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Published: April 20th 2017
Day 8. Kochi to Honmachi.
99km Ave 20.4kph. 760 ascent.
Great day again. It was supposed to be a western breakfast so we had a small piece of ham and salad with bread rolls and toast plus two fried eggs cooked over a candle on a cast iron plate resting on a piece of paper. The egg removal was a work of art and consisted of holding two chopsticks apart in one hand and sliding them under the paper the turning it upside down and scraping the egg off and Bingo, two upside down eggs on toast. Off at 9am for our journey SW on Shikoku in cloudy but warm weather. I always enjoy following the coast and today was no exception travelling with lovely people. Not far out of Kochi we saw a large whale sculpture by a fishing harbour which I had to photograph, along with a few manhole covers, of course. As we ventured further west we noticed some of the rice paddies being more mature, yet not ready for harvesting. Some was still being planted and we saw blocks of rice shoots at the roadside ready for loading onto the machine. Since Japan is a country
Ready for planting
of steep hillsides and many rivers it is a country of bridges and tunnels. One tunnel today was quite long and dark and we had to ride on a raised kerb a foot or so above the road, which was quite disconcerting since it was difficult to see the edge. One false move and curtains. I was amazed to see a large cement works since I have not yet seen any limestone, which is required for its manufacture. No sign of a quarry and surrounded by rice paddies. There are many songbirds here and plenty of swallows. We were close up to one yesterday as it kept coming to the nest above a shop doorway. Kites are in abundance and we see the odd egret and several herons. Today we saw a few herons resting in the trees. Our lunch was was tuna, salad sandwiches, provided by our guide Ken, outside a community centre up in the hills in the middle of nowhere. This was followed by a long climb through the forest and then a lovely descent to a river for another rest stop. Whilst we were there an old lady came up to use and gave us all
a hand sewn bag each. She said she makes them for the Polgrims out of similar material to that used for Kimono jackets. How kind. The last 40 km followed the river into a head wind and Martyn and myself took turns in taking the lead in our group of five greyhounds to our Ryokan in Honmachi. This proved to be a lovely family run place in an old wooden building filled with traditional furniture and artefacts. The walls are made of paper, or light board, and be doors and windows slide in wooden grooves. It has an Onsen but only about 1.2 metres x 1.5 metres, which was a bit cosy with two naked men in at one time. I was the first in and it was only half full so I put one foot in only for it to be almost scolded with the heart. I had to almost fill it with cold and the others still complained it was too hot, no wonder my skin is now pink and my fingers looked like a string of dried fruit. The room is big but has no furniture other than a low table and two chairs that have no
legs but a springy back with a thin cushion. as I write this my posterior has gone numb and I am having to stand. Roll on bedtime when we will be sleeping on our 2" mattress on the floor. Happy days. Dinner at 6.30 I cannot wait.
Tot: 0.051s; Tpl: 0.02s; cc: 11; qc: 29; dbt: 0.011s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb