Saturday, August 14, 2004

What A Scorcher!!

Yep, today was a good day, and it was a hot one too. Not hot - humid - hot, but nice and hot. I was out in it all day today as I decided to take a bikeride around Iwaki Mountain. While it might sound like I actually pussied out of climbing the old girl this weekend, I actually found today's bikeride more of a physical exertion anyway. I took the apple road from around Iwaki village and continued in the same direction past the ski jo and down the long windy hill. Through a couple of villages and then back up another windy hill, and another windy hill, then into Dake, the small village famed for it's onsens and corn-on-the-cob, and back into the Saki. The last couple of miles were a proper killer as well because I forked out for a thousand yen's worth of corn-on-the-cob and had to carry the lot back in my ruck-sack. Altogether I'd say the journey was between twenty to thirty miles. It took me six hours, which ain't too bad by my reckoning.

This picture gives you a little squint at the Hakkoda mountain range, where folks round here, particularly foreign folks, like to muck about in the winter time. Whereas you could imagine, topographically, that Iwaki mountain is the left breast of Aomori prefecture, the Hakkoda range is more the geographical backbone of the place. It gets a lot of snow in January and February. As for this next shot below.... well, legend has it that one night all of the local hoo haa's from this small hamlet got together and after drinking litre upon litre of sake one of them said "ere, wouldn't it be funny if we all painted out roofs blue", so they all went out pissed up, and they all painted their roofs blue. Apparently, the following morning, just after the village wake-up call had sounded, you could hear a chorus of startled voices exclaiming things like "F**k me!", "What the f**k happened here then?", and "What drunken bas*ard did this?".

I think it looks really nice though, with it giving that uniform effect that you find in those Spanish villages where all the walls are white. Quite literally, all of the roofs in this particular farming hamlet were blue, and so too were the roofs of houses in surrounding hamlets.