Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The best laid schemes of mice and men...

...often go awry.

Cycles are everywhere in Osaka
We were due to depart Osaka yesterday, Monday 16th September. However it turns out that the rain we experienced yesterday was in fact the precursor of Typhoon Man-yi which during the night had inundated the rivers at Wakayama, near to where we had been travelling yesterday. The previous evening we had been watching the news (in Japanese) and noticed that a lot of attention seemed to be focused on a big red swirl just off the coastline.
'That looks like it might be serious,' Mick said.
'Oh nonsense, I expect that's for next week,' I replied. 'I read something about rain next weekend. We should set off in the morning. Otherwise we'll never get going. It's only a bit of rain.'
Mick looked doubtful but said nothing.
Now when I woke him and told him there was no way we could leave today because we were in the middle of a typhoon he said, 'Yes I thought it was but I didn't want to say.'
I stared at him. 'Now that is a worry,' I said.

'What is?'
'That you are more frightened of upsetting me than you are of going out cycling in a typhoon.'
'Well I know what you're like when you get a bee in your bonnet,' Mick replied. 'I just figured that once we set off you would soon give in and we could come back.'
'Do me a favour,' I begged. 'Next time I start my runaway train impression, don't say nothing. Stop me!'
'Ok,' he said. We both knew he wouldn't.

The rain was set to clear by mid-day but the flooding would take a while to abate. We decided to abandon the ride until the following day. Luckily the hostel proprietor, Sash(not his real name but as close an approximation as we could manage) had not booked our room so we arranged a further night's stay. In the afternoon we found a local bike shop where the owner kindly boosted the air in our bicycle tyres and gave us directions to a shop which sold camping gas. As luck would have it, this was in the next street to our hostel back at Tennōji.

Hoping to chase away my cold
But by now I was feeling distinctly under the weather. I had developed a filthy cold and I spent the day in bed feeling rather rotten. Mick was looking anxious. 'I don't think we'll be able to leave tomorrow,' he said. 'You're not well enough.'
I assured him that I was. But by the evening I was sweating and shivering. We set our alarm for 6am but it wasn't looking too good.

The next morning it was clear I was not going to be cycling anywhere, I was still too ill. For the third time we asked to extend our stay at the hostel. Sash must be wondering whether we were ever going to leave. I slept all morning and by lunchtime felt a little better. We walked up to Shitennōji, site of one of Japan's oldest temples and the first built by the state. Most of the actual buildings have been rebuilt many times, but in the same style as the original. The complex, surrounded by trees and with it's beautiful gardens is a real oasis amidst the busy streets of Osaka and we spent a lovely couple of hours wandering among the gardens before visiting the five storey pagoda. Climbing this was a challenge, by the time I reached the top I was feeling light-headed, hardly surprising as I had not eaten any food to speak of for nearly two days now. We stopped at a little restaurant for a bowl of noodle soup, after which I felt a whole lot better.

Tomorrow, hopefully we will finally set of for Shikoku.


1 comment:

  1. Woo.
    A rough start. Hope the weather clears up and you're feeling up for the trip.