Onomichi to Okayama: Shimanami Kaido
One of the 6 bridges I crossed on the Shimanami Kaido. The wind was really strong on the bridges.
Todayfs bike ride confirms the one thing Ifve always known - cycling the entire length of the Shimanami Kaido on a mamachari was a bad idea. Itfs not that I had a choice as the bike rental place ONLY had mamacharis for rent. So take a deep breath, because thatfs what I did, and launched myself into completing the 71.73km ride (I completed it in about 6hrs).
This says the entire route is 71.73km long.
Looking pretty excited about going on a cycle. Little did I know...
When you start from the Imabari side, youfll start your ride with lots of slopes and few flat roads. The Onomichi side starts off with more flat roads and gradually gets more hilly towards Imabari. Being on a three-gear mamachari that was a little too small for me, also meant that the going was slow. Very slow indeed. Add to the fact that while the rains had passed, the winds from the typhoon were still very strong. I was constantly battling strong head winds and slopes, that made cycling on flat roads very painful, not to mention uphill. I had to hop off my bike and push it up slopes on numerous occasions.
I have too many of these pictures.
But as it is said, no pain no gain, right? The view on the whole journey was amazing, seeing the island flora was also interesting, as asides from their own vegetable patch, I saw a lot of mandarin oranges and fruit being grown. I wouldfve be so tempted to pluck one had they been ripe for the picking.
Even vending machines get hot and need shelter.
I have no idea where I was. Somewhere along the kaido for sure.
The weird thing about cycling through all these islands is, I hardly saw many people going about. Asides from the few other cyclists, shop owners, and construction workers, I hardly saw local islanders going about their daily life. Where can all of you be? As a result, I was alone most of the time, which I didnft mind, going about my way.
I didn't get to cross this pretty bridge. The colours remind me of the Swedish flag.
All the bridges have a different look.
The staff from Minato no Yado had given me a list of recommended places to have good food, but I couldnft go to any as the strong winds (and the mamachari) prevented me from making good time. Most of the time, I took quick breaks, hi-fived plants that were sticking out on the path, looked at other cyclistsf sports bikes enviously as they passed me, and wondered how Hugo (the guy who cycled from North to South and whom I met on my first day) endured this for 10 weeks.
On one of my quick breaks while pushing my bike up the hill.
The view from the bridge.
I ended my epic ride with some tea with Imagawa-san who owns a teashop in Onomichi. It felt so good to sit and drink beautiful tea, and hear him explain the intricacies of harvesting tea and the how different teas are grown. Ifll be back to Onomichi again, next time for more tea, to meet the DLS staff, and for a revenge ride on the Shimanami Kaido (on a better bike no less, and not when itfs typhoon-ing).
On the ferry back to Onomichi. The last leg!
Hanging out with Imagawa-san, the tea master, to end my Onomichi leg.
Cycling under the bridge.
Evangelion/Gundam building in the process.
When the tide goes away, the boats rest on the seabed.
What looks like the modern day torii
A sign of things to come perhaps?
I was very happy to see the numbers getting smaller.
The cycling and footpath side of the bridge.
Wefre riding again tomorrow in Kibi Plains!