In our day to day lives it has become very easy to sit at home and study new routes on Google maps and plan our next bikepacking adventure, but not all adventures go according to plan . The following is what happened on my recent well planned 2 day bikepacking trip. I had a course that I wanted to do, some of it I had ridden before but I really wanted to explore the newly discovered Shibata Nunbu road that Brian had done recently ridden. He did warn me that it was a mission and rather steep. Which is no problem as over the years we have often tackled some pretty challenging routes and always managed to finish them somehow. I left home in plenty of time to get to my favorite campsite at Takadani Shinden park were I was going to camp overnight. The Shibata Nunbu road was amazing, but certainly not a short cut over the mountain down to Akadani, but the downhill was fantastic with amazing views of the Kaji river in the valley below. This road is currently closed to cars with a locked gate at each end - no problem for a bicycle though. I reached the camp site at the early hour of 2,30pm and had visions of relaxing by my tent with a cold beer & a book after taking a hot shower.
But upon entering the campsite main office my dreams of relaxing by my tent with a cold beer were not to be , the reason Wild Pigs !, yes that's right the entire campsite was off limits to tents because of the nightly wanderings of the wild pig community as they come down from the tops in search of food. If I only I had a rifle I would have stayed and scored myself some wild pork . My only other option was a 5000 yen per night log cabin and being of Scottish decent I chose the best plan / cheapest which was the nearest campsite located in the mountains of Mikawa a good 2 hours away but mostly downhill. To make the day even more interesting it started raining and by the time I stopped off in the village of Mikawa to buy supplies I had put on all my wet weather gear and then turned on my lights for the final push up to the campsite before the closed the office at 5pm. I was exhausted by time I arrived at 4.30pm in the hard rain but they took pity on a wet cyclist and let me stay for free and I found a great dry spot under their main log house building to pitch my tent and cook dinner. After a hot shower I felt pretty good and glad to be under cover as that night it rain really hard with a strong wind. I awoke the next morning to a brilliant sunny day and clear sky and after breakfast & hot coffee I was soon all packed up for the final day of the ride.
The last day included a tough climb/ walk over route 17 towards the city of Murumatsu and from there I made my way across the plains back towards Niigata City. The hardest part of the entire trip was the wide open plain & battling a strong head wind all the way back into the city. But after back at Cafe Velo at 12.30pm to a fantastic lunch and some Scottish craft beer was a great reward - So as you can see my well planned trip did not go quite as planned but it certainly was an Adventure By Bike