Kumamoto to Minamata – 6 April

Where the hills meet the sea …

Getting out of the city was easy with the help of Komoot and Garmin – the first 20km was on the main road which never ended – hardware, garden outlets and all the other large shops that go with the outskirts of big towns.

We are now in a rural area and lots of greenhouses, rice paddies and grains plus green leafy vegetables. We are thankful that Komoot has lead us to quiet streets where we see the locals out and about on the land; ploughing, spraying and in their tractors as farmers do. The suburban houses are pretty with spring flowers in front gardens and the topiary trees, lots of tulips and annuals in pots.

It’s such a lovely spring day around 21°C, a few whipper snippers cleaning up long grass. The further south we go, the closer the hills become and envelope us as they reach the coastline.

Before we know we have the sea on our right. It’s very hazy today and visibly is limited across the bay towards Shimoshima Island, however the view is still spectacular. The road in parts leaves the coast so we are climbing and snaking around the hills. …and of course there was an abundance of Sakura (cherry blossoms) in the hills that I had to capture.

Every turn offers more specular views too much to capture in photos. There are lovely sandy beaches; black muddy inlets with small marinas for fishing boats; rocky outcrops, the water is still and very clear. The hills were very colourful – different shades of green; orange trees with ripe fruit and terraced crops.

It was a bit difficult trying to identify a restaurant tonight – we saw a sign ‘OPEN’ by a door and slid it – a traditional no chair affair – they made room for us as we sat cushions – we look like a couple of old geezers – can’t do the whole cross legged or kneeling posture … haha – nice yakitori and noodles.

We reach Minamata after 95km.

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