Overnight, I received an email from Takahito with the two photos he took outside his shop yesterday. Thankyou Takahito 😊❣️
Today was to be a mixed bag. The first half was rural countryside, the second half urbanisation. I prefer the first half, but urbanisation is something hard to avoid cycle touring.
We had purchased some items for breakfast and headed off around 730 am. Our accomodation had a laneway at the side, and this is where we packed our bikes.
A conga line of school children passed by us, nodding politely. They were all extraordinarily well behaved. A teacher stood at the end of the laneway marking them off her check sheet.
The children walked in groups of four or five. Often the one at the front carried a flag.
We rolled down the hill and started what was going to be a shorter ride of about 67 km. The challenge would be a long climb and the busy city of Matsuyama. It was a cool 11c.
We started a short 3 km climb first through a narrow wooded valley. We passed through small villages with just a few homes and vegetable gardens.
The road narrowed.
The views backdown the valley are always worth the climb.
We ended up on a major road, and road a mixture of footpaths and open road. This bridge caught our eye reminding me of a longer wooden bridge over the Rhine River, between Stein (Switzerland) and Bad Sackingen (Germany).
Our longest climb of this trip was about to start. 11.2 km in length, average gradient of 3.8%. Here is our climbing graph. So we would gain 500 metres in the one climb.
We just pootled up and stopped several times for photos, conserving energy. We climbed through multiple lush valleys, with rivers alongside.
Another lovely home with their crop gardens.
Climbing you often wonder what the view will be like at the top. Great view of just how hilly and green Shikoku is.
The descent was far shorter, but steeper than the climb. It was exhilarating. We both commented that we would not fancy climbing up our descent.
Very soon Matsuyama was upon us. The largest city on Shikoku with a population in excess of 500,000. It is the capital of the Ehime prefecture.
We stopped and started heaps with red lights and crossings, and the plants at this house were very spectacular.
Our route took us right through this elongated indoor shopping strip stretches for over one km. I had a quick glance over 50 metres!
I walked into this small Japanese bakery. I do love looking at the different foods that are made and sold in other countries.
Leaving the mall we continued towards Matsuyama Castle which was first constructed in the late 1500’s. A bit like the story with Wakayama Castle, it has had significant portions rebuilt after damage over the centuries including the bombing of Matsuyama during WWII.
Once there, we realised we could not even push our bikes into the grounds, plus it was impossible to get a view in total from below. So I have ‘borrowed’ this one from Google giving a birds eye view!
Leaving the busier part of Matsuyama we headed for the coast. As we rode along the coastline, there were numerous man made harbours.
We started to feel excitement because for the next three days we will be out on some of the islands, and at this stage, the weather is looking good.
We are staying about 10 km north of Matsuyama in a small village Doteuchi that faces the Seto Inland Sea.
Our accomodation is a unit on the second floor. It is immaculate and well appointed. The bathroom and separate toilet have glass walls!
This is the view off the deck. The island to the right is Kashima.
After showering, putting on a load of laundry, walking to the supermarket to buy fresh supplies for a home made dinner, we headed up the sea front to the ferry terminal.
If we had a few spare hours, this could be a nice half day trip.
Heading back to the unit, fish flying high.
A local house being reroofed. No harnesses required here!
What a magnificent sunset to end the day.
Thanks for reading as we continue our cycle tour of Shikoku.
Smile on 😊❣️