Japan. Shikoku. Shimanto Town to Cape Ashizura

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April 22nd 2017
Published: April 22nd 2017
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Day 10. Shimanto Town to Ashizura
91km. 800m ascent. 21kph.

Typical breakfast today of fish, rice, green vegetable of unknown provenance, soup and mashed turnip? Off we went following the Shimanto River again down to the sea. This was a very pleasant ride in 15-20 degrees with the odd patch of sun along mostly very quiet narrow road ads close to the river bank and occasionally going over the low concrete bridges with no side rails. It was good to see a small machine planting rice with is wife watching in her straw hat. The Azaleas are looking good and give some really good colour to the countryside. We also encountered a large quarry and tarmacadam plant with all its crushers and separators rattling away. Further downstream we saw a dog agility competition one one river bank and a Labour Union Rally on the other before our lunch of noodles and fish from the river, eaten with head and tail. Once we reached the coast the hilly bit of the route started along with the grunting and rapid gear changing. When we reached a Lawson service area, which is a bit like a 7/11 convenience store we could not resist calling in for coffee and cake. I also bought some biscuits for reserves and what I thought was a bun. Outside in a better light I realised that it was a fist full of wet seaweed. I like seaweed but not that much. Back into the shop to swap for more biscuits. Oh to be fluent in Japanese. Whilst we were drinking a Kiwi pilgrim came by on her way north doing 30km per day visiting some of the pilgrimage temples over 50 days. Well done. Outside the store were several small box like cars, which are the most popular car in Japan. They will have a very small engine but purr along nicely. I am sure Stephanie would like such a small Daihatsu for her next car. Several hills later we arrived at Ashizuramisaka, Cape Ashizura, where there is a lighthouse to keep shipping away from the sharp and numerous rocks. Further along the road is a compound where there are some volcanic and other rare looking rocks and four huge stalactites planted upside down. Where did they come from? 2 km further on was our hotel at the top of another climb, where else? We were met by two different members of staff and were inducted and lead to our room like Royalty. It was not for money, as the Japanese go not do tipping. Great service. Daily laundry washing and then off to the Onsen to be boiled alive again. What fun.

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