Tuesday 18 February, 2020
Day 2 | Kanazawa to Togi
[Missed the previous post? Check it out here]
So the plan was to be on the road by 9am but we can barely open our eyes when the alarm goes off. You don’t realise how much you take a comfortable bed for granted until you spend a night trying to sleep on a bus! Eventually we manage to drag ourselves out of bed and check out at around 10am before stopping by Lawson’s to grab some breakfast.
We pick up our bikes from the parking lot and despite the overnight snow they are still dry. There’s snow everywhere and it’s even colder than it was the previous day with a top of 4 degrees on the weather forecast. It’s currently about 2 degrees so this is probably about as warm as it’s gonna get.
I don’t think either of us expected snow on any part of this trip so we have resorted to wearing layer upon layer to keep ourselves warm today. I’m wearing four layers on top and Cheye has put his jeans on over his bike shorts as they’re the only long pants he packed for this trip. He’s also managed to fit my beanie on under his helmet.
We have 80km to cycle today and the first part is trying to navigate our way out of the main city, which usually takes a bit of time based on past experience.
We stick to the footpath as it’s wide and uncrowded, and it’s pretty effortless until I take a fall and bang my shin. I’m in a world of pain, partly because of the cold and partly because I’ve gashed it open. However I don’t find this out until later, which probably isn’t a bad thing.
We continue down the main road, having to back track a little, until we come across a dedicated bike path. We’re actually quite lucky that there is a cycling path for the entire journey today, apart from a few detours where the path is closed.
The temperature pretty much sits at 2 degrees for most of the day, with a crazy combination of wind, rain, sun and snow. So much snow! I’ve lived in snow before but have never experienced it like this.
At several points today the snow was falling so viciously that we had to stop cycling as we couldn’t see in front of us.
Looking back at the GoPro footage it looks like the snow is actually flying horizontally like bullets, explaining why it was hurting my face (which you can actually hear me saying at around the 26 second mark).
The roads today are fairly undulating and we end up doing about 550m in elevation.
It’s about 3pm when we stop by Family Mart to grab some lunch as I’m quickly fading and the cold isn’t helping. As we sit down to eat the snow starts up again! My hands are so cold I can’t even use the chopsticks properly to eat my ramen and end up using a fork instead.
The last 17km is just as cold and the snow doesn’t stop falling. We take the coastal road at one point to avoid the highway tunnel and see the Hatagoiwa Rocks, which look pretty amazing with the waves crashing around them.
A little further on we see an amazing view and stop to take it in despite the cold. The waves below are still crashing and the sea is really choppy. I’ve never seen waves quite like this before!
We continue the final 5km and find our accommodation just off the main road. As I check in, my hands are still so cold that I can’t hold the pen properly to fill out the guest register form at reception so the staff member assists. The biggest relief is the convenience store and supermarket are just across from us so we can grab some bento boxes for dinner. My savour!
The room is massive and the memory of stacking it earlier in the day had been forgotten until I peel back my leggings to reveal my leg covered in blood from the fall. I have one of the best showers I’ve had in a long time, and possibly one of the longest. Our clothes are drenched from the day so we take turns using the hair dryer to dry our clothes off.
We pop out for a feed before settling out of the cold, ready to do it all again tomorrow. After checking the forecast, it looks like we might get lucky with no rain or snow and a top of 6 degrees Celsius. Yippee!
Read our next post here: Day 3 – Togi to Wajima