22 March 2008

Tour de Kyushu [Day 5] : Kumamoto - Mount Aso

my legs were very tired and the wind just as strong as yesterday. i rode the entire 70 km against the wind, which drained every little bit of energy out of my body. i wanted to take a short cut up mount aso, which turned out to be a big mistake as the road that i wanted to take did not exist any longer causing me to ride an additional 15 km (half ot it uphill).

Eventually i found the road taking me up Mount Aso. However the headwind during my climb was so strong, that i had wanted to give up on several occasions. This climb had been the toughest physical challenge so far for me. And the mountain didnt seem to have a summit. I kept climbing and climbing. Finally, I arrived at the top to be told to go back down. the statement: its too dangerous up here, the wind is too strong! i had no choice but to leave.

After I checked into the Youth Hostel in Aso, I got back on my bike to witness the fire festival at the Aso shrine. It started off with taiko drummers, the continued with people swinging burning straw coils around. Anybody was allowed to participate with the occasional coil flying into the masses. I am glad i was able to see it.

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