Matsumoto to Suwa – Saturday 18 May

It’s good when you don’t have to rush …

A quick look around the old town of Matsumoto and the Castle before heading off. A nice little neat precinct.

On our way – not a long ride about 40kms, however a very strong headwind as we climbed over the mountains – no valley today!

We are in the backroads passing through rice paddies, a lot of planting today as we watch the tractors in action planting the trays of seedlings.

Then about 7km of very steep climbs – we hear a lot of drums coming from above … after a very steep climb a small wine festival … Sun Sun Winery has attracted a crowd and a group of traditional Japanese taiko drummers are entertaining in the carpark … it is only ramping up as food stalls look ready to begin cooking. The carpark is a great spot for a view of the city and surrounds.

We continue climbing for a short while and then over the hill with Lake Suwa and lakeside towns of Okaya and Suwa. A long descent and headwinds have not relented … we find the lakeside path … it’s probably not at its best today … a little overcast and very windy. There is a lovely running/walking track, grassed areas and boats for water activities all on offer but not today.

We read the fine print ‘after’ confirming our accommodation … oops ‘access only by foot – no car access – 150 steps … not suitable for walking impaired people’

An email to the host and it is possible to store our bikes … we find the closest road access which was easier than what we have done today and an 80 step down. We are the only guests today … bought ready made food from the supermarket … just need the microwave and dinner taken care of ‘takeaway’ Noodles and chicken for John; tempura vegies, rice and chicken for me … fresh pineapple and strawberries. The supermarkets have the most amazing prepacked meals here … hotels and guesthouses have a microwave. My view is the lake … sadly due to the overcast conditions our sunset will not be very good … I can only imagine …

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