After my Shimanami Kaido Cycleventure, I ducked back to Takamatsu for 24 hours and one day of work before jumping another bus out for the next mad adventure.
As a result, I’m writing this sitting in Kansai Airport with my friend Sam at eleven o’clock on a Tuesday night.
We’re tucked in our sleeping bags, and shortly, we’ll put on our eye masks and go to sleep.
We’re a little early for our flight, you see.
And when I say a little early, I mean eight hours.
We have a seven am flight, which means checking in at 6:30. There’s no way of getting into Osaka from our island that early in the morning, and if we were staying in the city we’d have to get up at 4:30 anyway.
Plus staying in the city costs money.
So here we are, in our sleeping bags in the airport.
We’re attracting quite a lot of stares, and this time I can’t blame it on being gaijin.
It might be the sleeping bags. It might be Sam’s zebra print trousers. It might be my backpack.
Yes, that is a saucepan hanging off the side. And my clothes strapped to the front. And there was no room for my jandals inside the bag, so I had to tie them to the zip tab.
Stop judging me.
Anyway, the point of this stupidly early flight is to get us to Kagoshima, the southernmost tip of Kyushu. We could have taken a flight at a normal time, but more sleep=more money.
From Kagoshima we will take a boat to Yakushima, a small island famous for old trees, deer and monkeys.
On Yakushima, we will spend three whole days walking up and down hills, sleeping in a tent, and eating food straight out of a saucepan.
Yes, we just realised we forgot bowls.
I am SO excited to go bush; no phones, computers, alarms, work, electricity or running water, just me, Sam, some old trees, and the local wildlife. Amazing.
If we’re lucky we’ll see some turtles, make it to the beach for a swim, and wrap it all up with an onsen. Not getting eaten by deer would be good too.
Obviously, my idea of the perfect holiday doesn’t resonate with everybody.
I was gushing to my supervisor the other day about how great it was going to be; hiking, sleeping in tents, being at one with nature etc. etc., and she just shook her head in bewilderment.
A few minutes later she came rushing back, and in a horrified stage whisper, she asked, “But Hannah sensei!! Where… where will you shower??”
My response (also in a stage whisper) was, “Don’t tell anyone, but…we probably won’t!”
Pretty sure I cemented my reputation as the weird foreigner.
If we surviveAfter Yakushima we’ll have one more night in Kagoshima, staying with a couchsurfer called Matt, before taking another early morning flight back to Osaka, then buses back to our respective cities and real life.
If you don’t hear from me for four days, it’s because I’m having an amazing time. Any longer than that probably means I’ve been eaten by deer.