I hope to inspire you to put into your mind the thoughts and the strength to live your best most authentic existence. This is your moment to live. To make the best of this time on the earth.
A beautiful quote from an inspirational lady, Dr Edith Egers , an Auschwitz survivor and author.
I hope my story encourages, motivates and provides hope to anyone who has a similar personal challenges like I’ve faced.
This trip was a challenge for me. Physically and mentally.
I’ve ridden over 30,000 cycle touring overseas since 2013. So a 1,200 km plus ride in two weeks may seem a piece of cake to some. To others, crazy 🤣
Part of this trip was to test my tenacity and resilience following open heart surgery nine months ago.
I’ve had my my chest sawn open and my heart stopped beating for a few hours. I was kept alive by a bypass machine. I was on life support for 20 hours.
Rehabilitation was tough. I had setbacks with a pleural effusion at three months.
Sharron v2.0 is ok. She did it. She’s back!
Yes I’m pumped. I’m proud of me as I know just what I’ve been through and what I have done to get my fitness back.
We have had just the most brilliant time here in Japan circumnavigating Shikoku.
The scenery has been astounding. The people we met have been the nicest, genuine, kindest, respectful, helpful people. The food has been ❣️
We averaged 87 km per day, and climbed an average of 770m each day. That’s pretty cool and I’m happy with that.
So this means one thing – stepping up for another trip starting on my one year heart anniversary, late July, a big loop four countries….but that blog is for another day.
Today we had breakfast at the home of our Air BnB hosts, Yukio Shintani and Tamiko.
All of our communication was via Google translator, and that worked fine. They were interested in our trip, route and pictures.
We had a short ride of about 6.5 km to the Tokushima ferry terminal, arriving in plenty of time. We may have scored a bonus, as I went to pay for the two bikes, and was given tickets without additional money being requested.
We had about 90 plus minutes to wait, so we cleaned our bikes using moist cloths that we’ve been given with all our sushi and sashimi purchases over the fortnight. Australia immigration require spotless bikes.
The bikes were not that grotty, as we had cleaned them twice already. Wandering around the wharf the views are typically industrial as you would expect.
A couple of guys were fishing just over the ferry terminal barrier wall. I did not see them reel in anything. The river is the Yoshino that we followed for a few days around Oboke.
The ferry arrives. It is quite interesting to watch as it comes so very close to the platform, and the outward bow thrusters work very hard to push the ferry laterally to the side wharf.
The front opens, the ramp comes down, and all the vehicles and trucks are off very quickly.
Workers quickly secure our bikes.
We sat outside on the rear deck vs being inside around everyone. It was very noisy but refreshing.
The main Japanese island of Honshu appears.
Just like that, we dock, ride 3km to our hotel and the cycling trip is Finito!
The last bit we do not enjoy. Packing the bikes up. Well I should not complain as Tony does that, and I do my best to help.
My job was to get the bags out of storage which was a pain as it was 1.30 pm and check in was 2 pm, and they’d put our bags in our room.
The receptionist wanted me to wait until 2 pm….lucky I was wearing a mask so she could not see my mouth! I negotiated their release, but needed to pay in full for the room first….of course my money was with the bikes, so down I go 11 stories.
I pay the bill, get the bags from the 4th floor over two trips returning with gear from the bike over multiple trips.
Eventually the bikes are in our room and bonus we have a deck. Tony finishes packing the bags on the deck. This is Tony’s bike.
At the local supermarket we pick up some food but no melons or mangoes. Food here is relatively cheap, but these are super expensive. The mangoes are about $23 each, and the cantaloupe $35.
I do like the presentation though. Saves people squeezing the mangoes to see if they are ripe! The golden stems look lovely too. Worth the extra $ 😳
The plan is to be at the railway station (next door) before 5 am to catch the 5.05 am train. We need to change lines to Kensai (Osaka airport) along the way.
We leave at 10 am heading to Hong Kong, where we have too much time but should be able to access the Qantas Club lounge. Sydney, Melbourne, Devonport and finally Turners Beach Saturday afternoon.
A huge thanks to all who have read and followed the Japan blog series.
I can highly recommend Shikoku as a place to visit and tour. If you do not fancy organising a trip and being self supporting, I recommend that you contact Sam at Hidden Japan Tours. Link below.
Massive thanks to my domestique, primary photographer and husband, Tony. He goes along with all my hair brained ideas, and he’s admitted this one was pretty cool! xx
This trip is dedicated my cardiac team – in particular Dr Nikhil Pal and Dr Ash Hardikar. Thankyou for your care, diagnostic and surgical skills that have given me a fighting chance of living longer. ❣️
Stay hungry, stay foolish.