Tomorrow we will row the last of the 180 km route around Lake Biwa that is the 2011 FISA World Rowing Tour, so far the people have been great, some of the food has been awesome (some has been incredibly disappointing - but none has killed me yet), the rowing conditions have been excellent... in the mornings, and sometimes treacherous in the afternoons. Here's a taste:
The start of day one, at the south end of the lake, Seta Rowing Club & flags of most of the nations present (and some that were not, and some present nations' flags missing...)
The Swiss boat on day 6 (with 2 Aussies, a Dutchman and a Norwegian... only 1 Swiss) rowing by Takeshima island (the island of many views) in lake Biwa.
A delicious lunch for us on Mt Hiei... note the sign for us, please, I was dying of laughter for an hour I swear.
A silly photo I took of myself and Anne (Norway), in bow, during a water break... on day 3???
We were so famous in lake Biwa that the local paper in Moriyama (where we are stationed) had an article on the front page the morning of our second day rowing! That's my crew from day 1 pictured too - I bet you can figure out which one is me...
We rowed through this gate/shrine also, and this time Ursel (Dutch/Swiss) was in bow. Same day as the silly Anne picture, but apparently I can't remember which day we went through the gate. We have lots of seating changes in the boats on the water, and crew changes daily so that we interact with all the people from all over the world! FUN!
This was quite possibly the best tuna sashimi on the planet. It will be pretty much impossible to top this lunch.
Everyone warned that there would be vending machines everywhere, but no one warned what would be in them. This one clearly features the strangely named beverage "Pocari Sweat". I don't know what a Pocari is, but I picture something like the Alot and I was extremely skeptical about drinking its sweat. Naturally, with the prevalence of the product my curiosity took over, and it's actually pretty good! Sort of like the lemonade flavour vitamin water, only with more flavour, and possibly less high fructose corn syrup (I'm only assuming that since there's basically NO corn here that I can see, that sugar is cheaper to use in Japan...)
Finally, I couldn't resist snapping this before leaving this shop with my green tea soft serve ice cream, which was delicious by the way. The green tea stuff is everywhere, and I know from Kingston days that green tea mousse pocky is pretty fantastic. I'm not so sure that replacing the chocolate in Kit Kats with green tea is a great idea; and I could NOT identify what green tea "treat" was being sold under the hilarious name "Collon"... but it did give me the giggles.