So I went from Beppu back some km to use the significantly cheaper ferry from saganoseki to the tip of the peninsula right south of Matsuyama on Shikoku. Once on Shikoku I started to go around the southern coast through even wilder and more remote (which means nice) scenery. I somehow alternated between bigger and smaller roads, dependng on my mood. This led me through some nice valleys, up steep little paths and along seaside roads winding like crazy around small capes and bays.
Near Uwajima I met a guy traveling by bycicle aswell. But his english wasnt very good. Indeed just about the only thing he was able to say was “veeery guto”, so about everything was very good. But I still got some information about the nearing thyphoon (no.12) out of him “japan thyphoon: veery guto!” “shikoku waaaaam! veery guto!” Two days later, after going around cape ashizuri (the one in the west of the two capes pointing south), I met him again at the michi no eki I was camping at (he took a different route).
The cape ashizuri or ashizuri misaki was a really stunning place. To see the wild waves crash into the cliffs and rocks near the coast was really a sight you can’t just get anywhere – man i’m starting to sound like this sugarcoated, completly exaggerated tourist leaflets you can find everywhere here, that decribe the view of a simple rock as passing from the world of boredom into the world of wonders, on a flying carriage pulled by sparkling pink dolphins. But still it was pretty amazing. At the cape I also saw one of the 88 temples around the island that make up the giant pilgrimage (1400km) that people like to walk here and I have to say there are quite many people doing that, by foot. Many to it with busses or cars or motorbikes. But since im traveling counterclockwise, so against the direction of the pilgrims, I have seen a lot of them going by foot and i don’t even use their paths that often. But I have to say, that the whole thing is very convinent for me, since everyone around shikoku is accustomed to people just sleeping about everywhere.
When I arrived in Kochi I decided to wait for the thyphoon to pass over me, even if it meant to wait for it to come here first, since I did not wan’t to meet it at the next cape: muroto misaki. On the first evening, having dinner and while wasting time in the central park (not as big as it may sound), I met some older men drinking in the park and ended up talking with them and having some beer before going to the netcafe I then slept at. The next morning I met them again and they presented me proudly to their friends and since I was free I ended up wasting time with them in the park, sitting on “cardboard mats”. When I told them i’d go to see the castle (only real attraction here) one of them, Toda-san, went with me and we took a long walk to a small bycicle shop he claimed to be somehow his shop and on the way back we saw some locals playing shogi (japanese boardgame slightly similar to chess) and after we asked if it was ok to watch I was even taught to play it by one of the locals, as much as that is possible for a guy who does not speak englisch, and played two games against Toda. After that we went back to the park and continued wasting time and drinking with the others. Later in the night I went to a different net cafe to stay at during the thyphoon, which is where I am now. Net cafes here are a really convenient place to stay at even though the sleep might not be as good as in a real bed, you get internet, movies, free drinks and a small cubicle with soft matress like floor you can sleep on, lots of japanese manga and even a shower and a blanket. So at least you won’t get bored during a thyphoon or the likes.
Tomorrow the thyphoon should be gone far enough north-east so that I can continiue to cape muroto, tokushima and after that to Iya valley which is located more inwards of the Island. To get there (without having to go back the same way later) i have to go over a mountain pass that is about 1400m high, while the valley is at about 400m, so there will be some challenge and an awesome downhill, hrrhrr. I plan on maybe staying in the valley for one or two days, then going to takamatsu and vistig the Island of naoshima and after that go to osaka where I will also stay for a bit, since i have some spare days and a tip for a hopefully good hostel there. I plan on going over Koya-san and around the Kii-peninsula where I might get to go to some nice beaches again later and after that back all the way to Tokio since there is no ferry from nagoya and time seems not to be a problem.
You will most likely not hear from me until osaka, so good bye for now and until then.