Day 29 – Saroma

I got up and put aside the futon Sean had given me. He had to leave for his class, but before going he left me with his bike and a scribbled out map for where to go. The map actually turned out to be excellent – it was more of a nodal representation of the area. I started to ride out but it started raining, so I turned around and biked back to his place. While walking on the way back I saw an old lady walking in the rain without an umbrella so I helped her to her house. She was really thankful and I felt awesome for doing that.
After putting the bike back I didn’t want to just stay inside with the rain pouring so I went out to walk around the town. Saroma is a very cute town, and everything seemed miniature. The streets were small, the cars were small, the flowers, the bridge, the river, the people. Everything was just tiny and cute.
I walked down one of the main roads and once I hit the bridge I turned around and headed back. On the way I stopped at a small bakery and bought a seashell cake, which if I remember correctly was a little too sweet and spongy for me.
Got back to Sean’s and watched some television. He came back and by then it was sunny outside, so he drew me another map of the greater area and told me of this nearby lake town with hiking paths and a harbor.
I took the bike out again and this time rode to Lake Saroma. It was a very nice ride, despite the fact that it was a one speed bike and there were some gradual hills to get over. I finally got to the harbor and explored a bit. I rode near where he mentioned the trail started, and parked my bike outside a hotel. The trail started there and I followed it into a lightly wooded area. I wouldn’t have called it a forest, but it was a small trail. There were lots of bugs, and it didn’t look like many people had travelled the path recently. After going a ways I figured there wasn’t really a loop around so I headed back to the bike. On the way I passed by this other hiker. We greeted each other but after passing I heard him call out to me. He came back to me and gave me some weird postcards of a fox and snow. I was a bit confused, but I took the gifts and thanked him.
I took the bike to a nearby rest stop for cars and got some kind of tempura snack. Behind the rest stop were the actual trails heading up to a view point station. The trail was long and went up a steep mountain with lots of steps. Have I mentioned the stairs in Asia by the way? Asians love stairs up mountains. They’re all over the place.
I got to the very top and was rewarded with a viewing station that was really great. You could see all the area – the harbor, the farmland, the whole coastline. the sun was heading down so I returned to the rest stop. Earlier Sean and I had decided to meet up at that rest stop at a specific time (5:30 I think it was). It was a lot faster going down than up so I got back early. In the rest stop they had some famous Saroma pumpkin ice cream, so I got that and a coke. Then Sean picked me up and we headed back to his house.
He had to head out again, and I finished the day by getting some ramen and beer at the local shop. Then came back and watched some more television and relaxed and slept.

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