Thursday, 11 June 2009

Day 23: Oiso - Totsuka (25.5km)

I was woken at six by my watch alarm. I looked outside and saw that it was raining. And I mean pouring. Breakfast wasn't until 7.45am, so after getting up I packed my gear so that I could make a speedy getaway after I finished eating.

Seeing as this was a proper resort hotel and not a business hotel, breakfast was a fancy affair with a chef in the restaurant making omelettes to order. I gave the omelettes a miss and had scrambled eggs on toast, two croissants, a bowl of cereal (cornflakes and bran) with fresh fruit, yoghurt, juice and milk, a glass of apple juice, and coffee.

I went back to my room, put on my raingear, and was out of the hotel by 8.30am. I then rejoined National Route 1, which continued along the coast for a few kilometers before heading inland. The rain had eased by this time, but I was getting a bit sweaty with all my raingear on, and apart from the odd scraggy old pine tree the scenery was rather monotonous, as a result of which I was feeling pretty gloomy. I noticed quite a few hydrangeas by the side of the road and to relieve the boredom I started taking photos of as many different colours as I could find.

I reached the next post town of Hiratsuka at 10.30am. It was quite built up, and I got the distinct impression that I'd seen the last of the countryside, that from here until Nihonbashi all I’d really see was different shades of grey with just the odd cabbage patch in between.

At 11.30am, shortly after crossing the Sagami River, I passed a Coco's family restaurant. My meal at the Coco's restaurant at Sakudaira in 2007 was one of the culinary highlights of the Nakasendo walk. On that occasion I had a seafood spaghetti dish with freshly baked bread. The spaghetti dish was brimming with chunks of seafood and came in a rich, soup-like sauce which was packed with tomato flavour with just a hint of chilli, and the bread was warm and satisfying and had a wonderful aroma. I was delighted to find that this dish was still on the menu, and still as delicious as it was nearly two years ago. I followed the meal with two cups of espresso from the machine at the drink bar.

By the time I was ready to leave at 12.30pm it had stopped raining, so I packed away my raingear. I continued on to Totsuka with just a brief stop at a convenience store near Hiratsuka to buy a bottle of water. It got a bit hilly towards the end of the day, but I was rewarded with some nice views out over the Miura peninsula. I arrived at Totsuka station at 4.40pm and immediately caught a train to nearby Zushi, where I had arranged to stay with friends. I got there at 5.05pm.

Totsuka station

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