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A Damned Good Feeling

JAPAN | Friday, 6 September 2019 | Views [35]

Playing with color

Playing with color

THE 325 KILOMETER DRIVE FROM SAPPORO was in its way nostalgic.  No, we've never been to Abashiri, nor have we driven in Hokkaido before yesterday.  But the long drive north brought back memories of other drives in other cars in other countries.  Of mountains and rivers and tunnels and tolls.  Of roadside picnic lunches.  Of confusing road signs and ripening fields. 

And it's a damn good feeling!

n

   One of the Ladies Who Lunch Alfresco

We also remembered our solution to hotel rooms on upper floors without lifts.  We would leave our luggage locked in the car and carry the nightly necessities in our daypacks.  It works just as well in Japan, though not for the absence of elevators but lack of space to store our bags.  Yes, it’s all coming back.

n

      Another Long Tunnel

Once again a shared rental car, even if shared by the two of us, makes sense — dollars and cents.  Even factoring in the $40 in tolls and the full-coverage insurance, today’s trip was than half the cost of train tickets.  And we have the additional freedom of wheels of our own which lets us get off and explore when we want.  Interestingly, about 45 km of the 180 km toll road was underground.  There were five major tunnels on the route, some stretching more than four miles! 

b

   Time to stop and smell the roses — and chrysanthemums — and lavender

Abashiri is on the northern coast of Hokkaido about the same latitude as our mailbox address in Sioux Falls, SD.  We can look out from our room at the Dormy Inn at the Sea of Okhotsk.  In fact we are nearer to Sakhalin Island in Russia than we are to Sapporo.  We are looking forward to exploring the area over the next week, so stick around if you can.

 

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