Imabari to Shikokuchou – 24 April

That was such a climb … OMG look here!

We were in luck today in several ways … accommodation was difficult to find for next couple of days … I was ready to abort the idea of Shikoku Island however an early visit to the tourist office and the sweet lady had us booked into a hotel for tonight.

A lovely ride once out of the city – the threat of rain was upon us for the day … very overcast and cloudy.

We are in rice country; very flat with the hills safely tucked away on my right – I’ll deal with that challenge tomorrow. A rice farmer is sloshing around in ankle deep water in his gum boots as he tends to his new crop; we stop and watch another farmer ploughing the slosh in preparation for planting – a few herrons are following the plough for a feed.

A nice pic of the rice paddies and reflection of the clouds.

‘John, that would make a great jigsaw puzzle!’

The paths today were predominantly great; wide and smooth – the kms were easily ticking over. The little towns were attractively presented with flowers and hedges along the roadside.

Away from the rice paddies and towns we were by the coast, it was not attractive – a lot of industry and ports.

Closer towards our destination a big hill – it was not possible to bypass it. 2km of 8-10% gradient – we were climbing a hill that dropped into the sea – a couple of great views then the climax as I turn the corner – ahead was the most amazing view of the township before us. It felt crazy how high we were and looking down. Ultimately the best part of the day.

12km more to go past more industry on both sides of the road – it was a paper mill – Shikokuchūō is the leading producer of paper and paper products in Japan, I’ve never seen such a tangle of large steel piping on both sides of the road. It was nice to get out of it.

We just got to our rather ‘tired’ hotel when the heavens opened with thunder and rain – we are thankful for a roof over our heads.


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