|Sunday, Sept. 17
At the edge of the caldera, we were suddenly climbing switchbacks
amid pine trees, with a great view of the flat basin we had just crossed
and the jagged peak Nakodake in the distance. We looked in an antiques
store and met a hiker who was covering as much ground in a day as we were.
At an Aso-Kuju National Park rest stop at the top of the climb, some
Japanese tourists told us it would be "up, down, curve" to Senomoto. The
ups and downs proved gentle on the Senomoto plateau, which was covered
with pampas grass blowing in the breeze.
There were a few cattle and horse ranches open for tours, and some
roadside produce stands. We turned onto Route 442 at the red-roofed San-Ai
Rest House, a big rest area crowded with tourists, and rode 1 more kilometer
Senomoto Youth Hostel.