Monday, 15 September 2008

Roughing It

I was excited for the first camping trip I was going on since high school, a LONG time ago.

The rendezvous at Kamio-Oka was around 8:30pm. I thought I'd have plenty of time but I just couldn't get there before 8:40pm, even though I finished work at 5pm at Tama Plaza. This is the first time I've travelled on the Keikyu line since I lived in Tomioka. I didn't realize how much nicer these trains are than the JR line.

Lucky for me I wasn't the only late one.

It wasn't until 9:20pm that we finally left. For most of the journey we travelled along the Bayshore route of the Shuto expressway towards Chiba.

My particular highlights of this road was going along the Yokohama Bay Bridge with a really nice view of the Minato Mirai area, and passing Odaiba and the big Fuji TV building.

I can't believe how many toll roads there are around here. We made our way to Chosi in Chiba, and drove south down the coast towards Kujukuri-hama looking for a cool place to pitch our tents.

It was quite dark so we couldn't see much.

About 4am, we finally settled on a place in Isumi-shi, Misaki-machi. We put up our tents next to a car parking area overlooking the sea in the darkness, guided by our flashlights and alcohol. It was the perfect spot to be.

This satellite photo shows the exact location of our camping site and the eroded hill that you could see.

We all wanted to climb to the top but none of us tried it.

I took a few photos for this panoramic shot. It's not quite perfect for a hand-held shot, but you can see how nice it looks. Click it for a close-up.

In my tent it was quite warm and the ground was not as hard as I'd thought it would be, so I decided not to take out my sleeping bag . I slept on the ground sheet and used it as a pillow instead. With the sound of waves I slept pretty quickly. The next morning we woke to the sound of kids and their families down on the beach.

We had a nice BBQ of pork, chicken and bean sprouts spiced with seasoning salt.

Another Japanese family seemed to like our idea, left and came back with their barbeque set. Instead of gas they were using hot coals which made a ton of smoke that blew in our direction.

Thanks guys.

At night some other family decided to shoot off a few fireworks. I'm sure these would be banned in Australia. Some of them were pretty cool, but if you set it up wrong it could easily cause a nasty accident. They were letting their kids light it! Nice light show though.

During this trip I swam in the sea twice. I don't understand it when people come to the beach and don't swim. In the morning the water was surprisingly warm and inviting. My later swim was actually much colder but I got used to it quickly.

There were lots of large rocks under the water so I had to be careful to get a good footing while absorbing the waves breaking around me.

On the other side of the hill there aren't many rocks but the waves were much stronger and the large rocks made it feel more dangerous here, so I switched back while the Japanese looked at me like I was a crazy man.

Here are a few more random shots at our campsite.

The Toyota "Probox", the rented station-wagon that carried us to Chiba and back.

This is my tent (without the rain cover). It done its job great. Lots of room too. Captain Stag to the rescue!

Looking down the beach from on top of the breakwater barriers trying to avoid getting hit by a strong wave that occasionally lashed the rocks below me.

We went back a different way catching the ferry across Tokyo Bay to Kurihama Port near Yokosuka. From there back to Kamioka. Full circle.

From saturday night to monday I think it was a worthy trip. I had a good time with no rain at all. Almost perfect. One negative was the sunburn I received even though it was mostly cloudly on each day.

The other negative and this is a BIG negative was something I didn't expect to happen. It left a dark cloud hanging over our trip. Not a good way to end the weekend.

Read the next post for more..