Tag Archive | Hiking

Jogasaki trail and snorkeling

A spot I need to revisit this year is the Jogasaki trail. I went there last year as a day trip to check it out. It was pretty good for a recon trip, so definitely need to go back there this year. The housemate, his friend and I rented a car for the day to head down to the Izu peninsula. So much traffic. Got there a lot later than we wanted to.

The Jogasaki trail is about 10km through a bush track right along the coastline. We didn’t hike along the whole track, just small sections of it as we drove to different parts of it. We also did some swimming and snorkeling at different points. It’s a geopark so there’s a lot of diversity of flora and sealife as well.

We started at Izu Kogen.

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

The coastline is really cool. Sometimes I forget I’m in Japan.

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

The trail is also somewhat famous for its suspension bridges.

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Who knew these rocks were a popular swimming spot:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Not quite a sandy beach, but rock pools are cool:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Kids were jumping from the high rocks into the ocean below:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Taking the plunge:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Family picnickers:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

The fish was this big:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling

A waterfall:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

We then drove up to another section of the trail where there was a lighthouse and a seaside park. It was more crowded.

From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Scenery was great though:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

And this was the lighthouse:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

We didn’t stay too long. We didn’t want to pay for parking so we had to be in and out in about 30 minutes or less to avoid the parking fee.

We drove up to Futo where we had read it was supposed to be good for snorkeling.
It was a small marina:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Supposedly a range of marinelife, including humans!

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

I like that someone has a sense of humour at the Izu tourism association.

Time to hit the water and snorkel!

From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Lots of clownfish:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Even spotted me a human!

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

The water was a bit murky and dirty. There was a debris and stuff. Not sure whether it was just the location, or due to the weather (there had been rain during the week).

It wasn’t the most picturesque swimming spot but there seemed to be enough marinelife. I think it’s probably a better diving spot given the number of divers there. Must be pretty amazing the deeper you get.

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

And there were jellyfish!

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Some divers:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

Yeah, popular with divers:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling
From Jogasaki and snorkeling

And there’s a boat onsen to relax in post-snorkeling:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling

The endless ocean:

From Jogasaki and snorkeling

I’ll definitely be back to Jogasaki this summer to do the proper 10km trail.

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Aokigahara Hiking

Autumn always feels so short. Never enough time to get more hikes in to see the autumn leaves.

Was lucky and scored a perfect autumn day – clear skies, dry and views of Mount Fuji.

Got to finally see the Aokigahara woodlands, also known as the Sea of Trees (Jukai), so called, because when viewed from the sky, it looks like a sea of trees. Also, incidentally known as the suicide forest. Unfortunately, it is the site where many Japanese people go and never come back. The government has tried to prevent as many suicides as possible from happening there. And upon arriving there, there were signs and surveillance cameras warning those who enter to reconsider their options. The woodlands were formed by the trees that grew on the lava flow from volcanic eruptions.

Despite it’s grim history, the woodlands actually features a beautiful easy walking trail to some great lookout points.

The day requires an early start as it takes about 3 hours from Tokyo to get to Kawaguchiko station.

Riding the Fuji kyuko train:

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

Got to see Mount Fuji along the train trip.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

From Kawaguchiko station, you’ll need to take a 45min bus trip over towards Lake Saiko – which is a crazy name for a lake, am I right? (you get it don’t you?).

At the starting point from the Fuketsu lava caves, there’s a surveillance camera as you enter the woodlands. They basically keep an eye out for suspicious entering the trail (ie someone wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase).

You’ll also come across this sign, very early into the trail:

From Aokigahara hiking

Translation:
Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Please think of about your parents, sibings and children. You are not alone. Talk to someone.

And the phone number of the suicide prevention team of the local Fuji district police dept. phone name is given.

The woodlands is a sea of twisted trees and roots around the base of the Mount Fuji area and five lakes district. Surprisingly very green.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

There is a clearly marked trail which you should stick to. Wandering off the path is tantamount to getting lost. Those who go to end their life there do so by getting lost in the forest and then committing suicide by hanging.

From Aokigahara hiking

Along the route, is an ice cave which is pretty lame. And yes, entry is going to cost you.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

The highlight of the trail was going out to Sankodai lookout point (which means View of 3 Lakes). A view of Lake Saiko, Lake Motoso and LakeShojiko and also Mount Fuji. Simply stunning.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

And the autumn leaves were in their prime.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

A most interesting looking plant specimen:

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

Lake Saiko:

From Aokigahara hiking

The plains below:

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

There’s also a bat cave:

From Aokigahara hiking

Although me thinks they don’t actually have any bats there. They just tell you that “they’re sleeping”. “Sleeping”, my left foot. They are making a racket, charging 300yen entry for bats that aren’t even there.

Inside the bat cave:

From Aokigahara hiking

Be warned, the tunnels are insanely low. Not for the old folks or those with bad backs and knees.

From Aokigahara hiking

A really awesome hike. Well, not so much a hike as a nice trail walk with a few hills. Various lookout points with stunning views and various caves along the way. Highly recommend going in Autumn.

From Aokigahara hiking

Doable as a day trip, provided you make an early start and aim to get to Kawaguchiko station at about 9am. And buses only run about one an hour from the station to Lake Saiko area. Quite a fascinating area. I will admit I was super curious about visiting this forest. Had heard it was a little bit scary given its reputation. Definitely worth visiting. There are plenty of attractions at Lake Kawaguchi. Here’s a post where I was there 3 years ago.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

Autumn hiking

Went hiking on the weekend. Perfect autumn day. Sunny, clear sky, autumn leaves were at their peak and got stunning views including that of Mount Fuji.

Went out towards Fuji 5 lakes district.

Here’s just a few pics for now. Full write up to come in due course.

From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking
From Aokigahara hiking

Mount Bromo Sunrise: epic photo blog

Brace yourself for an onslaught of photos.

When I was in Indonesia for Golden Week this year, one of the things I did was see Mount Bromo at sunrise, followed by a trek up to Mount Bromo – a very much active volcano. It’s quite the trip. You generally need to book a driver and a guide for Mount Bromo. We opted to arrange just a driver (and no guide) as the volcanic area is only accessible by jeep. We opted for the hard core most time-efficient method. This meant leaving Jogyakarta at about 4pm in the afternoon whereby we took a a several hour train journey to Surabaya. We stopped at a place for dinner and then met our driver at Surabaya station at midnight. From there we would drive 4 hours in the middle of the night out to near Mount Bromo. We then had to change to a jeep vehicle with a separate Mount Bromo driver. No bed for us tonight. In the wee hours of the morning before sunrise, we layered up into our warmest clothes to make our way to the lookout point for sunrise. Because we had not booked a guide, we were to meet our driver later on in the morning. Phew, that was already a long day of 12 hours of travel without sleep and we still hadn’t climbed Mount Bromo yet.

It was about 4am and we donned our headtorches and set off.
It was still dark out, but soon the sun would rise. We weren’t about to climb Mount Bromo just yet. We were taken to the sunrise view point from which you can see Mount Bromo. Us and a couple of hundred other tourists were all waiting for sunrise.

Waiting in the dark:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Three mountains:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Cloud cover over the valley:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

When daylight broke, it was only then you realised how crowded it was up there.
A bit like Fuji. You get to the summit and then realise it’s like Times Square.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

The view was spectacular. Amazing volcanic mountains and cloud cover.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Sunrise:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Cloud and mist covers the valley and village below:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Mount Bromo is the middle wide, flattish volcano that you can see here. It is still very much an active volcano.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Remember this image below, because in a later post I will put up photos of the land below when all the cloud lifted. The contrast is stark.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Cloud cover starts to lift:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

It was pretty amazing. I was actually really surprised at how beautiful Indonesia was. So many mountains and volcanoes, as we all beautiful resort islands. The food was amazing, everything was pretty cheap and the people really friendly.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Smoke billowing from the two volcanoes:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Selfie sticks everywhere in Indonesia! Was surprised at how many people I saw using there during my holiday:

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Our driver took us to a different lookout point where it is less crowded and we got a different angle.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

This is Mount Batok, and behind it you can see the billowing smoke from Mount Bromo.

From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise
From Mount Bromo Sunrise

Not even 9am yet and we were still yet to climb Mount Bromo! Stay tuned.

Takaragawa Onsen

A couple of weeks ago, I got a chance to go back to Takaragawa Onsen, one of the coolest onsens in Japan. I went there last summer for the first time after a hiking trip. Let me refresh your memory here.
We stopped en-route here after a snowboarding trip a couple of weeks ago.
This time got to experience the onsen in the winter. There’s nothing like an onsen after a day on the slopes.

Takaragawa Onsen is supposedly Japan’s largest rotemburo/outdoor natural hot springs.

From Takaragawa onsen – winter

It indeed boasts 4 or 5 outdoor onsen baths. All of them are outdoors (there are no indoor baths here) and they are set alongside a river down in a valley. And yes, this includes doing a nudey run across a bridge to reach the hot springs on the other side! Just don’t slip and fall!

The onsen is quite traditional, in that there are no washing areas. Unlike most onsens where you are required to clean and shower before enter the communal bath, here there are no such facilities. You throw a bucket of water over yourself to rinse before plunging into the bath.

And oh, the other thing I should probably mention is that it is a mixed gender hot spring. There is however one single-sex bath and that is for women only. They do however provide large bath towels which you are allowed to cover yourself in and then immerse yourself into the onsen. At all other onsens, bringing towels into the bath is a big no-no. Most women tend to cover up here although they can choose not to. Men on the otherhand opt to go a la naturale here. Although some men will cover up in towels. But don’t expect them to. But given the freezing conditions, they would have been wise to 😉
The place itself is a little bizarre, requiring you to walk through a tunnel resembling a garden shed of dubious looking weapons and artefacts?

From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter

And they also have real live bears, as you do!

From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter

They currently have 7 bears as stated in the sign above.
…but I reckon there used to be eight….

From Takaragawa onsen – winter

The rotemburo baths looked very pretty in the snow:

From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter

My sixth sense says: I see naked people.

From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter

Upstream, along the river:

From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter
From Takaragawa onsen – winter

50 shades of Autumn: Oze trail

A long overdue photo post from last Autumn.
Finally got around to walking the Oze mashlands trail. Had always wanted to do this, since living in Fukushima back on my JET days.

It’s a nice easy leisurely walk on wooden platforms around the Oze national park marshlands (when you’re lucky enough to not be led around by the group guide at a whip-cracking pace).

Am getting lazy with the writing, so enjoy the photo overload.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yRxzmjovD6V__GXeNTbJRQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-IkCwGX_Od2s/UoddEem6sdI/AAAAAAACZWA/wzM-uZirRGQ/s640/DSC_0326.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

Autumn leaves:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pKTsgH8pEsaJ8aYobSR6kgOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ZB-lAwqWlC4/UoddFnW1qgI/AAAAAAACZWQ/l1tCS2DSqtA/s640/DSC_0333.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/a5NNfK2RUKnEqIiQv82WvwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-DIDgbgPak7Y/UoddIFJpJ-I/AAAAAAACZXM/cBw4b1YvVlM/s640/DSC_0346.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/_jzLDKa6kZ-nD44IOJnM9wOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-PE0pw31Ev2U/UoddJlAHGkI/AAAAAAACZXY/pr7gfqm6eFc/s640/DSC_0353.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/T9jHjpmXyQTL2JJoPZd-yQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-1LhJR_o2TPc/UoddL1sHuCI/AAAAAAACZX8/FR2i2wWGZmM/s640/DSC_0357.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

Hues of brown:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lV25oVgJjtWJTuDCkd1yMQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ueRixEazEPI/UoddMi9aLfI/AAAAAAACZYU/FDIq1wDnMcw/s640/DSC_0360.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

And more photos. Keep scrolling!
<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/7u0NtuqMmJnz37iyGHvXlQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-szdkptCoOpI/UoddN15ZXZI/AAAAAAACZYs/UcF4hQtsH68/s640/DSC_0362.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WKe72bmuBSZiQzmYujiUqAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ovOmXq8MwD0/UoddOFQ74XI/AAAAAAACZY4/FwCAliJ5-mQ/s640/DSC_0364.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/tCHG-R4QeKh2m75WienYxwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-bz548KcC4LY/UoddPMJ1hXI/AAAAAAACZZE/mr814lS-ITs/s640/DSC_0368.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vlOSbfZYsdoXkkMEEM5-pQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-EVv0nuceEwE/UoddPh7n43I/AAAAAAACZZI/yCHCKxd7Nms/s640/DSC_0369.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vDvSwM2nT_yx6uvB8Rz5YwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-r2zkrG_kjS0/UoddRrGY3pI/AAAAAAACZZw/R_b5WUCv67o/s640/DSC_0372.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/807Qm5oEwFdfMZzxLZU8mwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VYXQNlOf1oM/UoddQ0hkGMI/AAAAAAACZZg/Rv_yWKlr_vA/s640/DSC_0373.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/M532lsj7q4Yp9rRyEKXulwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-z-OVlV26FXY/UoddSBwhThI/AAAAAAACZZ0/Q9bU8eyh_ow/s640/DSC_0375.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/35UmgCIR07TBvDP62nfjVAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-nrgfoy6YmAI/UoddSr4-kaI/AAAAAAACZaA/36Xmd4-BICg/s640/DSC_0376.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MKLKf-Z60AYIBfKfluEidAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-s0A7ABT7yxQ/UoddTQ6B4JI/AAAAAAACZaY/Inq47cjphYY/s640/DSC_0379.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

Playing follow the leader:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/nr_IO9tKGwVExDLFuR2bfwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Os05Xa702Jw/UoddUV_yxwI/AAAAAAACZak/blo8z1-1WKI/s640/DSC_0381.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/iMM3Wm8uQv-0jiVNvFy4TAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-q727O_428qE/UoddUlj6ajI/AAAAAAACZa4/1CPGupYAsbU/s640/DSC_0383.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

The clouds were constantly changing on this particularly day, providing varied backdrops to the scenery, all in a matter of hours:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Z8jQFpLGypOfneDSeJX9lQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-_ccp074jX-Q/UoddU3YB7AI/AAAAAAACZaw/g7y7aLHWZP4/s640/DSC_0384.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TP9E5lZsuJnHbubq816a0wOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-e6LqGZPpxsU/UoddVW1EQoI/AAAAAAACZbA/ZzR1YmjqFEI/s640/DSC_0385.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/4xDyvtmZUUohgOoExuGDCgOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-oYT5k1iS1Ak/UoddVtVcchI/AAAAAAACZbI/dHwgMTq3hDA/s640/DSC_0388.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-Qb1ATzatpwnk5-QH8U-JwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-PXDpCzWiMhw/UoddV2S9iJI/AAAAAAACZbQ/mbxQJdjrgC8/s640/DSC_0390.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SYQcB1u05Y2vGnUAzZrQrwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0BKbwH5WXYo/UoddWmxG5CI/AAAAAAACZbM/GY1QDpDb3L0/s640/DSC_0393.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

Yeah, that’s right. More photos.
<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vYg4Mky9HbCsC-AUqy5NPwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-c4Kugcy1h18/UoddXAKv3KI/AAAAAAACZbo/aVLCamDMYNM/s640/DSC_0394.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/yzX3xYBGBjrdmMcKGi9PFAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-qY3KHyi4E-g/UoddXWh2y7I/AAAAAAACZbc/0lSmAkP8hp4/s640/DSC_0395.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/xwUiNm1y7GV5pnkG_YTWBAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-R-TqDSK4Gtg/UoddZbCL7-I/AAAAAAACZcA/fWLG8C-y-3Y/s640/DSC_0398.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/pCLbmE0C639Cw9uxyqz5eAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-d24nDdG4zbg/UoddaCT-hFI/AAAAAAACZcI/ZPhEx2qudAI/s640/DSC_0401.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

When we stopped for lunch, we totally gatecrashed this guy’s napping spot, and he still didn’t budge!

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ka_E2qp_eAdp_7rr9rJhvAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-t0XggzDuRYw/UoddamKCNUI/AAAAAAACZcQ/Y9YTAjVsQfI/s640/DSC_0405.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/57-HkRjcIczXKoYsE6bzqgOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dVFlkH7hy8o/Uoddaniul5I/AAAAAAACfMo/NPrhtghCNZo/s640/DSC_0404.JPG&#8221; height=”562″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AtHcbK5HJJ2AUKZ6HjIBFgOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-8JrtmsoBvpk/UoddcKUuk5I/AAAAAAACZc4/ISWTuy2EAJw/s640/DSC_0409.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/8qSXcK0vtdFIX6DCgTCZrgOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-9eVHIJtVjUA/Uoddc69l-tI/AAAAAAACZc8/lOsW7VhVQ4s/s640/DSC_0413.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/K1ZawzZUNmybbUso1IoBJQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5dFezQoKebE/UodddU-wVoI/AAAAAAACZdQ/qof5PzNnkzo/s640/DSC_0414.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/2QbmibXhyVaNmt_dEFbeCwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-kbfeAfWqc24/Uoddeo_QyhI/AAAAAAACZdg/vBMEedBlmII/s640/DSC_0421.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

Halfway:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Q0HTx-zULBSOUY-ItIbRggOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tV9fp-5KL4M/Uoddhgm1s6I/AAAAAAACZeQ/_g3TwJzs_ic/s640/DSC_0426.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

In the “middle” of nowhere:

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Cv4QQSHYHGfNA-ktn1IlowOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DOY9KAMnc5c/Uoddg7N0StI/AAAAAAACZeU/ocx7HmfZTpg/s640/DSC_0427.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AtCTOH8V1kwrsArH-v8W6QOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SzL28SHDo7o/UoddjIyEXlI/AAAAAAACZew/jh-Bm9xumb4/s640/DSC_0436.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6Rw3oyq8c1wjmoOG3-QvjQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-lIcZl-Iy18w/UoddjUwhiwI/AAAAAAACZe4/kOOMCdgWfFw/s640/DSC_0437.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zHhjE9hOJBxOrvY-0zGDAQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-tGaA9W7elFc/UoddngOQGbI/AAAAAAACZgQ/W2necn-H0wk/s640/DSC_0457.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RhPhCNyGaiBmnurqvH1rIAOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tdmFfVLE6ys/UoddoupBilI/AAAAAAACZgg/qrkolKVOik4/s640/DSC_0462.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/FG-m–2PteHK3c9k1oS2awOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-K8ogrVl5CBI/Uoddo3Iql7I/AAAAAAACZgk/yVvY7Hez-mM/s640/DSC_0463.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/lWRejvsd0UWvCMTz0zz5RwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Z1AlTfItUAQ/Uoddp9WnAyI/AAAAAAACZg4/ANBTWHgnd6M/s640/DSC_0466.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/zjjCtceWofijroPxZThjcQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-vhTcXya3h_k/Uoddrh-T9-I/AAAAAAACZhg/5FjYvqa1Fpw/s640/DSC_0473.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

And because I haven’t posted enough photos….here are a few more.

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/daoh9o7WzeKpnBDHHx1tJQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-kz_3vqEGkqo/UoddtXpRUPI/AAAAAAACZiE/g23_yx0C8zY/s640/DSC_0479.jpg&#8221; height=”640″ width=”425″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/k_KuV40vPlQqa70NesjAzQOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UDTP8WSK5gs/Uoddu5ho2qI/AAAAAAACZiU/pULXd73iaXQ/s640/DSC_0483.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/I3JGV8c1p5gREIli6qidHwOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-L9QYPeWyeyM/Uodd3Gxl0TI/AAAAAAACZk0/UP5SbLHyC28/s640/DSC_0508.JPG&#8221; height=”425″ width=”640″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:auto”><tr><td><a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JMClO01-A3-8rffCDHkF9wOVP5pgN1J-7jWX7d-iNUU?feat=embedwebsite”><img src=”https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-IRVXkeGLcOY/Uodd98nm0CI/AAAAAAACZnA/xcREUrpNZ-s/s400/IMG_5465.JPG&#8221; height=”400″ width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px;text-align:right”>From <a href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/116032719585350311356/OzeTrail?authuser=0&amp;feat=embedwebsite”>Oze trail</a></td></tr></table>

Mount Eboshi

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted.
Lots of bad luck recently, including a sprained ankle whilst going on a short but steep hike over the weekend.
Ankle has pretty much recovered in record time.

Clear winter’s day and caught my first snowfall for the season.

Steep hike, but the views over Lake Haruna and the mountain valley below were well worth it. Enjoyed the onsen by the lake afterwards as well.

This is not the mountain we hiked:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

More photos of the mountain not hiked:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

View from the mountaintop of the mountain we did hike:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

I’m hoping this gif works!

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

Lake Haruna:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

Despite the sunshine and blue skies, the weather was absolutely freezing. I had two layers of pants, and about 4 top layers including a snowboarding jacket.

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

Back on ground level:

The little knob of a mountain towards the left of this photo (not the big main dominating mountain), is the actual mountain we hiked:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

Lakeside by Lake Haruna:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

We stayed for the evening light illumination festival:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

Check out the lights:

From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna
From Mt Eboshi and Lake Haruna

Tanigawadake Hike and Takaragawa Mixed Onsen

One of the things I told myself I would do more of last year was do more hiking. Autumn is the best season for hiking in Japan because the weather is a lot cooler and the colours of the leaves are pretty at that time of year.

I don’t hike a lot, so this one was quite a tough one for me. It was a long, steep, rocky hike, but the view and landscape was pretty spectacular. Didn’t start off that way though.

From Tanigawadake hike

This was the Tanigawadake hike that I did last October (yes, a little overdue, I know).
It first required taking the cable car:

From Tanigawadake hike

The leaves were just starting to change colour:

From Tanigawadake hike

Conditions at the hiking start point did not look good. Not good at all. How is this for visibility:

From Tanigawadake hike

Trail was a bit muddy and wet too:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

The fog cleared a bit and we were on our way:

From Tanigawadake hike

Once we got closer to the top it was very picturesque. When I wasn’t sweating and panting away, I managed to get in a few photos. Ok, so more than a few photos.

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

It got steeper and steeper. Not entirely sure if this was meant to be a hike or a rock climb!

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

In amongst the clouds:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

You would have thought we were climbing Fuji!

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

We were up pretty high:

From Tanigawadake hike

There were even some small patches of snow. And this was October!

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

More climbing. Still not yet at the summit:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

Stunning scenery:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

I finally reached one of the lower peaks (there was still the upper peak as well):

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

I think I’m in heaven:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

The trail of people:

From Tanigawadake hike

What goes up, must come down. Coming back down is worse than going up. And going up was no picnic.

From Tanigawadake hike

A beast of a mountain:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

After a hardcore hike, we totally deserved an onsen. And we went to a really awesome. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this onsen. It’s a mixed outdoor onsen. There’s about 4 outdoor baths and all are mixed (there is one female-only onsen). This is one of the very rare mixed public onsens in Japan (no cossies allowed). You are allowed to rent a towel to wear into the hot springs though. Most of the ladies covered up with a towel (as I did), but be warned, that a lot of the men there won’t be so modest. The hot spring is a secluded location built across a river and there’s also a really nice ryokan you can stay at there.

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

A very cool onsen:

From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike
From Tanigawadake hike

This is Takaragawa onsen for the record. Definitely want to come back to this place. Lots of different rotemburos to enjoy so long as you don’t mind being surrounded by naked people (towels are optional. Although I am glad I am not too much fatter than what I am because they towels on offer wouldn’t have covered all of me! Just something to keep in mind, if you’re on the bigger side).

Mount Hachijo-Fuji Hike

Whilst on Hachijojima, I managed to hike both the island’s mountains. The mountain that dominates the island is known as Hachijo-Fuji: the Mount Fuji of Hachijojima. You’ll need a vehicle to get to the starting trail point.

We had hired a car, and we missed the start point of the trail and ended up driving around the whole circumference of the mountain and got a 360 degree view of the island.

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The island’s airport landing strip:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Managed to drive back to the start point where I embarked on a short solo hike to the summit. It’s not so much a hike, as a giant stairmaster.

Destination: Mount Hachijo-Fuji summit:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

The actual trail starts quite high up the mountain and is a series of steps – all 1,280 of them!

From Hachijo Fuji hike

640 steps at the halfway point!

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Step 1,100:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Getting closer, step 1,200:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

All 1,280 steps done!

Here is some of the scenery I enjoyed on the way up:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

And more steps:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The island coastline:

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Once you climbed up all 1,280 steps (which I did in about 35minutes), you can then walk around the whole mountain crater. It was once a volcano.
You’ll need to wade through bush and scrubs to walk around the whole crater. It was a pretty awesome hike. Definitely one of the better mountains I’ve hiked…although it’s not really long enough to call it a hike.

It was so green, lush and overgrown with trees for what was once a volcano. In the centre, there was also a small pond/lake.

The views were pretty splendid!

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The tiny lake in the middle of the crater:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Follow the trail:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Reached the highest point:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

View of baby Hachijojima:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Steep cliff edges:

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

The walk around the entire took me 90 minutes (and that was stopping for a lot of photo taking as well).
Then had to climb back down all 1,280 stairs (somewhat faster than going up them!)

From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike
From Hachijo Fuji hike

Definitely one of the highlights of Hachijojima island. (A pleasant 2.5 hour hike up around Mount Hachijo-Fuji).
Hiking is definitely one of life’s free pleasures.

From Hachijo Fuji hike

Hachijojima: Miharayama waterfalls

Hachijojima island has two mountains. The smaller one has some waterfalls.
Managed to hire a car and drive out to Miharayama and do a nice waterfall hike.
It was quite the leisurely hike. About 45min or so. Would recommend wearing appropriate footwear. Sandals aka Crocs didn’t quite cut it. Anyway, hiked we did in sandals. Was a gorgeous sunny day. Not the most scenic hike, but pleasant enough.

Am loving that it is spring, and summer on the way. I plan on doing more hikes this year. Have no major overseas trips planned this year (unlike last year’s Trans-Siberian month-long holiday), so plan on doing more active, nature stuff and exploring more of Japan.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

Mount Mihara:

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

We crossed rocks, rivers and walls… in search of this elusive waterfall.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

And then finally through the clearing, amidst the trees, we could see the waterfall.

From Miharayama waterfall

Ok, so not quite the majestic waterfall I was imagining. More like a refreshing mist of water. Niagara Falls this ain’t.

From Miharayama waterfall

If you got closer to the rock wall, you could stand right under the waterfall:

From Miharayama waterfall

The rockpool it opened into was lovely though. It made for a nice refreshing stop after our little hike. In summer, this place would make a great little secluded watering hole. The water was numbingly cold. I dunked my feet in and waded across to the waterfall, and my feet were numb. Not quite yet warm enough for a proper swim. The rocks were also really slippery.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

I managed to get right by the waterfall and did a mini photo shoot. It’s not often you get a whole waterfall to yourself.
Here are lots of pics of me (you were warned!)

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

Catching water:

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

BEWARE: Crocs in the water. And by Crocs, I mean footwear!

From Miharayama waterfall

Clear, cold water:

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall

On the hike back down, we stopped by the swamp pond.

From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall
From Miharayama waterfall