A car park near a park and baseball field and best of all the subway station. We, with the drivers assistance get the bikes out and make our way across the road to the start of the path. It’s next to an ancient keyhole shaped burial mound and a preserved number of buildings and features. He then continues to fuss over us as we hand over passports and credit card before being informed we have to take our shoes off and place them in lockers which we have to pay for. Now we have to get the bikes out. There are regular information posts on the telegraph poles and lampposts showing how high against sea level we are, there are also escape routes shown taking you up to 165m high. Here we go I’m thinking, we’ve done something wrong and received a notice from some irate member of the public or the cops or someone who doesn’t like rugby! It’s not long before we are fast asleep, it’s been a long long day. Sadly I really can’t see this catching on in the UK. What a vivid imagination she has. There’s three games on today and it would be good to get amongst the Welsh and see some of the matches. Many questions are asked In Japanese only to be answered with an apology for my ignorance, still Hari gato gets you a long way especially when accompanied by a smile. As juice, as sweets you name it they’ve got it. They had special permission to ride its over and done with now bugger off and let them carry on. Over lunch we realise that the Manic Street Preachers are playing tonight not tomorrow, so we head off to the venue in the Toyosu district. Provisions are purchased in a convenience store and we return to the hotel where we are quizzed by the receptionist as to the kind of feed we have eaten. Sat on the bench is an elderly man who has been enjoying his evening meal. See more ideas about dog bone, neck pillow, pillows. It’s hammering down all night so when we receive an invitation for a cuppa from Rob and Cath we jump at the chance. So tomorrow we start the final river path Seomjingang 149 k, before we look at the land of the rising sun, which will be the start of our holiday. Blimey O Riley that was a hot night even with the van door open and all the windows it made sleeping tricky. She has sticky fingers so I dig out a pack of RWC tissues and give them to her. Here we go, the countdown, how much does TV pay? I leave Chewy with the receptionist printing off our tickets for the mini cruise ( ITS NOT A FERRY!!!) It’s the saddest I’ve seen her look since our wedding day. Advanced information is that there is a place to park up near the baseball pitches on the outskirts of the city close to the ground for the second match. Wave after wave of pain rolls over me, spasms as nerve endings exposed to the air react which course through both my calf and thigh which then sets off my forearm. Patterned on my border collie mix rescue pup, Kia. Changing our cycling shoes for our sandals we leave the bikes with him and make our way back on foot, calling into a larger supermarket on the way to collect some prawns rice eggs bread and beer for our feast tonight. I think the raised smell from my cycling clothes sees off the other people. Back further than the 38th parallel, the line dividing the north and south , up towards the the Yalo river, at which point the Chinese said Bugger that and reinforced the North army sending the Americans backwards. Hahahaha nailed it, like locals! It’s a lovely ride so far the day is dry and warm not too hot and we are making decent progress, albeit we find ourselves riding alongside a dual carriageway but that’s ok as we are not actually on it. We fight our way past the tumble weed blowing past to find two Australian couples having a drink. As we leave he comes out to inspect the bikes. Today we are taking a different route, up along the norther coast line. Everything was fine, steady speed but not rushing. The mountains in front of us, complete with look out point on the top, were devastating to the UN army, aka USA army. Simply, why, they are just wrong and taste terrible. and the road to the craters edge has been closed for safety reasons. If only! They didn’t stay long as no one was really interested as thirty blokes were smashing themselves into each other on the pitch. We’ve seen white frocked brides having their photos taken here over the past weeks. I’m unsure whether or not you should immerse yourself in it so I play safe and jug it over my head. Line one to the end of the line and that’s where the bus station is. There isn’t a lot of the deposit coming back. In the morning we resolve to head out to a supermarket and restock and then start making our way back towards Tokyo. I do recall Chewy guiding me back from the railway station, falling asleep on the benches at the baseball ground and waiting for Shaun who had gotten lost. Chewy leaves to find food returning after quite a while ( I later discover she’s been chatted up by some locals)with pizza, drinks, fruit and biscuits. Why? We are expecting to go to the town closest to the start but the driver, stops and points to the start of the route. As we sit down a Japanese couple engage us and they are an excellent example of Japanese rugby fans, so thrilled to have major teams and a world event taking place in their city and with all the fans from all over the world shining a spotlight on their country. A load of stalls have been set up in a car park over the bike path. We stand on the platform relaxing now we have arrived. It’s been raining throughout the night with a big thunderstorm Chewy tells me. It’s a fish restaurant with the fish in tanks outside. There is even a lady Sandy from LA who has flown in to see both gigs in Tokyo! Back at the van a pasta based meal is the delight of the day, then we settle in to watch the coming thunder storm. Clothes are taken by Chewy to the laundrette for a wash this could be our last chance in a while so better make the most of it. Huw and Ian top lads. At four thirty we take the bikes downstairs and set off in search. It does have a nice bath however and we are told to park the bikes inside the currently redundant coffee and pizza bar. It’s approaching lunch time. My intention is to send a ransom demand. But dinner is nice and both cooked and eaten before the rain starts. The tour started on the 12th May which explains why we didn’t see them in the UK. We just finish eating as the drizzle commences. The screen outside has no seating left so we venture upstairs. The performance isn’t good but the resolve remains. We pass the stadium to get to the park and ride a vast cultural hall complex with huge car parks open for the day to transport the rugby fans to the game. The first bridge is busy with pedestrians. We will either kill each other or ourselves just to add a little colour and excitement into the day. Further along there is a much smaller yellow one which appears to be quite lazy in comparison to the first fish. One stop passes then the next then the conductor arrives, speaks to me but I’m hopeless so he makes for Chewy who charms him. The couple next to me leave when an official photographer for RWC turns up, perhaps they shouldn’t have been together, who knows, but the couple on the other side join Mr Sodanu, Shaun Huw and I in the photos. We disagree, he argues it’s all about the performance, I argue it’s about the win not the performance, he wavers slightly. Rugby, soccer, American football are all being practised on the green spaces. Escalators get us to the central area where a baby grand is accompanying a violinist. We join them as they finished their lunch and supply the beers before three Japanese guys join us and purchase us some beers. France who have been a bit on the rubbish side of poor all tournament, having had an extra week off to prepare without a match due to the awful typhoon, actually turn up and are out of the stalls like thoroughbreds. Twenty minutes, that’ll do fine. So that’s us up to date and tomorrow we are back on the cycle paths of South Korea, eastern seaboard. Again when the front wheel is coming off the ground it’s time for me to get off and push. The sun slowly burns off the morning mist revealing the magnificent mountains in the distance and the glorious river at our side, wide and apparently slow moving on its journey to the sea it still supplies life to the surrounding fields for the farmers. They say nothing. What’s more we have a great spot too. I have received so many contacts from people wishing Wales well it’s heartwarming that people have been interested in the games and in how Wales get on, some I’m sure so that it’s and England Wales final, other just pleased for us. We just want to go to bed and sleep. The fish in the custard is the injuries mounting up, but oh the relief the overwhelming feeling of relief that we have progressed and now have to face the Boks, South Africa in Yokohama. For a few minutes we have lost each other and I wait at the top of the escalators wondering what we shall do to find each other. Done. Considering they had a blank page to start with Hiroshima is the same as all the other cities in Japan. The guys on our right have the Welsh anthem on their ipad and with me pointing to the lyrics we sing it together. The clouds are turning an apricot colour and behind us the sun is getting ready to set with a distinct orange glow. The hotel is grey and black and as we ride into the car park a young man pounces on us confirms we have a reservation and tells us where to park the bikes. Passing by a bridge over the tidal river several chaps are fishing across the mud flats this morning. Hell yeah it will. Game day, but not for us. Get in she’s pulled a blinder and blagged it all the way. She’s not saying much about it other than she enjoyed it but she is very tired. In that case there’s nothing for it but to return to the van for dinner. It transpires that we are parked up in a place called Chuo Park. They are both incredibly kind and generous and we can’t wait for the day they come to the UK so we can spoil them. We try again and when the mapping directs us out of the forest along a narrow single lane track, we decide to call it a night, park in the adjacent lay-by cook dinner and kip there for the night. changing the baby's diapers changing the oil in your car ... cooking hot dogs over an open fire cooking in a fireplace cooking in an electric wok cooking on high heat cooking ... giving money in red-paper envelopes giving my first speech She is a physical therapist for a hospital in Bristol and also has her own business with a recumbent bike, as we saw with our French friends earlier in our journey, enabling her to take out disabled people for a bike ride. Wow is this a dream? We arrive at the hotel just before a load of apprentices finished with their days work, arrive in two mini busses. She develops Herculean strength to pull the bike up then me. To then be offended when asked to move and get the hump was so funny to see. The rain falls in large drops, not for long and with no real intent, but it’s enough to get us to pack up and get inside the van for the night. We have an estuary to reach so need to crack on. We are waved on and receive a green light all the way through the station. I have quilted the coasters in straight lines. Trouble is the certification centre his app is referring to was the one we passed 6 k ago. Naughty ladies at that as they have smuggled Booze in via an umbrella case! They are stowed in the baggage area and we are inside the bus waiting for the off and as soon as the seat belts are engaged off we go. There’s more climbing to get through but occasionally you get a significant reward for all your efforts and at the climb summit we get the most incredible view of what’s Sim City in reality. We walked in the failing light towards the Peace Park, past the air raid shelter carved out of the rock. In The food Zone I enjoy a kebab and chips, a load of WiFi and when that’s all done, the excellent company of some Japanese folks. I can’t put my Korean trousers on for fear of staining them with ooze from my wounds and them sticking to my legs so after a wash it’s back on with the damp cycling shorts and my Welsh shirt for a stroll round town for something to eat. There are a number of unofficial stalls selling shirts en route but as they are All Blacks shirts I have to chuckle to myself. Ruth and Steve are leaving after the match to make for Narita and the airport for a flight home tomorrow so it’s photos all round. We shall see. Our path now takes off vertically to a couple of great bridges in the form of a lift to the bridge deck. A lovely clean and simple illustration of a faithful, friendly dog. Tickets? We wake before six the motorcyclists have returned to thrash their machines up and down the roads. Then lugging them down in the lift to the bikes. Not too bad is the answer. It’s devoid of human life, either that or the 3:10 from Yuma is about to roll in. When she returns to the reception nothing is forthcoming apart from half a dozen cans of local drinks. The back is the same fabric as the binding. We try and locate it through the photographs we have from our previous stay but we are now paying for failing to get an early start this morning as the light fades and darkness falls. The following is a list of carriers Amazon uses for deliveries. This is pure bliss although our posteriors are craving the tissue thick mattress we suffered the other night to sooth our buttocks. Dinner is a bowl of noodles and black sauce Chewy has a plate of chicken escalope in Harvey with rice and other stuff. A shower was what I had to have and a load more bloody scrubbing. On the map the legend describes it as “ Funny House ( loads of stuff in a big shed)”. The swelling of my right leg has completely gone now, the same with the right arm. I return with a bag full of goodies from Sushi rolls to things on sticks, cakes and wine a veritable feast! She tells me that she won’t go to a GP or hospital just yet but will see how the day pans out. The next night will be better, and it is. Mile after mile of urban sprawl, it never ends. I’m disappointed to say I forgot to write down their names and have forgotten them since. We unpack the bikes they don’t need to be bagged now. It’s not the best experience we’ve ever endured dodging the rubbish discarded by motorists the heavy sometimes thorny foliage slapping our legs, digging into my wounds and creating a few more. Chewy was concerned as I’d been away for just under an hour. Just prior to this I’ve been thinking to myself how incredible it is that we have ridden all this way without a single puncture. We are on the top ninth floor and the bikes fit in the lift easily. The day is taken up with enjoying the splendour of the mountains and the glorious red flowers on stalks which are everywhere at the moment. The same people who had delivered the new fridge lead to us in Oita. Twilight Zone script in the making. Chewy takes the lift while I go for the escalator. In no time at all, the bikes are stripped bagged and boxed. Salami sarnies for the journey are made and with sufficient energy drink in our bladders we are set for the morning. She tells me she wants to return the favour but having one gamy leg I don’t think it would be fair and so carry on with releasing the IT band on the other thigh. Getting going again was a struggle as the gradient was a little on the steep side but we craved on again until the gradient was just too much for the prospect of the return of Turtle Bob. Then the driver is looking at me as if to say, “Come on we’re late now” We take our allocated seats and relax. Picked our spot, no one else parked there and set up for a great dinner. It’s going to cost us around a tenner for the time we will be there, so after waiting on the road for a while a space becomes available and I drive in over the plate which remains down for three minutes and then rises to prevent the rear wheels from passing over it without causing significant damage. The old Mercury hotel in Narita is booked, a new one near the port in Osaka close to rail and subway lines is booked and an old friend the Plus Motel in Busan is our return hotel there. An icon used to represent a menu that can be toggled by interacting with this icon. You can guess what’s coming I’m sure, the tsunami which then returned towards me lifted me up and pulled me back towards the plug end. The three drivers tell us different information to the lady we bought the tickets from yesterday. Sitting on the top deck we get to see all the sights as we depart. Every person we see coming up the mountain has serious clothing and hanging from their rucksack is an ice axe. A steady stroll back through the busy streets under the apricot coloured fast passing clouds to our hotel. This really is so very special. Tous les décès depuis 1970, évolution de l'espérance de vie en France, par département, commune, prénom et nom de famille ! At the train station the lady in the ticket booth couldn’t be more helpful. Coconut and salt and Mango and butter. And that’s when it all turned wrong, from being on the verge of victory and a parade in San Francisco, they were bogged down in the frozen mountains and led by a few donkeys and that was just the start of it. As we reach the bottom with the last bike a hat wearing jobsworth, smiling from ear to ear announces to us NO BIKES! A group of five couple make their way into the park, all have noses and no penis is on show so who knows what’s going on? Some from old friends have me close to tears as we sit in Starbucks utilising the WiFi. Australia fight back but we are dominant they didn’t see us coming and at half time we have spanked them. But we didn’t see it until the morning. Ghastly! We drop down onto the flood plain along a road so steep we are fearful it’ll destroy our brakes and so we walk along the concrete slabs to the bottom. When we ask for a photo they readily agree and I mimic her expression causing them all to laugh but the other lady and the chap even more. We come through customs and as the metal detector goes off I have to remove the Garmin and phone from my pockets as I walk through having received the all clear a beautiful woman approaches me and asks if my name is Robert Gregory and could I come with her?. I collect one of the handkerchief sized towels for the pile outside the door. And finally we are into a large park where at the end of a red brick trail is our certification centre. He had also looked up Wales on the internet overnight. When we get to our van there is we see, something attached to our windscreen wipers. Glazed with a non-toxic majolica glaze, my…, Sitting Dog sits in the corner of this fine bone china mug. Apart from Shaun spreading his flu type germs to all and sundry the only thing of interest on the drive to the stadium was a snake on the road. People try to get in as she struggles to extricate herself. Oh joy! It’s seriously depressing . What follows is an evening of disappointment with the rugby but immense fun with the four of us screaming for Wales and laughing all night long. Beer is available two floors down and so is food. See what Jackie Bailey (jackieabail0865) has discovered on Pinterest, the world's biggest collection of ideas. Chewy is a little behind me as she got caught in a slower queue. That taken care of, we continue along the path toward the Eighth Station, however we are now getting battered by the wind and in seriously icy conditions. But now is the time to really clean the wounds. Their attempt to engage with the Elvis blue black haired receptionist/ owner met with as much of a response as they enquired about moped hire as they would have received had they asked a brick.
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