Bungotakada to Tokuyama – 19 April

The rugged coastline was our office this morning

No rush today, less than 30km to catch a ferry across to Honshu. We are leaving Kyushu today.

Breakfast was included today – I don’t mind the traditional Japanese start to the morning; yoghurt and delicious pineapple; shredded cabbage and lettuce salad, grilled fish portions, gherkin, scrambled egg – very runny, rice. Sweet bread rolls with jam/butter. I can’t do the soybean natto (mentioned in a previous post). No sign of choc eggs or hot x buns … wrong side of the globe.

We rode on Route 213 along the coast, the rugged coastline and undulations added to the spectacular views of the bays at every turn.

A little hazy today which makes the far hills silhouetted on the horizon.

The gardens are always a welcome surprise – quite a bit of wisteria around in gardens and growing wild in amongst the trees.

I lost count of the tunnels today, although short; the echo from the cars seem thunderous – I always breathe a sigh of relief when I’m out.

We arrive to the ferry port at 11am and the ferry leaves at 2:20pm – the ticketing office is a work in progress – workers laying asphalt outside – a nice new building and a sign indicating that tickets can be purchased 30 minutes before the ferry leaves. We venture to the very small town to get some lunch … there is nowhere that looks like a supermarket – this is ‘out in the sticks’ no Lawsons, 7-11 or Family Mart … serious stuff!!! We decide to go further on the road to the next village 4km away … another tunnel and voila!! A country supermarket …

By the port there are large tarps with what looks like seaweed drying,

that maybe the makings of my sushi tomorrow’, I say.

Back to the port, we are able to purchase tickets at 1:15pm … the workmen have finished lunch and the serenity of us alone in the office is broken by compactors; the vapours of asphalt fill the room.

Thinking we are alone on the ferry, we are suddenly inundated with people at 1:40pm – a bus must have pulled in – the small ticket office is now a hive of activity – locals with suitcases and identical large paper shopping bags … they must have been on a shopping spree. All benches are taken – standing room only … I’m not game to move.

The ferry is approaching – we get our bikes and ride to the carpark ready to board … we know the drill … not a huge ferry; however there are a couple of large trucks and cars. The mans asks us for our tickets – then we are waved on … oh I felt like the queen … our little bikes amongst the big vehicles and we go first … a very special moment. A 2hr crossing and cost is AUD$100 for us and the bikes.

We are here in Tokuyama, Honshu, the hotel 5 minutes from the ferry … and a nice room. A soba noodle restaurant next door … sounds like a plan.

We are thankful for a young couple dining who help with our selection of duck soba noodles. The old lady speaks no English and there are no pics on the menu. Our meal arrives, it is very tasty.

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