October 3rd, Asahikawa to Shari
Today we only had two stops on our drive East. We had to fill up the car for the first time. At most fuel stations someone will pump for you but we we guided away from the pump. When we stopped at the right spot we noticed the pump’s nozzle came down from above us. Using sign language we were able to explain we wanted a full tank. The first stop was Sounkyo Gorge, a Canadian style village, with a ropeway that goes up to about 1600m. There’s a 360 degrees observation platform to overview the autumn colored area.
A few kilometers further are two large waterfalls that can be viewed from the parking lot but there’s also a lookout point on the other side of the gorge. It is a steep climb over uneven stairs and rocks but it’s worth the effort.
Now it was time to drive the long stretch of just over 200 Km to our hotel for the next 2 nights. We finally found how to enter destinations in the onboard GPS (the car must be stopped to do that, otherwise the option is greyed out) and were surprised we would arrive at almost 8 o’clock. Our own GPS was more optimistic and while we did loose some time because we stopped for dinner, it was also more accurate. Using the onboard GPS looks good for showing the way but fails in estimating driving time.