Day 3: Kōchi to Matsubagawa

The view out our bedroom window, through the glass. Rain was forecast, but was ok at this point.

Had another amazing breakfast presented in a series of smaller dishes and we carefully negotiated out way back up the shiny, slipper stairs in the one size does not actually fit all soft slip ons that you are required to wear.

I walk up sideways, as my feet are also longer than the tread, so probably a comical look.

As we left, the manager used his iPad translator to express his concern for us as rain was forecast. So far, the Japanese people have been incredibly nice and humble and wanting to help as much as possible.

The first part of the ride, some 30 km or so, was getting through Kōchi. We followed a series of shared pathways, and on the whole it was a good route.

We stopped and started a lot as there were many road crossings. At this one, Tony readjusts his gear.

An example of an excellent snared pathway alongside the river

Big cities have busy intersections. It was not always a matter of crossing at the lights. We had a couple of very steep overhead crossings to negotiate, pushing our heavy bikes up, then controlling the descent with the brakes.

This one was smooth, but steep. That’s me pushing, nearly at the top
This one is different again. Push the bike up the ramp, whilst walking stairs. This particular overhead crossing had four such arms, descending to your required corner,

In a small residential, mixed farming area we noted this beautiful blossom tree.

Not far away, this lovely couple appeared.

This was their view through the tunnel under the rail line.

By this point we had donned our rain coats several times for rain showers. Up in the hills heavy mist descended.

We passed through another two km of tunnels today. The longest was 983m long. There is an older tunnel to the left no longer in use. This tunnel was ok as it had the shared pathway through.

We eventually reached the coast, but the weather ensured less than ideal viewing conditions.

The longest climb today was 6.2 km. Yesterdays tough one was 5.8 km. Distance is less relevant than how much climbing you have to do.

Yesterday the climb averaged 7.9% for the entire distance. That’s not an easy climb. Today the average was around 4.6% so much more ‘doable’.

This is Tony’s bike computer showing the climb. He was 200 metres in, as indicated by the white circle. The colours on the grid relate to steepness. Red and orange are the worst.
This is our ride data for the whole day. You can see the climb in question.

Climbing usually means great views. We climbed in drizzle. We took our rain jackets off as climbing makes you hot and you become a sweat box. We preferred the drizzle.

A few photos taken by Tony during the climb.

Looking back to the bridge we had crossed.

The climb had a name….Nanako Pass. It’s always a great feeling to reach the top.

Heading towards our overnight accomodation we rode alongside the Shimanto River. Our accomodation was well signposted…so we thought. Great road.

Arriving at what we thought was our accomodation, it turned out it was a day spa. I was very confused as I was certain I’d mapped this correctly. I had a horrible thought I’d totally stuffed it and was getting frustrated because the last 5 km it bucketed down, and it was still pouring and I was not keen to head back out.

After maybe 20 minutes of uncertainty, it turned out there were two adjacent buildings and only 50 metres away was a little sign saying ‘hotel’. Phew!!

Happily ensconced in another traditional Japanese style room, we both headed off to the day spa!! There is no shower in our room, you go to the onsen.

You wear your designated gown, strip off, enter the onsen, sit on a little bucket stool and shower, enter the spa, sit, soak, get out, shower again and wash your hair….then leave into another room where your towel is to dry and dress.

Tony progressed to the showering stage but chose not to go another few metres to the spa. The water is incredibly warm.

Dinner was at 6 pm. We approached three rooms with closed sliding doors. We were not sure which to open but then I saw this.

We had an incredible meal. We thought we were done after the first few dishes, plus our own little hot pots cooked next to us.

Then out came the tempura, then the salted fish, then the rice and miso, then the savoury custard.

Finally icecream turned up and we presumed that it was done!

A great day on the bikes, despite the weather. We are somewhat concerned about tomorrow as this is the radar. I sometimes wonder why we dry clothing knowing it’s going to get wet incredibly quickly.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is 4-6 mm each and every hour!

Try and find where we are 😳

Todays route.

Anyhow, smile on 😊 Thankyou for reading ❣️

4 thoughts on “Day 3: Kōchi to Matsubagawa

  1. What a wonderful experience you are having. Those steps and hills are a test for the heart. What beautiful food and scenery, no wonder it’s a popular place to be atm. Xxx much love xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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