Going back to the mainland
Rishiri Travel Blog› entry 13 of 52 › view all entries
I had already decided I would go back to the mainland of Hokkaido today - and looking out of the window I believe it was the right choice to go back - the clouds are not as heavy as yesterday - and there are no rain but the weather still look too dodgy to venture up a mountain this morning. Hence even if I extended my stay I would not be able to hike the volcano today. So I go down for the breakfast and by some miracle my raw egg from yesterday have appeared in a fried version which I guess is due to my host whishes to accommodate my western taste - which I think is really sweet of her.
I want to catch the first ferry and I sort of tried to ready the timetable of the buses yesterday and as far as I could figure out there would be an early bus if I just had a quick breakfast. I try to ask just to double check on the timetable in case I had misunderstood something of the content. And it turned out I had - though I am not sure how. The bus I thought I could get on would not leave today for some unknown reason. But I am offer a ride along with another guest from the minshuku, We leave at 8 which gives us plenty of time to reach the ferry terminal - the car sure is faster than both the local bus and my bike riding - though I think I actually beat the local bus on my way from the ferry terminal to Kutsugata. As we reach the ferry terminal faith strikes a devastating blow to me - it is now sunshine - and the mountain are clearly visible for the first time since I got to the island. What bad luck I am suffering.
I have passed the point of no return and will go on the ferry it is too late in the day to find accommodation and start a ten hour hike anyways.
I get on the ferry and we start the 1.40 hour sailing trip to Wakkanai. We are followed by the usual seagulls’ which usually hang around ferries on their trip across the water - but these seagulls seem a bit more enthusiastic about getting close to the boat than usual. After a bit I realize it is because people on the lower deck are feeding them with some sort of snacks - not meant for the birds. This go on for a while and more and more people join in the feeding. Right until a member of the crew comes along and quietly tells them to stop it. And everybody stops the feeding immediately - no question asked. I think this tells a bit of the cultural difference between Europeans and Japanese. If something like this had happened in Europe people would not just stop like that - they would argue the point and probably resume the feeding when the crewmember had left - but not here - when somebody of authority tell you to stop something - you stop. Even though this was a very junior looking crewmember giving the order.
We finally arrive at Wakkanai after taking a long turn because the harbor apparently is on the opposite site of our approach to the harbor - but naturally we make it on time - what else would you expect around here?