Japan Day 5 on Shikoku Island

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April 17th 2017
Published: April 17th 2017
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Japan Day 5. Tokushima to Hiwasa. 70km.
Three cheers for Carradice capes. The heavens opened for business at 11 o'clock in Japanese fashion and got worse and worse as the day progressed. Not that we regret this trip to Japan as we still love it, despite the vagaries of the weather. Two years ago. Christine made the phrase, "I love Japan, I'll be back" and here she is with 15 others who have either been before, or will certainly return. Early on as we left Tokushima the day was cloudy but warm and dry. We rode through several pedestrian streets with no one around and no shops open, and later sawmills not working - is it a holiday? Easter Monday at home but not in a Buddhist country. We followed rivers for most of the day, wide and deep and looked like they could carry huge amounts of water in a flood. At one point we saw a hydroelectric power station making good use of the abundant supply. I think I could have done with a generator being driven off the overflow from my cape. At our mid morning stop we saw several pilgrims on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, visiting the 88 shrines, dressed in their white cloaks, coolie hats and staffs in hand. One Pilgrim lady on seeing our bikes lined up started chanting a prayer for a good journey, most amusing, but she would have been better to pray for fine weather. As she was doing this a large Kite was soaring overhead to add to the Egret and Heron seen earlier looking earnestly for food. Lunch was at a small cafe in Hiwasa and luckily it had a tiled floor which could easily be mopped since it was awash when we arrived, and even worse when we left. We had a very good meal of noodles, dumplings and seaweed which bucked us up no end. The 2km journey to the hotel afterwards was again endured in the monsoon conditions and luckily our rooms were ready, giving us the chance to shower and soak in the Onsen until our skin peeled with the heat-well wrinkled anyhow. The outside Onsen was the hottest and quite nice, even with the rain dropping on our heads. Our washing then done we settled down to a drink or two of green tea looking out over the sea in a fabulous location surrounded by rocky outcrops. What more can one want?

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