Saturday, August 8, 2009

Adventures in the Noto Penninsula. Chirihama Beach Drive

So apparently the rainy season has lasted a lot longer than it usually does so we had monsoon type rain throughout our 3 day weekend in the Noto Penninsula! Bloody typical, it’s got to be because I’m English.

FUK-U-MI (named after a bridge in Noto)- our little lilac delight

Didn’t put a dampner on our sprits too much though. We hit the road on Friday in our tiny but rather fetching lilac rental car which I think had a half litre engine or was battery run it struggled that much!

First stop, Chirihama Beach Drive, a 5 mile stretch of hard packed sand that you can drive along (and that includes tour buses. I’ll get to that later). The rain was getting worse.

Seeking refuge and hot tins of coffee in the tin shack, Chirihama beach

We pulled into a tin shack (literally) of a snack bar at the start of the driveway for a quick coffee. Now that was an experience, coffee in a tin was put in front of us. I explained we were after a “hotto coffee” so she bought back two SCOLDING HOT tins of coffee, unbelievable. I hope she didn’t whack it in the microwave.

The tin shack was fab though, right on the beach, old rugs scattered on the floor and knee high Japanese tables with families tucking into udon lunches watching their kids playing in the sea (in the rain). How can I describe it? Rugged cool.. ?

The rugged cool beach shack (corrugated roof and all), Chirihama beach

Back in the car. By this point the rain was getting heavier, so we decided to do a U turn & get back on the Noto Toll Road for fear of actually sinking us and our little lilac delight in the wet sand. When got to the junction though it was like a lake & only big beefy cars were getting through. After a heated discussion with mumma I decided sinking in sand with the tide coming in would make a far better story than breaking down on a highway so we decided to head back for Chirihama beach. To be honest, we shouldn’t have feared.

Fear not. You know you're safe driving on sand when a Japanese tourist bus coming the other way

Despite the peeing rain the beach drive was safe as houses, even a bus full of Japanese tourists came past which eased the fears. In true Japanese style it even had lay bys, 2 proper lanes, cafes and of course loos every 5 minutes along the way.

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