13 August 2010

Friday the 13th!

So what?  I don't believe in superstitions, because I believe only in God.  I hadn't actually realized it was Friday the 13th until I wrote this blog post (which is actually two days later).

Anyways, last night before going to sleep, I watched another movie online and...  5am came and I still can't sleep.  I fell asleep at 7am already!  Yikes!  And then I woke up (because I had to) by 11am to prepare.  But actually, I got up at 12pm already.  Oh by the way, yesterday, I packed everything already for today's trip.  So, a cold shower first.  Then, my supposedly spaghetti-and-gratin lunch turned into a salty chow mein dish and not as yummy doria.  It wasn't a very pleasant eating experience.  Nonetheless, it was still carbohydrates - my source of energy - and so I had to finish it all up.  Thankfully I had banana which was the best dish of my 3-dish lunch.  Then, final preps, and 2pm came and I was ready to go.  Save for the lack of sleep.

Gratin, by the way, is like baked ziti but it doesn't resemble the baked-mac-looking baked ziti I have tried at some "Italian" places in the Philippines.

2pm came and my two trip buddies slash next-door neighbours were not yet so ready-to-go just yet, and so I double checked the bus schedule at the bus stop.  Per my "research" online, we could take the 2:15pm bus, so that we could be at the train station by ~2:35pm to meet up with our two other trip buddies, and then we could take the 3:03pm train to get to Shinjuku by 4pm.  Guess what.  The next bus was not until 2:37pm.  Uh-oh, we're going to be late!  And we didn't have oxygen cans yet - we still had to buy them in Shinjuku!

Anyways, so we can't do anything about it except inform our two trip buddies who might be early to arrive at Hon-Atsugi.  It was so hot today by the way.  And I was already wearing one thermal.  My mountain climbing bag was already 12kg, with 4L of fluids (2L of water, 2L of sports drink) and 7 additional layers of clothes.  I haven't ever been in less than 10 degree weather for more than 30 minutes before - usually if I'm in 10 degree weather or worse, I would go indoors already after no more than 30 minutes.  So anyways, I took all necessary precautions.  Like the fluids.  The cost of these 4L of fluids is just under 200 yen.  If I buy them at Mt Fuji it might cost me 4000 yen!  I also brought knee and ankle braces.  A walking stick.  Some Biogesic (paracetamol) medicine.  A low stool (because it's difficult for me to stand up from a squat or sit-on-the-floor position).  An umbrella in case it rains on the way between home and the starting point of the Mt Fuji climb.  A scarf, a pair of gloves, two knit headgear (bonnets/beanies), and a cap.  Two hankies for covering my ears and sunglasses for my eyes in case it becomes sunny.  A face towel to wipe away sweat.  6 packs of granola bars.  12 chocolate-covered macadamia nuts.  9 macadamia nut choco cookies.  An extra pair of shoes - because my Nike running shoes was "smiling" already.  I glued it up but who knows, what if it gives in!  Better to carry an extra half kilo of insurance than walk up and/or down a 1.4km climb without any shoes at all!  I also brought my wallet, of course.  And my two cellphones (Japan and Philippine numbers).  And my Palm TX - which functions as my English-Japanese dictionary, and my movie player.  And maybe a couple other things.

Anyways, better to be safe than sorry.  Better to carry all that weight and make it to the top, than having to go down because I am not prepared to complete the whole trip.

So, we got to Hon-Atsugi at around 3:05pm already, two minutes too late for the 3:03pm train.  Surprisingly, the train was late and so we were still able to get on the train.  We got to Shinjuku just around 4pm.  We met up with Kim-san, the trip organizer, and we met his girlfriend and also his cousin, both for the first time.  Then a little later Dr. Kim arrived.  Then there we were, 9 of us, trip buddies for this Fuji climb.  We hurried first to find oxygen cans for bringing up to Fuji.  But we didn't have enough time anymore and we weren't able to buy our dinner!  So we had to buy dinner at the 5th station of Mt Fuji, where our climb starts.  Off to the bus station we went and then somebody shouted "Ronj!"

It was Coy, my friend from the Philippine, who is about to graduate from her masteral degree this August/September.  This is only the 2nd time I've seen her during my Japan trip, and whoah, this was a big coincidence.  I found out she was going to Mt Fuji as well.  I told her we were late for our bus already and that we should just catch each other at Mt Fuji.

On the bus, I planned to either sleep the whole time, or watch a movie.  I attempted both but didn't really get to finish either one of them.  Oh well, I hope my staggered sleep last night (6pm to 10pm and 7am to 11am) was enough.  On the bus we checked the hour-by-hour weather forecast, and it said sunny!  Great!

Our bus left at 4:50pm.  We arrived at the 5th station at around 7pm.  And so we split up to look for, buy, and eat dinner.  We ended up eating at the restaurant where they have hot meals.  Two guys got kare-raisu (curry rice) which was 950 yen but was probably just 1/3 of that, 2.3km below.  I had tempura-udon which was only around 650 yen.  It was yummy.  But actually, it wasn't enough.  But, ah, we were in a hurry.  We must be at the summit by 4 or 4:30am to catch the sunrise, and back here before 11am to catch our bus trip back to Shinjuku.

After some group photos, minus one (the person taking the photos), we started our climb at 7:45pm.  After about two hours we were already past the 7th station.  I thought that was fast. After the 7th station, there's the 8th and 9th station.  So supposedly we were 1/4 of our way up.  Then, the climb became harder and harder as we got closer and closer.  Ah, one of life's many lessons.

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