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HORONOBE to ESASHI


June 14, 1999

Back to Haboro in the late morning, go up to the north further. Running on a dirt road along the coastline, pushing the trail into the mountain around Shosanbetsu, arrive in Horonobe past 18:00. Horonobe, which lies at latitude 45 degrees south, is the south gateway to Sarobetsu National Park. The town itself is small. I found a public campsite and set up my tent. No wind and terrible number of mosquitoes. I didn't expect there are such a many mosquitoes. Go to buy some "Katori-senko" (mosquito coil of incense) and set it in and outside the tent.


June 15, 1999

When I was taking down the tent, it started raining. Is it rainy all day today? Considering which route I should take today, the rain gets heavier. Anyway go ahead. It will stop soon, maybe. I Start going but touring on rainy days is hard for riders. Motorbike is exciting vehicle and very convenient means for moving, but on the other hand we have to feel hot, cold, wet, sore, hard.....very tough vehicle.

In the rain, I stopped at Horonobe Visitor Center. The nature in Sarobetsu National Park is introduced by some slides or exhibitions there and we can enjoy walking the nature trail in the park. Sarobetsu in the rain is also good, I think. It looks like it's letting up while I was heading for the next point, lake Panke. OK, it's nice. Lake Panke was a part of a sea in ancient times, that's why the water is a little bit salty. It is a interesting story.

Arrive in Wakkanai, most northern city in Japan, in the evening. Though I drop at Cape Noshappu, Mt. Rishiri can't be seen well. I decided to check in Midori-Yu Rider's House. Rider's house is a sort of accommodations, peculiar in Hokkaido. Rates are very cheap. You can stay there for 1,000 yen in most expensive case. To be surprising, Some rider's house are free to stay!


June 16, 1999

Go to Cape Noshappu again in the morning. Ooooo! Very good! Mt.Rishiri can be seen just before my eyes. This mountain is generally called "Rishiri- Fuji(yama)" and it is one of the most beautiful mountains in Japan. I was lost in admiration of the spectacular view of the mountains for some time, but I have to go. Go to Onuma Bird House next. This is kind of wild bird sanctuary and some wild birds are resting at the swamp. A peaceful scene. And next go to Soya Hill. This is the best of what I saw today. I stopped at the top of the hill and looked far in the distance. The three layers of Perfectly blue sky, the vast ocean and pure green prairies form a huge natural sandwich. Nothing can be heard except the whisper of wind. I didn't want to leave there. Then I visit lake Kamuito, Lake Mokeuni, Beniya Wild Flower Park, where I saw some baby foxes, Lake Kuccharo, And get to Esashi You Rider's house in Esashi after going through a flat 5km dirt road.


June 17, 1999

Try Kemomanai Dirt Road. A staff member of Esashi You took me there. I follow him on the taut gravel roads with all my effort. Then we run on old railroad tracks and a training course for motorcrosser. I jumped with the motorbike for the first time in my life. Come back to the rider's house at noon and go to another dirt road after lunch. This time run by myself. I run my Yamaha TT250R through the grove of white birches. Feeling cool! When I was looking at the map on the roadside, a policeman came to me and asked me "Haven't you seen an middle aged women like .....? She has been missing since last night." The policeman told me that she went to collect some edible wild plants into the mountain and has not come back. She might be attacked by a bear. A lot of bears live around here.
Head back to the rider's house again and drink with some staff members of the house until the next sunrise.
They served some Hokkaido traditional foods for me and they are very good. We drank too much.


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