Woken up by a massive thunderclap. Once the weather is satisfied that the entire population of the island is awake, it settles down to some serious raining.
Open curtains. The view is slightly different: the ‘Angel Road’ is above water, with a few people wandering across, complete with umbrellas. In the port in the distance, a gravel ship is being unloaded. The crane is swinging the bucket like a fairground ride, and dumping the contents in an extravagant arc as it goes. It looks like they are burying the entire quayside.
We have a ‘biking’ breakfast. ‘Biking’ in this context is the Japanese pronunciation of ‘Viking’. We know the Vikings as remorseless warriors* but apparently to the Japanese they are the inventors of the buffet meal. Last night we had ‘entertainment’ from a Power Ranger and fluffy mascot, but probably the management took one look at the bleary-eyed guests this morning and went for the safer option of leaving us in peace.
Back on the hotel bus to the ferry. This causes some problems as we have big bags and it is a small bus. Block door with bags and then have to climb over them to get to seat. Land next to Japanese teenager. Say good morning. He looks terrified.
Arrive at port. Ferry leaving. Catch the next one, which is even smaller than yesterdays. The control room is behind a curtain.
The plan had been to catch another ferry to Osaka and then a train through the mountains to Beautiful Wife’s family, but we reluctantly decide time is against us and head back to the Shinkansen. Race through miles of dreary, ugly floodplains covered with jumbled grey houses under tangled power cables, interspersed with equally ugly factories and industrial units.
At Nagoya we finally change to a local train for Ise. After going on a tour of the local oil refineries, where the local pollution is so bad that the doctors have now talk about “Yokkaichi Asthma”, we finally break through to a vaguely rural area and the mountains come a bit closer before arriving, finally, at Beautiful Wife’s home town.
*And makers of furniture.