Tuesday 26 June Day 18
Lake Toya to Lake Shikotsu (92 km) total 1620
Last night camping on holiday, and last full day of cycling! I had a really good day today, cycling between lakes: the weather was perfect – even a little too hot when cycling over some of the passes – and I followed a beautiful scenic route without too much traffic. Lovely! And who can complain when you wake up to this (left)?
I had a nice relaxed start to the day and had a beautiful start with a cycle around the rest of Lake Toya and up a rather steep road out of the lake area. I cycled through farmland and right alongside Mt Niseko until calling into the service centre at Rusutsu for a mid-morning break. I had a delicious strawberry gelato/ice, which was perfect on a hot morning.
Then I continued cycling through beautiful mountains, and over a 600m pass to the service centre in Otaki for a delicious lunch of ramen/vege soup and curry rice. Yum! After returning to my bike, a cycle tourer from Taiwan, Lee, pulled in and we chatted for a little while – he had only just arrived this morning and had cycled from New Chitose airport! He was travelling light, with two very small panniers and a backpack on an aluminium racing bike (Scott) and was going to stay in hotels so he wouldn’t need any camping/cooking equipment and could do laundry at the end of each day. He was planning to cycle all the way to Muruoa, but as it was 2pm already and he still had 65km (to Toya Spa) and a significant pass to climb, I advised him to stay at Lake Toya Spa – it was very beautiful (much more beautiful than a port town, surely!) and had plenty of hotel options. Hopefully he took my advice, otherwise he would have been riding into the night!