The road to choir camp is a long one 〜 合宿への道が長い

I’m on the road again, this time for business. Well, I must admit that I am mixing pleasure with work. The annual spring choir camp begins next Tuesday, and I left home today (Friday) in order to spend four days cycling to the Iwai, where the camp is held. But not directly! Today I was up at 3:30 am in order to catch the 4:50 train with my bike. I started pedaling from Tsuchiura at 6:30 am. The route was ideal – lake dikes and cycling paths for half of the way, and country roads for the remainder. Not to mention the fact that I was blessed with tailwinds for the entire day! This must be a foretaste of heaven.
聖歌隊の春合宿へ出かけました。学生達は火曜日出発しますが、私はちょっとした遠回りで行きますので、今日(金曜日)午前5時前に出発しました。仕事にサイクリングを加えたくて、合宿先の千葉県岩井へ行くのに、最初に土浦へ電車で行き、今日の宿まで100キロ走りました(地図は以下にあります)。土浦を午前6時30分出発し、50キロ先まで車はほとんどなかったルートでした(霞ヶ浦の土手とサイクリングロードを通りました)。風も協力してくれました;一日中追い風に助けられました。

Day one details:
1. The first 20 km was on a lake dike, with Kasumigaura on one side, and lotus farms on the other. Lotus farmers have a tough job – they muck around in the chest-deep mud in cold early morning. I have no idea what they were up to, but don’t envy them their job.
私の右側が霞ヶ浦、左側は多くの蓮池がありました。早朝から蓮の手入れしている方々が頑張っているのを見かけました。


At the 20 km point, I happened across a rest house for cyclists, and most amazingly, they were serving breakfast! Fukaya-san was on duty, and he and I had quite a chat about this and that while I enjoyed a plate of his excellent French toast. Quite an unexpected pleasure!
約1時間走ったところで、新しく出来たサイクリストのために作られたレストハウスがありました。8時前だったのですが、既にモーニングセットを提供していました。今日の担当は深谷さん(写真)で、大変美味しいフレンチトーストとコーヒーを作って下さいました。去年7月頃出来た施設で、まだあまり知られていないそうです。是非行って見て下さい!土浦から約1時間のところです。




For the first half of the ride (100 km today in total) I saw no cars, riding along the lake-like Kasumigaura dike and cycling path.
50キロの時点まで車との出会いがほとんどなかったです。(写真)

As always, there were oddball things to enjoy. (The sign in the first photo says “Heaven is eternal life. Hell is a lake of fire. The Bible.” So, who wants to be a Christian? いつものことですが、面白い発見は多くありました。以下の看板と捨てられた石造り巨大招き猫。


The real point of this ride was to see the mouth of the Tonegawa River. A great bridge spans the river at this point, leading to the fishing port Choshi City. I met a man on this windswept bridge who told me all the places I should see while in town, as well as giving me a cycling map to the area. People are friendlier here than in the city.
今日のルートを選んだ一つの理由は利根川の落ち口が見たかったからです。大橋を通って銚子市に入りました。



My goal, the Inubosaki Kanko Hotel, was exactly 100 km from the start of today’s ride. You really should come here. The rooms are gorgeous, the lobby funky, the food good, and the hot spring bath fabulous. The combination of the ride, bath and dinner made today one of the highlights of my cycling career. Tomorrow I continue down the Pacific coast of the Boso Peninsula.
今日の目的地は犬吠埼観光ホテルでした。本当にオススメします。部屋が大きくて綺麗で、食事も美味しい。ホテルは海に面していますので、露天風呂はビーチの前です。最高です!明日から外房を続けて走ります。


Finally, today’s map, and the proof photo:

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