Das erste Essensupdate, von insgesamt guten fünfen ist online und unter Suppen im ‚kulinarisches aus Japan‘, oder simpel hier zu finden. Damit der deutsche Beitrag nicht zu kurz ausfällt, hier noch eine kleine Anekdote:
Immer wenn ich in einem Hostel im Gemeinschaftsraum sitze und meinen Beschäftigungen nachgehe und dabei eine Gruppe junger Reisender dabei zuhöre wie sie über Orte reden die sie gesehen haben und die sie den anderen wärmstens empfehlen, spüre ich die starke Abneigung genau diese Plätze aufzusuchen und selbst nach anderen Orten zu schauen, über die ich dann in irgendeiner Runde quatschen und schwadronieren
kann, samt Empfehlungen aussprechen. Irgendwie paradox nicht? Oder einfach die menschliche Natur, im Mittelpunkt stehen zu wollen?
Immer wenn ich jemanden im Hostel, den ganzen Tag nur am PC sitzen und sich abschotten sehe, nicht mit anderen interagierend, dann entsetzt mich das nicht, sondern wiedert mich irgendwie an; andererseits habe auch ich Tage an denen ich nur am PC sitze ohne dass ich mit vielen ins Gespräch komme und das wiederum ist dann ganz normal für mich, da es Dinge gibt die ich tun möchte oder nachholen muss. Warum gestehe ich das also anderen nicht zu, sondern schaue auf jene herab? Doppelmoral? Hat jeder denke ich irgendwo, immerhin hab ich es erkannt und kann nun daran arbeiten. Erster Weg zur Besserung also :D. Es geht vorwärts und das stetig! Bis demnächst ;).
Part III – A tough descending
It happend as it was foretold. From 10 am onwards a downpour befell Yakushima and I was happy with my decision to wait for another night. I still had enough supplies for this one day, but on the next one I had to leave despite the weather conditions. I spent the day with reading, and doing some diary updates. Around 4 pm the Hut was full with japanese people, which hiked regardless of the rain. So, no honeymoon alone, but a shared accomodation with bout 20 natives. I gues you know already what that meant to me^^.
Right, at 4 am the first people began to pack their bloody backpacks. There seems to be a general routine in getting up, they didn’t even set an alarm clock (at least not that I noticed), but their biorythm seems to be set for 4 am for all eternity, terrorising other peoples slumber.
And I got pissed, really pissed! I could have killed at that instant. You have to know, I didn’t get much sleep at all during the night, so I was happy to finally get my eyes closed but quite upset when they were forced open again! I really despite them and their early bird mentality (though they would even beat the bird in getting up early…). I just don’t understand what’s so hard in packing your stuff right before you go to bed. They arrive usually fairly early at the Hut and have at least 5 hours before everyone is going to bed. Even I could do it!
I got some nasty thoughts in my evil little sleepless head coming up. For example setting my alarm the next time at 2 am in the morning, and let it ring with relish for half an hour straight! Just to feel a bit of revenge right when everyone is in their deepsleep! I would enjoy it to the utmost!
However, by 6 everyone was out of the bloody hut leaving me alone and I could get some more rest. By 8 I got up, prepared the rest and went off with a beautiful start in the morning. The sky was cloudless, a light breeze went through the trees and the temperatures were still nice. It couldn’t have been better. I went for the car park from where the Onoaida track starts down to the southside of the Island. It took me a mere 30 minutes and after a small break I undertook the hardest part in my life yet. But the first hour was an easy leveled walk through the forest before it went down into the valley and the track got ugly. I am not exaggerating when I’m saying that it was a real tough walk and it’s reputation is more than justified. As I told before I was recommended not to walk it for it’s difficult parts and the river crossing (which can become really dangerous when or after it rains. On the top, right before the descending to the omnious river I had a fabulous view around the mountain hills and valleys. The first good view ever since my start in Yakushima^^. So I took the chance for some pictures and a nice rest. Getting down was hard because the trail is not maintained anymore. Only sign for it are the pink ribbons, which lead the way in a some meter distance. The path becomes really narrow (which is bad with a huge backpack as I have it), steep and slippery. You also walk through creeks and water (which ist not much and carefully done not dangerous either). This bit down to the river wasn’t even the hardest part, the river itself prooves to be the real deal. First I came across a river which I thought to be the designated one, but actually it wasn’t (even quite easy to cross) and 10 minutes later a ten times larger and more dangerous one appeared. I couldn’t belive my eyes and wanted to turn back first, but I already came too far and my ambition got the better of me and silenced my wits. So I spent 20 minutes to see how I could possible cross that damn river in one piece and as dry as possible. I thought back on the countless surviving shows I watched on TV and for crossing rivers there were three golden rules I could remember. 1) don’t look down, but straight ahead, 2) get a good and stable stick and 3) better not cross the river alone. Well Number 3 was obsolete, but I followed the first ones as good as I could. I looked for a route which seemed to be good and took of my pants, but leaving my shoes. To cross such a river barefoot would be stupid and dangerous, though I hate to walk in soaked shoes. Couldn’t be helped. For the first half of the river it was all good, but the sun shone in such a bad angle that I couldn’t see the ground, so I stepped in a hole, which I didn’t see and lost my balance, sacked up to my hips in the river. Don’t forget that I carried about 23 kg of baggage on my back. Fortunately I could regain my balance thanks to the stick. But I was a quite shocked, for I almost got carried away. Never take a current lightly even if the water is not that deep. I somehow pulled my guts together and jumped the last bit, luckily landing on top of a rock and not in the water^^. Making it somehow safety to the shore was really thrilling and heaps of endorphines ran through my body. The water wasn’t even that cold and in the heat of the day, quite refreshing.
So I went on, the last ascending before the big descening. It went really well and I got up there pretty fast without feeling the need to take breaks. I was quite surprised myself^^. However, the way down to Onoaida is not just physically but also psychologically demanding. As I said, is the path not maintained and without the pink ribbons as path marker you would get lost or do unnessesary detours. There are stairs made of stones which you follow for the next around 200 meters in altitude, and gets really frustrating. You can’t move fast, everything is slippery, plus it’s getting harder and harder for your knees. While ascending is tough for the upper body, descending is demanding on your legs and especially knees. So one just makes small progress. Furthermore you’re surrounded by forest without distinct landmarks or other orientation points. Even a map is useless in this kind of environment. So you cannot surely detemine your position and how long you still have to walk until the next checkpoint. Hence it can be really hard for your mind, and I would only recommend it to people who do not tend to panic easily. I got a bit unease, because the sun set more and more, and I was behind the times on the map already. But I could pull myself together and move on. Some 1,5 hours later I finally reached the next checkpoint, about 1,5 later than I would liked to. This point actually leads to a stunning waterfall, for which to visit I dind’t have enough time anymore. After a 5 minutes break I undertook the last bit which took me a bit more than an hour. 10 minutes after I set off, there was another river to cross right around the place where the water fell 5 meters into the abyss^^. I was all powered out, and intimidated by the sight, but fortunately the crossing was easy and done fast. From there on the path became more leveled and easier to walk. The forest became more clear and at the end, right before the promised Onsen, I heard two voices. As I walked closer to them I could dsitinguish Germans! In the middle of nowhere, after 9 hours of a hard walk with no one on the track, the first people I meet are germans! Awesome^^. But however we talked together and they told me about a nother German who lived on the Island since ’86 and has a small cottage and campsite. So I promised to go there after I took my rewarding bath in the Sento (public bath) which was gorgeous! I have never felt better in life. After accomplishing such a deed (on which I am pretty proud of) and have a relaxing hot bath afterwards is just amazing.
Past 6 I went to Jerrys campsite which was great to relax and have some good conversations. For my tent I payed just a mere 800 Yen, but I slept under the starry night. The temperature were high and rain wasn’t to be expected. It was a wonderful night. The first quite one in 5 days :D.
At 10 on the next morning, I packed my stuff and left for Miyanoura where I would take the ferry the next day. At first I wanted to walk the 35 k’s which I would have done in one day, but I was all done from the walk so I tried to hitchhike and not 2 minutes later got a ride to Anbo in the east of the island^^. Very good! At Anbo I got myself something to eat. A freshly made Bento with a big portion of rice and some smoked salmon for some 650 Yen! Just awesome. And from thereon I got another ride, after about 20 minutes right to the door of the Hostel at Miyanoura! If you do hitchhiking do it at Yakushima instead of taking the bus. But be prepared to speak at least some japanese.
On the next day I went back to Kagoshima but not before I fulfilled my promise to the monks in the temple and ring the bell again. Said and done, they were happy to see me again =). All in all it was a fantastic adventure which was not just stunning but also demanding for both, body and spirit. Here you may see some pictures I’ve made for this part of the track ;).