Saturday, January 27, 2007

ゴルデン・ウィークの思い出 / Oh Yeah, That Whole Golden Week Thing From 2 Years Ago...

Slightly different (& no doubt longer) English version below:


今日、タバコ部屋で休憩した時に「今年のゴルデン・ウィークはどうかな~?2日間の年休を使ったらまた11連休ができる?」と思って、カレンダーを調べた。


駄目だ。まぁ・・・しょうがないっすね。

とにかく、GWについて考えたら、2年前のGWを思い出した。親友(博士君)と一緒に5日間の道内キャンプ旅行をしました。

出発前に、「あっ!これについて日記を書かなきゃいけないね!そしてPSPがあるから毎日日記の更新ができる!」

ハハハハハハ!可笑しいべさ!

以下の理由で結局できなかった:

1) 道東は殆ど田舎だから無線LANは殆どない(特に私たちにいた所)。
2) PSPのテキスト入力はすごくうんざりさせること。「だって、楽しそうですね!やりたい!」と言う人がいれば、自分の為にあきらめた方がいいっすよ。ドMな人へ、どうぞ。
3) 親友は運転ができないから僕は1000キロ以上、全部一人で運転した。

どうせ、2年前のことだから100%覚えてないけど、これくらい日程でした(間違えたや変な日本語を許してください):

1日目:札幌~新冠。温かくて、いい天気!出発!やった!最高の旅が始まったぜ!新冠のキャンプ場でキャンプした。夜は寒かったから二人でJack Danielsの500mlを全部飲んじゃった。よく寝た。

2日目:新冠~虫類。ちょっと涼しかったけど晴れていた。ありがたいことに二日酔いなし。道の駅で「おっぱい餅」を見つけた。えりも岬。綺麗な海岸。虫類のキャンプ場でキャンプした。1日目の夜に比べてそんなに寒くなかったからビール3本しか飲まなかった。深夜にキツネの泣き声を聞いた。「だれが殺されている」みたい。

3日目:虫類~屈斜路湖。天気はどんどん悪くなるみたい。弟子屈で
迷っちゃった。やっと屈斜路湖のキャンプ場を見つけた。やっぱり天気はヤバイ。弟子屈に戻って、3ℓ「大五郎」と晩ご飯を買って、キャンプ場に戻った。土砂降りの雨、寒くて死にそうので大五郎ガブガブ飲みました。カキとみかんを焼いた(大五郎のせい)。ずぶぬれになった。「あ、そうっか・・・これが地獄だ。思ったより寒い」と思った。酔ってヨロヨロして、偶然に天然露天風呂を見つけた。「ありがとう、神様!」と思った。テントまで酔ってヨロヨロして戻った。よく眠れなかった。

4日目:屈斜路湖~当麻。長~い一日でした。寒かった。朝5時半で隣のテントのファミリたちはすごくうるさかったから起きちゃった。二日酔いがひどかった。「静かにしてもらえませんか!?」と叫んだ。チョコットだけ静かになった。テントから出て、トイレの方に向かって、うるさいファミリを見ながら「迷惑!」と言った。うるさいファミリはすぐ黙って、テントの中に逃げた。摩周湖(二日酔いだったのにすごく綺麗だった)。硫黄山で間欠泉に顔を熱傷した。楽しくなかった。屋台のおじさんから「おい!外人さん!たまごを買ってくれませんか?」に声をかけられた。「結構、日本人さん!」と答えた。オホーツク海を見た。大雪山で雪が降った。冬タイヤじゃなかったからちょっと怖かった。当麻のキャンプ場でキャンプした。アホだから池に落ちた(後で、奥さんを電話した時に、笑われた)。ありがたいことに、キャンプ場から500mくらいの温泉がありました。その夜、-1℃になった。また寒くて死にそうだった。

5日目:当麻~札幌~滝川(あの時に住んでいた町)。上川支庁で
迷っちゃった。幌加内道の駅が見つからなかった。博士君を札幌のアパートで降ろして、「じゃね」と言って、滝川に帰った。

学んだこと:

1) 本当の友達だったら、ほぼ一週間ずーと密着なのに、喧嘩しない(注意:これは僕の意見です。博士君は違うことと思うかもしれない)。
2) 道東は本当に田舎(けどすごく綺麗だ)。
3) 北海道で、ゴルデン・ウィークは絶対キャンピングシーゾンじゃない。この旅は楽しかったけど二度とやりたくない。


I was looking at the calendar today while in the breakroom and thought to myself, "Hmmm...what's Golden Week gonna be like this year? Wonder if I can get 11 days off for the low, low price of 2 holiday days again?"

No such luck. Crap.

One good thing about this exercise in futility is that it jogged my memory about Golden Week a few years ago and the big camping trip around Hokkaido with my best friend Boy Doctor.

At the time, I'd just started this blog, and thought, "Hey! I can make entries on the road on my PSP! That'll be so cool!"

HA HA HA! Oh boy, do I crack myself up sometimes.

In the end, that didn't quite happen for the following reasons:

1) There's a whole lotta nothing in eastern Hokkaido, and thus a decided lack of wireless access points.
2) Text entry on a PSP is a complete and total pain in the ass. If you're a real masochist tho, be my guest.
3) Since Boy Doctor doesn't have a drivers license, I ended up driving the entire 1000 some odd kilometers over a span of 5 days, so I don't think I really woulda been up to it in the first place.

Yeah, it's now 2 years later, but I'm feeling all nostalgic, so here's the long overdue run-down:

Day 1: Sapporo-Niikappu. It's actually warm weather! In May! In Hokkaido! Woohoo! Bit nippy at night, so we polish off a fifth of Jack Daniels between us. I sleep well.

Day 2: Niikapu-Churui. Not bad weather. Bit cooler than yesterday, but still sunny. We find rice cakes in the shape of boobies at a rest area gift shop. Cape Erimo. Gorgeous coastline. We camp in Churui, just south of Obihiro. Not quite as cold as last night, so I only have 3 beers. A fox comes within a few meters of our campsite. We chase it away as neither of us really want rabies. I awaken in the middle of the night to fox calls, which sound like somebody being killed.

Day 3: Churui-Lake Kussharo. Uh oh...weather looks like it might turn on us. We get lost in Teshikaga, but finally manage to find the lake. Oh crap. It's cold, windy as hell, and it's about to rain. Run back to Teshikaga to buy dinner and a 3 liter bottle of "Dai Goro", the cheapest shochu (think rubbing alcohol) we can find, then haul ass back to camp. It is now absolutely pissing down actual cats & dogs in biblical proportions and I'm freezing my ass off and miserable. "Ah...so this is what hell is like? It's much colder than I figured it'd be." We proceed to down 3 liters of rubbing alcohol in the hopes of somehow keeping warm while I stand in the rain barbeqeuing oysters and mandarin oranges. Yes, that would be the alco-mahol's fault. We drunkenly stumble along the shoreline and by total
dumb luck find a natural outdoor hot spring. "Thank you, Jesus!" I manage to get my body temperature somewhere above 30C and we stumble back to our tents. I do not sleep well.

Day 4: Lake Kusharo-Tohma. Shit weather & cold. I'm woken up at 5AM by the family in the tent next door. "...and then the dog woke me up!" Hilarious laughter ensues. I am extremely hung over and not pleased in any way, shape or form, as I yell in Japanese, "Would you PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP!" They tone it down about 0.000001 decibels. I drag my ass out of my tent and make my way to the bathroom. As I'm walking, death rays are emanating from my eyes directly at obnoxiously loud family and I mutter the equivalent of "Get fucked, assholes." Suddenly they become very quiet and hide in their tent. That's right folks, you do not want to mess w/ Mr. Very Hung Over Ugly Foreigner right now. Somehow my brain eventually starts to work, and while it's still freezing, the sun comes out a bit. Lake Mashuu (the shear beauty of this place alone made me temporarily forget the jackhammers going off in my head. Mt. Io. I stick my head in a geyser and almost burn my face off. Some old guy selling eggs hard-boiled from the local steam vents yells at me, "Oi! Mr. Foreigner! Buy an egg from me!" "Not on your life, Mr. racist Japanese!" We see the Sea of Okhotsk. While crossing the Mt. Taisetsu pass, it starts blizzarding. I do not have on snow tires and somehow safely white knuckle it down the other side. We camp in Tohma. It's sunny, now, but cold. I am an idiot and fall into a pond (of course, when I call M and tell her about this later that night, she laughs mercilessly at my misfortune). Thankfully, there's a hot spring w/in 500 meters of the camp ground and I have one last change of dry clothes, so I don't get pneumonia and die. It gets down to -1C that night, and once again, I almost freeze my ass off. At least it's not raining.

Day 5: Tohma-Sapporo-Takikawa (where I lived at the time). Finally, the weather is a bit nicer. We get lost somewhere in Kamikawa and can't find the Horokonai Michi no Eki. We are very disappointed, as it means that I can't pick up another country sign magnet (I've already picked up 11 on the trip by this point). We get into Sapporo, I drop Boy Doctor off, and we say our farewells with a manly "I'M NOT GAY" 3 pat hug. I drive another 2 hours back up to Takikawa and collapse into a coma.

Things I learned on this trip:

1) If you're really good friends, you don't necessarily have to get on each others nerves, even after being cooped up in a jeep traveling around WoopWoop, Eastern Hokkaido for 5 days. (NOTE: This is my personal opinion, and may not necessarily be shared by Boy Doctor)
2) There's a lotta nothin' in Eastern Hokkaido, but it shur is purty.
3) Golden Week is most assuredly not the best time to go camping in Hokkaido (that would be the approximately only 3 absolutely perfect days of the year in June). I had a blast, but sure as hell don't wanna do it again.

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