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Dr John Hawkins

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On a Boat

Posted on 2005/08/12 03:33:02 (August 2005).

[Wednesday 10th August]
Almost the entirety of today was spent on a ferry - 20 hours from midnight up until about 8 in the evening. I was slightly concerned beforehand it would be a bit on the dull side,@but actually the time seem to pass really quickly, and I would have been quite happy to stay on for another 20 hours. It was just really superb travelling by ferry in this way - it harkened back to a golden era when travel was exciting and glamorous, not the uncomfortable ordeal it has become thanks to the proliferation of air travel...

Chie - somewhat against her nature - had booked us a "special class" cabin - one step above first class. We had proper beds, a really decent bathroom, loads of space and a really nice view out of our very own window. It was more spacious than most hotel rooms I had stayed in. This is how travel is supposed to be, not packed into an economy class cabin on a plane like cattle! As tempting as it would be to have spent the whole time in our very nice cabin, we did have a wander about out on the decks a few times, to see what the lower class passengers were up to. I realised how much I just love being on boats, surrounded by the sea. Marvellous.

The ship followed fairly close to the coast for a large part of the route, so for the first half, once it was light, we were treated to some very nice views of cliffs etc off the east coast of Japan. Later on though the sea mist came down and we couldn't really see that much - but this was still nice in its own way, it made the air nice and cool, a great relief after all the hot weather we've had recently.

This really was a great trip, in itself a real highlight of our trip to Hokkaido.

We arrived at the port around 8ish, and then headed straight for Sapporo where we had booked a room in a hotel for two nights. Chie had reverted to type for this hotel booking, and we were paying something rediculously cheap like seven pounds per person per night. So unsurprisingly the room was very, very basic, a little bit on the grubby side, but probably not the worst hotel I've ever stayed in. It was, incidentally, probably about a third of the size of our cabin on the ferry. In fact, it looked like the sort of cabin you'd expected to get on a ferry. Sort of ironic, I suppose.

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