beautiful day and I cycled into Fukui City to join this bunch of friendly people for a great evening of sharing at the English Cafe hosted at the Bunkyo Gospel Centre. The English Cafe is hosted every Friday evening and provides a platform for practicing and improving English and connecting and sharing with new (and old) friends.

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Saturday 24 June 2017 – From 10am the Mamma Mia kids club get together at The Lighthouse for fun and games and sharing lives and a meal together.

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My new friend Jingli with Kurumi and little Michori…

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Next to The Lighthouse is the small old church building that is now used to host the ‘One Touch Cafe’ from 12h00 on Saturdays when various people from the community come for a tasty western meal (prepared by Chika and her awesome team – Satchi and Karen) and English conversation.

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At my first table I met these lovely 2 ladies – Kinka Kato, a Chinese lady whose birthday it was that day, and her friend Li Dan. They were on their way to a performance after lunch to continue her birthday celebrations.

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At the next table I had the honor to join in the conversation that Kiyoko and Akane Yahara (mother and daughter) had with Karen from Malaysia. Kiyoko and Akane are keen hikers and shared stories about their hiking expeditions to Nepal.

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Aaah and then this lovely family… The Fan family. They are our neighbours and I got to spend quite a bit of time with Jingli, sharing many deep and wonderful conversations about God and His love for us. So, Saturday night they invited me for dinner. Daisuke, Jingli’s husband, is Japanese while Jingli is Chinese.

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After dinner Chika and Mitsuko arrived with desert for everyone! From ‘the Cake Shop’ down the street… The owner who I look forward to get to meet a few days later.

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Little Kurumi (5 years old) is learning Chinese too and practice some words with Chika…

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20 – 21 June 2017 – Kanazawa to Fukui…

For those who did not notice – Mom ended up posting most of her updates during the trip in Japan to Facebook and not the blog, reasons being the lack of time available to produce videos and lack of proper internet connection to upload photos and posts to the  blog. Facebook was somehow just easy to upload to.  All the Facebook posts will now be incorporated into the blog to allow those readers following on the blog only to also have the full story. Let’s continue then where we last left off – leaving the Munday family on 20 June 2017…

Mom greeted the Munday family after a divine time together (one day felt like a lifetime of connection) and set off to Fukui where I will meet Chika from The Lighthouse the next day. A whole new chapter is waiting… Who will I get to meet there and what will I learn and experience about God and His love for me and everyone and everything around me? Loving this journey of discovery!

Mata ne (see you again) Munday family! You are an awesome bunch and I thoroughly enjoyed you!

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Matthew and Joel seeing me off…

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Some off the scenery on the way to Fukui…

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Flowers are often coloring in the Japanese streets. These bright purple beauties lining this route blessed me intensely…

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It is as if they sparkle! I am sure if my ears could tune in to their wave length I would hear them singing for joy…

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Many kilometres of riding next to the sea and sights like this…

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Around lunch time this perfect hide out from a very hot sun appeared…

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Rested for an hour (or maybe two?), got the kettle out and enjoyed a cup of coffee of course…

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Further down the road I met these two enjoying a romantic afternoon. They were keen to have a conversation and we enjoyed some time together.

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Then this beautiful big dog came to say hello… Such a proud dog…

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And still further on… another beautiful sight!

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I arrive at Mikuni around 6pm and start looking for a place to camp. There is a campsite across the road but no view to behold. So when I spot this piece of open green grass right next to the sea, my heart smiled…

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Went down to investigate and it looks just perfect to me!

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What can I say with a view like this?

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Shummie off loads immediately!

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And I am set for the night…

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A beautiful evening… Dinner while overlooking the sea with many boats out fishing (those lights you see on the horizon = fishing boats).

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Next morning… A rainy day…

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But no problem, as I am blessed with a shelter right next to me! Stunning view from my kitchen today won’t you say?

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The shelter is very spacious – my whole tent is moved under roof where it can dry before departure later on…

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The rain stopped and I went to enjoy the botanical garden across the road…

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Beauties…

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Passing the Tojinbo cliffs on my way to Chika, my next stop…

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Arriving at The Lighthouse just as the rain started again… very excited to meet Chika! To be continued…

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Video – Day 4 – 6 of Mom’s travels in Japan

Day 4 to 6 still involved a lot of cycling and adventure, but provided ample opportunities for rest and relaxation, drinking in God’s Presence in the nature around me…

Then came the splashing of God’s love over me through 2 absolute amazing people (2 more angels!) Tsuneto and Akiko, who seems to have a very good grasp of what it entails to Be… Love… What a privilegde to be on the receiving side of their kindness and generosity.

Mom’s first week in Japan

20170519_190335_HDR.jpgI am being blown by the multitude of ways that I experience God’s love if I am on the lookout for it. Fact is, He is showering His love upon us 24/7, we are just not always aware of it as our minds are busy elsewhere.

While travelling here in Japan, I chose to intentionally turn my focus towards finding evidence of God’s love for me. To search for it, seek it out…

So I started seeing such evidence everywhere. Really everywhere! I will write the whole day long in order to share everything, let me therefore start sharing just the highlights with you…

1. On day 1, 17 May 2017, I landed safely at Matsuyama Airport and a man, Taka, that I basically know from nowhere, but requested via the warmshowers.org website to host me tonight, actually came to fetch me at the airport. He proofed trustworthy and he was there. I was not on roaming and had no internet connection so would not be able to contact him if he was a no-show, but there he was, waiting for me. And note, he offered to come and fetch me, I did not even ask. I later realised how far from the airport he actually lives. No charge. He did it for free and I stayed with him for 2 nights for free as well. What an angel he was.

2. Next thing was the size of his car. I hoped he came with a van, as this box my bike is in, is a supersize! Mega mega… large! No, extra large! But there was his small white car waiting for us. Yes, another piece of evidence. All of us fit! Shummi (that’s my bike) and aaaaall the panniers too!!

3. My Father knows I love sushi and, being in Japan, would love to eat sushi! But… being on a very tight budget, the sushi needs to be cheap. So, here we go. On day 1, He shows me the cheapest possible way of eating sushi! Taka was taking me to go hike 2.2 km!! up a mountain to go see a temple. No time for any naps after 2 days of flying over many countries. We are going hiking! But I was hungry. No breakfast was served on the plane that morning and it was past lunch time already. So I spotted a fruit place along the road and indicated to Taka that I am hungry. Next thing he stops at this sushi place. They call it a sushi train. 100 Yen per plate (R12). For R45 I had a full tummy, and of sushi! Now I know where to get sushi on a budget.

4. Taka leaves at 6h30 for work and a last minute decision is taken that he will drop me off some 40km north of his house so that I can explore there while he is at work. I grab the Japan sim card that I got in order to have internet while cycling and thought I’ll install it on the way so that I can use the maps app for direction and finding my way back to the drop-off spot again. But, o dear, I cannot install the sim as I need to do it via an app which I need internet for in the first place!
So….? What else would I find in my bag?? A ‘touring mapple’ (basically map book) of the area; it’s a heavy book that I definitely did not pack on purpose due to the weight. Yet, my Father knew I was going to need to find my way that day in a place where no one understands me and I have no idea where to go after being dropped of in front of one of the many Family Marts on Shikoku Island, so He somehow made me pack a 104 page map book without realising it!

5. Once I left Taka, my first day of riding with all the panniers loaded, God sent me an angel to help me sort out everything on my bike that was not right. In a somewhat miraculous way I met up with Paul Evans, a cyclist from Australia, who gave me stacks of useful information and spend about another 3 hours adjusting and stabilising my panniers, my handlebar bag, putting new cleats on my cycling shoes, and inspecting my wobbly front wheel. God knew I needed help even before I did, and he sent Paul who made it his mission to get me sorted that day.

6. After thanking and greeting Paul, I set out towards a free camping spot up in the mountains only 18km away, thinking I will easily reach it before dark. Oops… God knew I was going to get lost and not make it before dark. On the way out of town He made me turn around to stop at a supermarket and get food (just incase I don’t pass another shop later), as He knew that this was the last shop I would see for the next 2 days basically. Little did I know I was going to be spending time in that mountain the whole of the next day too!

7. Cycling up that mountain, I somewhere took a wrong turn and ended up lost. In a forest, all by myself, far from home, very tired legs from… it was getting dark and I had to make a call about what to do. I could not really turn back, and going on upwards was bringing me no-where as I was progressing a mere 200 metres in 5 minutes. So… right before the sun set, God showed me the perfect camping spot, on the edge of the mountain, that provided some privacy and shelter, and the most beautiful views. He turned the ‘camping out in the wild’ into an indescribable love declaration from my Father that night.

To be continued…

Mom is finally off to Japan!

With my visa in my hand and my bike in a box, I am finally off to Japan.  Together, Schummi (my bike) and I will explore God there and spread His love where we go.

All the preparations and goodbyes are done and I thank each and every one who is joining me on this adventure in their hearts. Let’s go love on the world!

What a blessing it is to KNOW that you LIVE… IN… GOD…, you move in Him, and you have your being IN Him!

Here is my VLOG (i.e. ‘video blog’, for those who dont know) on my setting off…

 

Mom’s test ride to Harties

Hi guys! The test ride is over and done with and was a huge success!

Had the most amazing support team who took turns being minister of fun, photographer or ride buddy.

And then of course one of the main objectives for riding – to connect with people along the way. Was blessed with opportunities to commune with loved ones on route…

Learned a lot about my gear, how to handle the bike, and definitely returned much more prepared for the adventure to come!

Enjoy the short video!