Sunday, November 21, 2004

Conquering Mt. Hyonosen (or at least trying to)

Today I'd been invited to join some teachers to go hiking up Mt. Hyonosen up northern Hyogo in the Tajima area (where Jon lives). So I got up bright and early (too early!) and quietly got ready while Jon was still sleeping. Being from Canada, Jon so kindly gave me tips on what to do if I encountered any bears while hiking hahaha eeeks!

I gave Jon my spare key last night and told him he could sleep in and make himself at home and then drop the key into my mailbox slot on his way out. One of my teachers lives just down the road from me so I walked to his house and met up with another teacher. It was so cold! I was fully rugged up in a beanie and gloves and scarf and the whole shibang! We drove to a train station and picked up 2 other teachers. Then it was a mega long ride up to the Taj. It took like 3 hours I think, but I was dozing off in the back of the van. We stopped by Max Value (a big supermarket chain) to pick up some supplies and eventually got to Hyonosen.

However due to all the recent typhoons, there have been many landslides and flooding around the area. So halfway driving up to get to the carpark and the starting point of the hiking path, the road was closed because it was covered by landslide debris. So what else would any normal person do in this situation? Well after coming all this way, a landslide wans't going to stop my teachers so we parked the car and climbed over the wreckage and proceeded to walk up the road (for a good hour or so) till we got to the carpark. Seeing our time schedule was now pushed back, we weren't able to hike it all the way to the top. Not to be disappointed, we took shelter in a little wooden hut when it started raining and hailing!! (it was THAT cold up the mountain) and had lunch - Argentinian red wine, camembert cheese, 2 minute noodles and onigiri. They sure know how to have a picnic alright!

Since we couldn't make it up the mountain, we headed to another famous spot to see the waterfalls. They were so nice! I've never really been mountain hiking before, just bush walking back home. So walking through the lush mountain next to trickling streams with fresh crisp air was really relaxing and tranqil. The scenery was stunning, especially the changing colours of the leaves. Highly reccommended.

When I got home I was so tired and pooped! I had a very nice surprise too when I saw my kitchen sink clean and empty. Jon was, as always, a wonderful guest and he even did my dishes before he left! So very impressed! Thanks matey - you rock my nuts...or not! hahahaha

Had a nice, long, hot shower and crashed.
Man my legs are going to ache tomorrow!


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