Today was a strange day, and one that in retrospect I probably should have taken off and spent sightseeing in Asahikawa - I could have gone to Asahiyama Zoo, for example, which is probably the second most famous in the country behind Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
Instead, though, I headed north through the suburbs and took a wrong turn at pretty much the first junction I came to. This led me over four mountain passes and a distance of more than a hundred kilometres to the town of Nayoro, which if I had turned right on Route 99 instead of left on Route 72, would have been just 70km away along a flat valley road.
Then, having pitched my tent at a campsite in Nayoro, instead of heading back into the town centre and going to the local sento, I rode several more kilometres up a dead-end road, in the pitch dark and through swarms of insects, to an onsen that seemed so much closer when I had first found it on my Mapple.
Finally, having trekked my way back to the campsite and swallowed several more mouthfuls of bugs along the way, I was kept awake into the small hours by a biking bore in a nearby tent, who droned on interminably about his 'adventures' to two friends who remained almost completely silent (perhaps, unlike me, they had already fallen asleep without him noticing).
The only plus points about the day were getting a phone call from Mr Great Barr, who was flying over from the UK to attend the Japanese leg of my wedding to Mrs M the following month, spotting the Cutest Bus Shelter In Hokkaido...