Friday, August 27, 2004

Getting Closer

I've arrived in Kochi, one day earlier then planned. Tried to make it here between typhoons, but I think I got caught in one yesterday. I ended up having a hairy descent down a 300m hill in the pouring rain. My break pads will definitely need to be replaced once I get to Bangkok. Looks like another typhoon is headed this way, although it's hard to predict when it will get here. Hopefully I can get up to Kito sometime Saturday and weather out anything there.

Had a great campout the other night, as I accidently discovered an onsen (hot bath) across the street while I was looking for dinner. Very relaxing. They even had a sauna (90 C, as if I haven't had enough heat). Afterwards, I found the restaurant portion that I was originally looking for and had a great sashimi dinner for only Y1200 (around $11). One of the workers there spoke English and helped me out immensely. Even tipped me off to the approaching typhoon and the hilly nature of the road up to Kito (which is one reason why I'm going to get a chunk of it done tomorrow and then finish off Saturday).

Ended up camping out at this playground that I used two weeks ago. Seems such a long time ago that I was last there. The weather is cooling down a bit, and the bugs are either getting tired of eating me, are dying out, or I'm just getting used to them. Ended up busting a couple spokes this morning in an act of stupidity, but fortunately I was only 30km from Kochi and was able to wobble in safely. Got the bike in a shop and they're working on it now. $30 to fix the spokes and realign the wheel, but it's got to be done. If that's the worst that happens, I'll be happy.

The hills aren't as menacing as they once were, although I still look ahead with a little intrepedation at the 1500m climbs I'll have in Laos. But that's several months away, so I don't need to worry about that as of yet.

Other then that, everything is moving right along. I've been passing hikers along the 88 temple route, so people still do walk it. Seems like a few more convenience stores, and a few more hoterus when you're along the route, so that's a good sign.

Most of my clothes are wet from either rain or sweat, and I just hope others can't smell me as badly as I can smell myself. Been several days since my last shower and a good week or so since my last load of laundry. Staying in a hotel tonight, so the shower portion is being taken care of. I guess I'll wait until I get to Kito to do my laundry. A great first impression that'll surely make.

Anyways, three weeks down, 23 to go. The journey continues...

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