Wednesday, July 25, 2007

soaking wet and it's suddenly soon

Sojourner's Highlight: Plan a Distraction Vacation

Well, I survived.

[Next three paragraphs describe my backpacking camping trip.]
I just returned today from the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail on Vancouver Island. All told, we hiked about 50km's in 5 days, with about 50 pounds on our backs. After weeks and weeks of sun, this weekend poured record amounts of rainfall on the Juan de Fuca trail, concentrated especially in the 500 square metres above our heads. My friend had the flu so bad that she puked, couldn't sleep, couldn't really eat, and for a day or two could hardly walk. We were hiking on slippery rocks, logs, leaves, and as often as not mud as deep as our ankles - or sometimes our KNEES! Rainy logging roads meant the shuttle that was supposed to pick us up was late, and suddenly we had to stay the night in a hotel because we missed the last Ferry back to Vancouver.

The good news is that, somehow, I had an awesome time. My friend was amazingly determined and spirited considering the mud up to her thighs, rain the tent could barely keep out, and the vomit in the sand next to the tent. And I'm simply not going to mention the mosquitos, because then I'll start itching again. We were well prepared in terms of equipment, so I guess our guidebook "Giant Cedars, White Sands" worked well.

It was a personal challenge to not only make the distance, but to keep a smile on (almost) the whole trip despite the dampening circumstances. The trip was a success, and I look forward to more in the future.

What's really nice is that I haven't been stressed about Japan for over a week now! Planning for this hike helped distract me (as well as my funds, for better or worse) from J-Spot prep and stress, and I couldn't spare a thought for Japan the entire time we were out in the rainy woods. So, I recommend planning a small Distraction Vacation before embarking upon a long journey or far reaching adventure.

Of course, suddenly the J-Spot is a mere TEN DAYS away. No matter what you do, something like that will sneak up on you with lightning speed; if you go away for a week, it comes even faster!

What have I accomplished since my last post?
-Ordered camera online (should arrive soon, with a kick ass wide angle through telefoto lens)
-might sell my car to a friend, which is what I wanted in the first place (because she (the car) will be treated better that way)
-Got my mom to buy some clothes for me (some even have name brands on the tags and, for a change, NONE have been worn before by brothers or Sally Ann others)
-Bought a few random articles for gifts and novelties when I get to Japan (Canadian stickers, playing cards, pens)

What have I NOT accomplished?
-HAVEN'T been practicing my japanese language (Nihongo) books, at all. I have been reading two 'historical fiction' novels (both probably stretching the strictest parameters of that genre label): Gai-Jin by James Clavell, and Harpoon by C.W. Nichols.
-HAVEN'T finished buying all my clothes, including a suit and some work clothes.
-HAVEN'T researched any more into Sapporo's history, or climate, or any random info that might be interesting or useful once I get there.
-HAVEN'T started practising eating Japanese food.
-HAVEN'T finished getting gifts, souvenirs, gimmicks, teaching aids, etc.
-HAVEN'T thought anymore about how I'm going to pack, when the flight is, etc.

I couldn't give you a whole list of what I haven't done!
But now I must go fold clothes that, after two washes with extra rinses and extra soap, hopefully, but not likely, no longer stink like sweat and detritus.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a great summary of our trip! However, you forgot to mention us crazily swimming in the ocean in a desperate attempt to feel clean! That was a definate highlight for me!

All in all, it was a wet, terrifying (in parts, but probably just for me)but wonderful time!

Looking forward to next time!