Friday, 11 October 2013

Oct 5 day tour - Day 1 Niigata City to Snow Peak HQ

Well as I had been to Snow Peak HQ not so long ago I knew that taking off early from Niigata City was not a great idea as the volume of cars on R 1 that parallels the Shinano river early morning does not make for pleasant cycling so I set off at 10am instead. This time I made far better use of the river bank cycle path and around lunch time I had reached the foothill town of Tagami where I stopped for lunch at a 7/11 , these places are great as you can buy almost anything you need to eat and drink plus most of them have a western style toilet. I spent a total of 323 yen but ate a 4 pack of butter buns, snickers bar and drank a 500 ml OJ which was pretty filling considering it was so cheap. The weather on this tour was influenced by a typhoon which caused much hotter temperatures in Oct than  normal. The day started out at 28 deg , so much for a cool Oct tour !. I made my way along the foot of the hill from Kamo to Sanjo in the shade but once out into the heat again it felt even hotter. By the time I made it to Snow Peak HQ it was about 30 deg , I was already sunburnt and a bit tired because of the heat, but soon found a nice shady spot to pitch my tent near the toilet block. One of my customers who had recently purchased a Surly Pug Ops was camping on the other side of the kitchen block and invited me other later for drinks and something to eat. But first I needed a shower, that's when I discovered  that my small bottle of liquid soap had emptied half the contents into my plastic bag containing my bathroom kit ( lesson learnt buy a better container for transporting liquid soap ) . To me at that time of the day it was more funny than a disaster and after a shower felt fine.

I purchased some local Echigo beer and 2 extra tent pegs then rode back to my tent to cook dinner before it got dark. The instant espresso pasta was great , simple to cook but very filling and then I joined my customer at their well set up campsite, which included the main tent, shelter, gas lamps, Dutch oven cookset, plus cooler boxes for food and beer !, they were all surprised at our little I was carrying for a 5 day tour tour and the fact that I did not use a back pack either. That evening was a great start to my tour - drinking beer, white wine and eating some awesome chicken that was cooked in the Dutch oven, we chatted around a campfire to about 11pm before I headed off for a nice deep sleep ready to ride at 7am the next morning.

As you can can see it was a great start to my first days tour, the temperature was perfect for sitting outside at night and after drinking I had the best sleep of the entire tour.  

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