If, somehow, you came across my bunk and found this note, it's possible that I have died during the legendary 30km hike. Please tell my family that I love them.
Despite repeated warnings about the hike’s safety, others at the hostel were also willing to risk their lives for the experience. Five of us woke at 4:30 am for a monstrous breakfast to supply the energy we’d need to navigate the various perils presented by the hike.
Eat up, travellers, you may never eat again…
I know you’re expecting a story, and I hate to disappoint, but from a ‘danger/thrill seeker’ perspective, the hike was quite tame, with few perilous cliffs to avoid and not a single clawed, poisonous, or rabid creature to fend off. Indeed, we saw not one glimpse of falling rocks, fiery calderas, landslides, or quicksand. For better or for worse, It was in relative safety that we traversed the length of the island.
No longer concerned with my premature demise, I was able to enjoy the hike’s scenic views of rolling hills, endless coastlines, enchanting forests, and stony beaches, with not a single mishap or calamity to report.
There was an Australian couple among us who were a photographer/journalist team. They told me stories of their time in Japan and I did a bit of translating for them when I could. We wondered whether a little romance was brewing between the Japanese pair. Eight hours is a long first date but things seemed to be going well.
Despite keeping a pretty quick pace, the 8-hour hike took us 10. As we approached the hostel we were all a bit too tired for the numerous bouts of yelling and waving that comprise their standard arrival ritual – everyone's welcoming cries were met with a weary silence.
“Why aren’t you responding?”
[Among ourselves] “They never give up, do they?”
More songs and dances were not in the cards for me that night. I found my bunk and fell into a deep sleep. At least until that damned wake-up call, that is.