Tagesarchiv: 22. März 2008

Tour de Kyushu [Day 6] : Mount Aso – Beppu [Tour completed]

This ride was actually quite enjoyable. After I made enough failed attempts to find short cuts, I decided not to test my luck again and took the main road from Aso to Beppu (Road 11). The traffic wasnt too bad after all. This length of this stage was 95 km and it included three proper climbs. The first one was less than 10 km away from the start, the second one 30 km. The second climb was the more enjoyable one, with me getting a reward when I reached the summit : a beautiful, indescribable view onto Aso and its surrounding valley(s).

About 40 km outside of Beppu I crossed paths with another (touring) cyclist. Since i was descending fast I only noticed at the last second that it was a foreigner like me. The last climb of the day was just after I passed through Yufuin town. The rest was a nice 15 km descend into Beppu town. There, I did not waste any time and got on with sightseeing. I did the famous "Jigoku" Tour, visiting the famous Onsen / Spa's. namely Onnishibouzo (to see: mud bubbles), Umi-Jigoku (pond of hot, blue water), Yama-Jigoku (steaming mountain), Shiraike (pond of hot, white water) and Chinoike Jigoku (pond of hot, red water).

After checking into my hostel (Khao San Beppu), I took of to find some dinner, after which I had a bath in the well known (if not best known) Onsen in Beppu : Takegawara Onsen.

This is the official end of my "Tour de Kyushu" as I wont be riding / cycling any more around here. Tomorrow it is supposed to rain and i will take the opportunity to  hop on the train to relocate to another city I yet have not been : Hiroshima.

Including the rides within the cities I visited I cycled just over 500 km in 5 days [on the bicycle].

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Tour de Kyushu [Day 5] : Kumamoto – Mount Aso

my legs were very tired and the wind just as strong as yesterday. i rode the entire 70 km against the wind, which drained every little bit of energy out of my body. i wanted to take a short cut up mount aso, which turned out to be a big mistake as the road that i wanted to take did not exist any longer causing me to ride an additional 15 km (half ot it uphill).

Eventually i found the road taking me up Mount Aso. However the headwind during my climb was so strong, that i had wanted to give up on several occasions. This climb had been the toughest physical challenge so far for me. And the mountain didnt seem to have a summit. I kept climbing and climbing. Finally, I arrived at the top to be told to go back down. the statement: its too dangerous up here, the wind is too strong! i had no choice but to leave.

After I checked into the Youth Hostel in Aso, I got back on my bike to witness the fire festival at the Aso shrine. It started off with taiko drummers, the continued with people swinging burning straw coils around. Anybody was allowed to participate with the occasional coil flying into the masses. I am glad i was able to see it.

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