Friday 16 December 2022

Part 7: Heading back from Sapporo to Fukushima

 Saying goodbye to my partner.

After spending two weeks with my partner in Sapporo city. It is time to say goodbye. On my calendar, I  marked August 15th  as my return date. I told my partner that I must leave around 4pm on August 15th so I can reach  Tomakomai Ferry port before  11pm for the check-in of my ferry trip to Hachinohe.

So,  on the night before the 15th, we packed all my stuff together. Not much, my tent, sleeping bag, and backpack. In my package, are my bike tools and 3 packets of noodles. This is for my 700km trip.

At 4:15 pm on the 15th of August. We went down to her apartment's bike packing area and packed my stuff on my bike. Then I said goodbye to my partner and took off to Tomakomai. Tomakomai is 75km Southeast of Sapporo city and would take around 5 hours by bike.

This time I planned to cycle during the daytime so I can see the places along the way and also take good pictures. I will also take a different route. I am going to take route 45. This route starts from Hachinohe city in the Aomori area and runs along the Northern Pacific coast of Japan all the way to Miyagi, Sendai.

Getting ready to leave Sapporo

Saying goodbye  to my Partner.

Sapporo to Eniwa

Sapporo to Eniwa is easy cycling because there is a hidden bike track from Sapporo to Eniwa. The bike track starts just after the Toyahira River and goes through several forests before ending its course at Eniwa station. It is a 35km cycling track that runs along the New Chitose train track.

After leaving the Sapporo Kita area I cycled east towards the Toyahira river. Toyahira river is the main river that runs right through Sapporo city. The view of the river is very stunning. After cycling for several minutes and crossing Toyahira river into the Higashi area. I made a short stop at an Aeon shop. Just opposite the Aeon shop is where the hidden bike track to Eniwa starts.

I checked my google map to make sure I am going to head east, turned on my blue tooth speaker, played my music, and took off east following the hidden bike track. I rode for a couple of hours east until I reached the hedge of Sapporo city and entered Atsubetsu Minami  Ryokuchi forest.

It was a couple of minutes past 5 as a entered the Atsubetsu Minanmi Ryokuchi forest. The forest was a little dark under the shadow of the tall trees surrounding the bike track. There are a few hills along the way, but generally, the cycling path is smooth and flat. I increased my speed and reached a speed of 1km per 2.5 minutes. With this constant speed, I am expected to reach Eniwa station around 6 pm to 7pm.

At 18:24, two hours after leaving Atsubetsu Minami  Ryokuchi I arrived at Eniwa station. The rain was just started falling when I reached Eniwa. At that point, I don't care anymore about the rain. Because before leaving Sapporo city I saw on the news that Northern Japan is currently having Typhon and the Aomori area is badly affected. So, I am expecting a lot of rain on my trip

Cycling in the rain on summer days is fun because the rain will cool you down and you won't need to drink a lot of water like on a hot summer sunny day.

Biking along the New Chitose line

Entering Atsubetsu Minami  Ryokuchi forest.

Eniwa to Tomakomai.

After reaching Eniwa I rested for a few minutes while texting my partner letting her know I have arrived at Eniwa. It was raining a bit when I left Eniwa. Eniwa is right in the middle of Sapporo and Tomakomai. So, that means now I have less than 35km more to go. When I left Eniwa station I cycled a for abit and then I found route 36. Route 36 is the main route that runs from Sapporo city to Tomakomai city.

From Eniwa, the next city along the way to Tomokomai is Chitose city. So I increased my speed and planned to reach Chitose a little faster.

It was already dark when I reached  Chitose city. At the same time due to Typhon in the Aomori area, part of the rain passed over the Tomakami area. The heavy typhoon rain met me halfway to New Chitose. The rain was very heavy. I  can not see clearly. But I was so excited. The rain made me cycle faster and faster.

I passed New Chitose airport and cycled straight towards  Tomakomai. The signboard over the main highway reads; Tomokomai, only 15km. The rain keeps coming nonstop. I was battered by the rain all the way to Tomakomai. I was completely soaked by the rainwater. But luckily I wore light polyester clothes that allow water to dry off quickly. This helps me not to feel cold and stay soaked.

Taking a rest at Eniwa Station.

Arriving at Tomaikomai Siver Ferry Port.

I arrived at Tomakoami Silvery port just past 9:30 pm. It was still raining heavily when I arrived. I parked my bike at the entrance of the ticketing office and walked inside. The ticketing count had just opened a few minutes ago when I walked in so the line was a bit short. I then join the line and waited patiently. I was still soaked with rainwater while waiting in line. While waiting in line all the rainwater started pouring out from my soaked clothing and pools of water soon formed around me.

Everyone around tried to keep calm and avoid the pool of water from me caused by my rainwater-soaked clothing. I can't dry myself because I don't have a towel. At the same time, I thought it was still raining heavily outside, if a dry myself now I will get soaked again soon. Because I have to go outside after getting my ticket and board the ferry through the loading gate.

After checking in.  I went to the waiting area and waited for a few minutes till the boarding call came on. I then went outside and took my bike to the loading bay. From there I waited for a couple of minutes before I was called to board the Silver Ferry by one of the landing crew.

"Finally!" I said to myself. But just as I was about to enter the Silver ferry. One of the loading crew asked me to show the bike boarding pass. They always give it at the ticketing counter so you can tag it on the bike. 

Dunn!, I dropped mine on my way to the ferry's loading gate. Anyway, I have to show my Ferry ticket to the crew to access the ferry.

At 11:30 pm with heavy rain still pouring, I finally parked my bike on the top floor of the Silver ferry loading bay and made my way to my cube.


                              Check-in line at Sliver Ferry Terminal, Tomakomai.


                                                       Locking my bike on Silver Ferry Journey on Silver Ferry.........

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