- Day 56 – Tomakomai to Sapporo
- Distance: 69.5km
- Ascent / descent: 923m / 831m
- Weather: hot
- Accommodation: Stayed with friends Kanji & Mieko
The hotel I stayed at last night had a free buffet breakfast which was a lovely added bonus.
The rain had stopped but it was an overcast and cool morning. There was a cycle route parallel to Route 276 between Tomakomai and Lake Shikotsu which was nice and smooth and I thought I might even see a bear 😉
Lake Shikotsu was shrouded in mist but that hadn’t stopped the hordes of tourists arriving by coach. Everyone was dressed as if they were going to a ski resort and I didn’t blame them, I had my wet weather gear on too just for an extra layer of warmth. The Lake Shikotsu Visitor Centre was fantastic and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area. The map inside the centre showed recent bear sightings and a staff member told me that a bear had been seen last night on a highway near Chitose airport, not too far from here. I still want to see one, but obviously from a safe distance 😉
Riding around the lake I saw one small brown snake, then I had a big climb and on my first descent I saw one more snake and a deer; the deer made so much noise when I startled it that I did think it was a bear. Alas, I couldn’t escape the rain clouds… the heavens opened up and it rained for the rest of the way to Sapporo where I met Kanji & Mieko again.