Day 2: Shishikui to Kōchi

Hardest mattress ever, with a pillow that actually felt like it had woodchips in it, I slept ok! Looking out the window, this lovely view greeted me.

I had to show you these. Each place we’ve stayed has had different attire for us to wear, so I tried this on for size, and it was surprisingly comfortable. I felt like I was off to theatre to operate!

Breakfast was at 7 am and we got dished up these 10 courses plus green tea, and awful airline style coffee. The food was great, but too much, and I over ate.

Other guests wore those operating theatre pj’s to breakfast!

Back to our room and some of breakfast did not stay with me. I felt really pretty shite with stomach cramps. But we pushed on and headed off for another day.

Our bikes were where we left them, in reception.

Heading along the coastline there were some lovely vistas.

At this beach, the surfers were out. I did not see much surfing as the waves are pretty flat. Maybe they just sit and chill and chat with their mates.

Yesterday we had around 3 km worth of tunnels to ride through. One of those tunnels was super scary with a 30 cm lip for cyclists. I got off and walked as there is no room for error and if you deviate slightly, your off the lip and into the traffic.

This was our first tunnel today, and you can see there is a walking/bike path that does narrow considerably, but was ok.

Today we had a tunnel that was 960 metres long, no verge. So we put our front lights on and we already had our rear radar flashing and road through as fast as we could. Cars overtook us and were very considerate.

Our bike computers work off GPS so when in tunnels it cannot connect, thereby not acknowledging the distance. Today we did around 2 km of tunnels, so 5 km in two days.

We turned right away from the coast to head inland. Looking at todays route, you can see why. We cut off the coastal tip saving many km in reaching our destination. However, Shikoku is hilly and the trade off was a climb.

It started off nice and friendly, but that did not last for long .

We had a decent climb to do. 5.7 km long, nearly 500 metres ascent, with pinches over 12 percent. I still felt sick as a dog. Here is the first climb graph.

I recall saying in my first blog I was at up to 90% pre open heart surgery. I am not! I found that climb difficult today. More difficult than before. I think it is more like….65-75%.

I stopped several times to decrease my heart rate, protecting those coronary grafts. My back was behaving today so that was a bonus, and my knee coped. I just spun it up in my granny gear.

The vegetation was dense forest with steep drop offs. The road was very narrow.

Here I am at the pass, thankful that I did it, given what happened to me 9 months ago. My body has been brutalised, I have had life saving surgery, but I have recovered enough to make it! I was quite emotional as I did think a lot during the climb about my cardiac journey and recovery. I know not many OHS patients get to do what I have achieved. I still hate climbing 🤣

So we spent 5 minutes or so at the pass recovering and looking around. There are a series of walks.

I found this old sign leaning against the loos. No idea what it says.

What goes up must go down. The joy of the descent. Silly me did not notice my bike computer had paused and missed 5 km of descent data at speed. Ho hum.

Here is an interesting scene on a hillside. Quite a significant infrastructure which we were thinking to prevent a landslide??

I mentioned earlier the road is narrow. We had pulled over to let the truck pass us, and boom a car was heading up.

We watched this unfold with interest. The driver of the white car did a marvellous job. He was literally only cm off the barrier. They took turns moving a few cm until they were clear.

Moving on, we continued following this river, all the way out to the ocean.

I particularly like these few snaps of the river.

We found a vending machine in this village so stopped for maybe 10 minutes. I was starting to feel normal again.

As we left the village, we encountered this reptile. Not our first this trip.

The snake is a Japanese rat snake and not venomous unlike the mamushi which is venomous and inflicts numerous deaths in Japan annually.

Yesterday Tony was within cm of running over a rat snake. The snake doubled back and there I was on Tony’s tail. I let out a shriek, as I had visions of running over the snake and it getting caught in my spokes or chain or higher, my legs. Nothing happened, the snake survived, as did I.

We stopped to look at this snake today and it did not move. We gave it a wide berth and again it did not react. I reckon two minutes later it would have as we passed a car heading into the village.

Japanese rat snake

Back on the coast we noted the refuge tower. There are lots of signs along the coast warning which areas are subject to tsunami inundation. The refuge tower points to the hills.

Found some toilets so stopped here. Nice view from the seat.

By 1.30 pm I felt I could eat, so we stopped at a Lawsons ( like a seven eleven), and grabbed a few items. The older lady who served me reached over and touched my chest scar and said ‘heart.’ I said yes, and she put on a sympathetic sad face. Very sweet of her.

Tony noted this brute of a car. I’m standing there as a reference point. It is a tiny car.

Views along the coast as we approached Kōchi.

By chance, following the Kōchi Cycling Road. Misnomer of a name, as a lot of the route we went in today was footpaths, barrier wall roads, residential laneways and so on.

The route had a detour due to civil construction works, and took us past a rest area. This sign was on the grass, well would be grass if mowed, but it is protected for bees and snakes!

This is an example of a barrier wall path we were on. Well made and quiet. Volcanic sand beach.

Castle like structure high on the hill.

Our accomodation has a small onsen. No bathroom. No shower. You use the onsen.

So off I go in my robe, to be confronted by 5 naked females…my first mistake was the robe needed to be left in the first room not the onsen room.

Second mistake was I brought my towel with me.

Third….I hopped into the very warm water with these women who had no inhibition vs me 🤣😳🙈

I felt like the elephant in the room! They were all so…petite…

Then a lady maybe my age but larger came in.

I sat in the water wondering how long they’d all stay….one by one they left until it was me and the other larger lady.

I got out to wash my hair (special area) and she got out and we started talking. She was Japanese and spoke a little English and told me she’d been to Esperance (WA) and had held a koala.

I got back to the room feeling somewhat….still prudish. but I had ventured further that Tony. He did not proceed past the first room.

Dinner was eaten here. We’d paid half board. A beautiful dinner with far too much food again.

We went for a short walk to the suspension bridge by the accomodation. Lovely views of the river.

Today we rode 103 km. I climbed a decent climb and survived. ❣️

Tonight we sleep tatami room. Beds on the floor.

I did not tidy up for the photo!

Rain is forecast tomorrow. 96% chance, 45% chance of thunderstorms. Hopefully we can work around the rain, otherwise we will just get wet. One way of washing without feeling like the elephant in the room 🤣🤣🤣

Thanks for reading. Smile on 😊❣️

9 thoughts on “Day 2: Shishikui to Kōchi

  1. Bikelink

    Wow amazing jealous many equipmet questions but …. Wow! And ‘hi!’ to Tony your ‘silent partner’ … reading the blog posts lol I know he CAN talk (!) and is awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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