It is supposed to be cold in January but it is not. At least not for folks in the Northern Hemisphere. Well is it wet? Yes sometimes. Does it rain? Yes but more like a drizzle actually by Malaysian standard of rain. Fortunately except for one almost blizzard like day the rest of the month was mild. That means great outdoors and great hikes. My weeks goes like this in January. Monday and Wednesday morning hikes. Friday morning Coffee Morning with English speaking community. The rest of days attending Networking events with the leadership coaching and learning community in Basel, Zurich, Bern and Geneva. Ok I do some shopping and cooking for the family as well. Thats keeping me busy these days. Thankfully still managed to have some cycling done zipping here and there around Basel city.
January brought me places like Zurich, Geneva, Colmar, Bern and Andlau ( Thank you Kevin).
Dear friends, sorry for the silence. I am on the road ( out of Malaysia) but this time not cycling. Well to be accurate not cycle touring. I have been with my family in Basel, Switzerland since end November 2017. The only cycling I am doing is city commuting which is wonderful too. Basel is a great city for cycling. Organised and very bike friendly. It’s bicycle track flows well and works so it is convenient, safe and a joy to commute via a bicycle.
December went by in a flash and January too. Basel winter was surprisingly mild this year. So far I have only seen 2 to 3 days of snow. Temperatures hover mostly above 0C and somedays can be as high as 15C.
Most of my days are spent doing some house chores like shopping, a bit of coaching related project work, attending social meetings and networking and also lots of hiking in the forest nearby.
Nothing incredibly adventurous but I am enjoying it. Here are a collection of photos to share my experience so far. Enjoy.
Batu Pahat remains one of my favourite small town. It’s charming with its old buildings and small shops, great food and friendly locals. The nutty band of “superheroes” lead by SuperCylcingMan had a wonderful time and we thank you Batu Pahat. Thank you also to Ho Liao Canteen for hosting us and providing us with a wonderful mini town tour and sharing it’s interesting history. We shall be back to visit again.
Day 2 ride to Batu Pahat was so much fun. It was long and hard 104km ride but worth it as SuperCyclingMan succeeded to find his superhero buddies. Let the fun begin. The road condition was around 80% tarmac and 20% gravel but it was never a problem for all. After fooling around for almost the whole day, the superheros arrive Batu Pahat at around 6pm. We were graciously welcomed by Jerry our host who runs a fantatsic hip cafe called Ho Liao Canteen. He allowed us to stay at the top level of his cafe. What a perfect ending to a wonderful ride. Fantastic place for us to stay the night at Batu Pahat. Thank you Jerry from Ho Liao Canteen.
I really enjoyed the short tour of Hokkaido and I will definitely come back for another tour at some point. Hokkaido is a great island for cycle touring if you are looking for a more relaxing and easy going type of your. What I loved about the place ? Mostly the greenery and natural surroundings. Camping is so cheap and convenient and tons of information about the island are available either online or at information centres. As a traveller you are spoilt for choices for accommodation. Camping free or paid are all over the place and so are rider houses ( organised mostly for motor bikers touring) can be for free or paid. Camping if not free cost from 300 Yen to 600 Yen and both free and paid are always with clean toilets and open cleaning kitchens. Rider houses can cost around 1000 Yen per person. Hostels and hotels are expensive. Be prepared to pay around 4000 Yen and above.
Food and drinks inexpensive if you buy from the supermarkets. For a quick meal you have the options of abundance of convenient store like 711, SeacoMart or Lawson in almost every town. Food package usually starts from 300 to 500 Yen. Premium beer is around 200 To 250 Yen per 500ml can and if you are not choosy the cheapest beer cost around 70 to 80 Yen. Wine is super cheap too. You can actually fine super cheap very drinkable Spanish wine from SeacoMart at around 400 Yen per bottle.
If you are frugal can actually tour for very cheap in Hokkaido. Here is my spending for your information.
Today the plan is to set up my bike and also spend some time looking around the area. Another tourer from Hong Kong is also staying with my host family. Ming is planning to cycle the whole of Japan starting from Sapporo. He is awaiting his friend to join him in around 3 weeks.
We planned to cycle to a nearby historical town for a look see and later to downtown to have lunch and a bit of shopping for groceries.
We first visited the historical village of Hokkaido which sits on a 54 hectares of Nopporo Forest Park. There are around 60 structures and old building to see. Entrance fee is 700 Yen which is RM27. Very interesting to see the different Japanese types of architectures and in different eras. We headed to town after this for lunch at a downtown food courts that was nothing special and yet slightly expensive. We headed back to my host’s home to adjust my bike and final set up for the ride tomorrow.
Mrs Ikeda our host’s wife cooked us a storm for dinner and it was so delicious. After dinner the whole family played UNO together and after that we chatted for awhile before I call it the night and went to my room to pack my panniers. Tomorrow’s weather is forecasted to be so so. With potential rain around 2pm. Let’s see.