I sit on a bench overlooking a lake in Ohori park, Fukuoka city. The sun disappeared a while back behind a smudge of clouds, not the best of sunsets.

My bike is propped up behind the bench, packed up with damp clothes and weathered road maps. Tomorrow I will sell the bike, just taking my bits and pieces back with me to Tokyo.

I don’t feel much right now, no jump for joy feeling of success, just calmness but with a urge to pursue my next dream.

I’m just waiting now, with little money in my pocket and with no contacts here, I just wait.

Either side of me are 2 men, their bikes also propped up against benches. One sleeps while the other reads a book, I have a feeling they are homeless by the loaded bikes that are look tattered and worn.

Its getting dark now, I should start looking for a camping spot. Hopefully I wont be doing much more camping for a while after this. I am looking forward to my own bed and TV I have to admit. But still it has been manageable. maybe I never really had a good nights sleep, usually due to uneven ground, crazy end of the world style weather, or the sound and sight of bear activity just feet from where I lay. But I could not have done this trip with the tent, I have certainly become allot more stronger from those experiences.

Now my last day in Fukuoka, not much going on, just the constant need to eat and satisfy my hunger, well as much as I can with the remaining 100 yen coins! which translates to a curry bun, cream danish and a ice cream.

I just cant wait to be back in Tokyo, a month away has really made me miss my hangouts on those streets. Well in just 11 days I will be flying back to the UK, which I am also excited about; but also have some small apprehension as to my future there.

One thing that this tripĀ  has taught me though is persistence, to keep going even when you feel like crying, as the rewards can be just around the corner, or the next, or the next.

I have also learnt how much I can get done in one day. Waking up at 5.30am and cycling across 2 pages of my road maps; say about 100km, makes me feel proud. Hopefully this will continue into my studies and take me to the top! well lets see.

I have the confidence now to commit to my illustration work now so success in my final year at uni and future employment is my next dream; a bit different from cycling across Japan, but I’m sure just as or more challenging.

So in the end did I fix my broken heart through my soul searching adventure? well kind of! I do feel I have finally moved on from dwelling on past memories and wishing things would be different. I believe I am stronger and braver, maybe a bit more than I imagined I could be. Seems I always like a bit of drama in my life, but enough of the depression and low confidence. I have proved to myself that I have the power to succeed in my ambitions, the ones I don’t succeed in such as past relationships, well then they where ultimately not right for me and more of a stepping stone for me to realize my true purpose and potential.

Back to the cycling, would i do it again? not for a very long time. A 2000KM solo trip is hard going but rewarding. I feel I have got what I needed from painfully climbing those mountains, so I don’t have the motive to start planning the next trip.

And if I did, next time some good company would be nice. Across South America? a Trans-Siberian cycling trip anyone? In fact forget the bike, I’m upgrading to something with a motor!

Well I hope this blog has entertained and informed those of you who have been following me over the past month and a bit. I has been really uplifting to receive some lovely messages that have motivated me to keep on going when I had felt it was all too hard. A few even touched my heart with such kind thoughtful words, so thank-you.

This will be the last post regarding my trip, however I will be updating and developing Likethewind.co.uk over the coming months. As some of you may already know, I will be producing a illustrated book, depicting the highs and lows and as much randomness that I encountered on my cycling trip.

Thanks for reading,

Joseph

XOXO

i am walking down the street carrying my tent and sleeping bag after just selling my bike for a ridiculously low price. i feel a bit tearful,im on my own now.i cycled over 2000km on that bike.now gone.i will try and enjoy tonight,i did a good job.

09 09 07 020

supliment jelly,choose from protein,energy,multi-vit,multi mineral or fiber variaties! a bit pricey around 200 yen but refreshing and fun!

so what does one do on the last day of visiting Fukuoka? browse the local Home Center of course!

09 09 07 014

he was standing opposite me,his indistinctive face stared at me. i was freaked,more so when he stood frozen,glaring as i took down the tent and loaded my bike.i rode off with a chill down my spine.im on a grassy patch by the beach, hope i sleep.

i knew i couldnt sleep,so decided to pack up.the road at the edge of the park would sometimes get a few cars drive thru,the noise gave me a chance to pack.then i had the tent to take down.i popped out the tent thinking he was the other side,infact…

i decided to camp at the same spot as the night before, a quiet nook shaded with trees. i noticed after a bit of snoozing,a figure pacing around in darkness,ocasionly mumbling.this went on for ages,i lay silent hidden from view as i watched nervously

i miss tokyo and its bunch of weirdos! here in fukuoka my fashion seems to be a laughing matter!

luck for me, im not so polite,the big boy pest said “hi” and i replied “its hot isnt it” in japanese promptly followed by covering my face with my vest and laying down.pest soon fled.

09 09 06 019

its painful to watch the single traveler in the white, merge himself into the group of 3. helingered around earlier eying me and again just now. all it took was to offer to take their photo, now they stand akwardly.then a big boy pest sat next to me!

09 09 06 017

so today i went to the bayside of fukuoka which is one very nice and shiney entertainment zone.there is yahoo stadium where local baseball team the softbank hawks play,hawks town mall,fukuoka tower n 2 man made beaches.everyone is lovin it.

09 09 06 012

09 09 05 007

in a internet cafe!

09 09 05 004

im at Hakkata station! central fukuoka! i need a meal and a shower. xj

09 09 05 003

my first puncture on my last day!

09 09 05 001

so i have just pitched the tent and now watching the sunset. tmro i will arrive in fukuoka the finish line of my trip! im happy that i made it this far and worked thru the crazy parts.i leave for Tokyo on 8th so my tent still has a few nights left.

09 09 04 020

this afternoon a accident occured where i was involved in the running over of a corn on a cob.unfortunatly the cornwas seriously injured, however i went on to sunbath in my undies on the beach! aint no grieving here..

09 09 04 017

been cycling thru the traffic nightmare that is kitakyushu. ive stopped at a 7eleven for a sausage and bun,will cross one bridge and follow a bike path to a beach in ashiya.

09 09 04 015

so turns out the bridge is close for bikes and pedestrians! so im on a free coach while my bike is loaded into that van infront! unexpected and bit anoying not cycling across.boo.

09 09 04 003

ok i gotta get up there somehow.

09 09 04 002

see the island on the left, thats kyushu,my final location! i am in shimonoseki now, took 2hrs 45mins from Mine. i should arrive fukuoka city tmro!

09 09 04 001

im just outside central mine, i cycled about 10km from the cave as i couldnt find a place to eat or camp. im now in a small park waiting for sundown so i can pitch.feel a bit sick from crazy heat n unhealthy conbini food.need a good sleep.

09 09 03 005

ijust arrived the huge campsite to be told its closed and to cycle 2 hrs back to another! no way

after a scenic ride i arrived at akiyoshido cave. i took a lift down and set off. the place is seriously huge with cool air and a river running thru.im so refreshed now,will head for the nearby campsite.

09 09 03 004

been a tough day so far,hot and hilly. but im about 10km from my destination and a huge cave to explore.

09 09 03 003

here is the view from the castle ruins over tsuwano.the town was one of the reasons i did this trip, and was definatly a highlight. its so pretty and calm,water channels run thru the town filled with thousands of koi carp,just not keen on the bears!

09 09 02 002

today has been about highs and lows.toilet sleeping,castle climbing,knee hurtin,hill hating,tsuwano lovin,hagi. at my destination,and after a day of almost crying,i have a beach! worth it.

09 09 02 006

i have just moved my tent for a second time due to the very real possability of bear attack! i have seen and heard movment and grunting noises just meters away. im now a bit further away but scared.any bear prevention tips?

something big just went past in the trees behind my tent!

Katsu curry, pork cutlet in breadcrumbs deep fried, with mild curry,rice and pickles.

09 09 01 008

December 2016
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