We just kept going and going and going....
With one loooong day of riding behind us there were still two remaining, although these were promised to be less difficult, I crossed my fingers that this was true. Sara and I took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked down to check out the nearby Watazumi shrine, before leaving for the days ride. Probably the most interesting aspect of the shrine was that the tori (gates) were situated so that as the tide came in and out they changed from either submerged in water, or on dry land. After a quiet stroll through the shrine and multiple pictures we made our way back to camp to enjoy breakfast before heading out for the day.
We knew it would still be a long day, so Sara and I headed out before a majority of the others, just after I got someone to look at and adjust my wanky rear break. After making a quick stop at the Super for snacks we crossed paths with James and Adam and the four of us decided to ride together, I dare say we made one vicious looking biker gang. Aside from the company, riding with Adam also afforded us with more documentation of the day and he was much more able than I at the picture taking while riding balancing act. We were rather enjoying our day and were surprised at just how quickly it ended, soon entering Aso Bay Park, home number three for the trip. I had improved my listening skills from the previous day and so we had no trouble finding this one,
Given the name we had all been hoping there'd be a swimming hole to rinse off in, riding ourself of the days grease and grime, but the only option was a jellyfish ridden pond, we passed. Instead we gathered under one of the few trees, hiding from the scorching sun. The afternoon was also spent shuttling in and out of Willaim's van, which took us to and from the local Super. My solid diet of sushi and beer hadn't disappointed yet, so I decided to continue my patterns.
Most of the evening was spent with the same company as the days ride, aside from another quick drive up to a lookout point with the rest of the crew. I've seen a fair number of sunsets in my days, but I have to say the few during this trip were at the top of my list, I think it may be an island thing. Once back at camp we spent hours talking, telling riddles, doing some yoga and eventually passing out, our bodies exhausted from the work we had been putting them through.
Apparently I was eager for day three, or not used to sleeping outdoors because I was up with the sun. I walked down to the pier, soaked in the fresh morning air and enjoyed a peaceful yoga session. Laura was the only other soul up when I got back to camp and when she told me she was planning to run the last leg I arranged to swipe bikes with her. The final distance wasn't too long, but her road bike looked a lot more appealing than my mountain bike with a wanky rear brake. In hindsight this trip would have been a hell of a lot more fun had we all been equipped with quality bikes.
We left camp as a team of six, but after a few hills were left in the dust by some of our riding partners. Ultimately it was Sara, Adam and I but before long he was gone too, leaving Sara and I alone, just how we had started this trip on day 1. We crossed paths with a few others along the way, but decided to take our time for breaks and temple viewing, knowing we had more than enough time to cover the required distance. Thinking we were still a few kilometers from town Sara and I stopped to check out Hachimangu shrine, only soon to discovered we were actually on the outskirts of town. The plan was to meet at Mo's Burger, where a few of our companions sat down for dinner, but Sara and I, joined by our friend Andy were in search of some higher than supermarket quality sushi.
It took us a while to locate the restaurant, set back from the road in an almost abandoned looking building, but once we did it was worth it. The sushi was awesome, but even better was the entertainment in watching Andy order and patiently wait for his sushi to be delivered on the conveyor belt train.
We returned to the meeting point, not sure what else to do with ourselves for another hour at which time William was supposed to arrive with the van to take a load of us back to the starting point, campsite number one from the first day. After waiting, and waiting and waiting some more we started to wonder if there wasn't a problem, William wasn't arriving...
Recognized for great Sushi and Ramen, there's so much more to this country than its food. Rich with history and culture this small group of Islands is a place not to be missed.