Part 5 : Riding the distance
So the typhoon left me with no other option, I will have to drive for a long time to make up for the lost riding days. It’s Thursday morning 6:45 and the sunflower is arriving at Beppu. I had a good nights sleep even though the lady next to me was a real snorer, lol. After disembarking I meet up with Miyo at the port of Beppu, she’s a real life saver right now because she brought some extra gear for me after reading the blogs : rain suit, waterproof bags and a waterproof camera! Guess she knows what Japan has in store for me the next week. ?
Together we drive up to Yufu where the Iwashita collection is based. This afternoon I’ll dedicate a full blog to the collection because it would be a shame just to write some lines about it in a hurry. It is already noon when I leave the museum so the clock starts right now if I want to make it in time for my appointment all up in the middle of Japan. It breaks my heart but I have to make the decision of not going to Tottori sand dunes, the view I had looked forward to the most. Que sera, sera! My best option is to get back to Shikoku and then go up between Kyoto and Tokyo, roughly an 1100km drive.
I take the ferry to Shikoku and at 16:30 my challenge begins, trying to cram about four days of riding into 36 hours. But I’m not going to rush things, highway is ridiculously expensive and boring and did I mention SLOW?!? A speed limit of 80 an hour, so I stick with curvy roads and shorter distance option on the sat nav. At some places I take a little detour because it is just too beautiful not to take the mountain road. I continue to ride even well past dark but at 20:30 I turned on the highway for some more hours and then searched a hotel, eventually at 23:15 I found a bed and a good nap.
Friday 05:30, alarm-clock rings, time to get up sleepy head! I get breakfast at the hotel and get going, I’m at Tokushima so I’m still far away of where I need to go, but I read about a special road more up in the north, the rainbow road across five lakes and I’m not going to miss it. The off-road mountain roads leading up to there are fantastic and are completely deserted. Nature at some points is taking back what she wants and the typhoon obviously helped her with it. I encounter a lot of fallen trees, landslides and even deer. The Rainbow road had a surprise for me, it’s a toll road and a rather touristical attraction, you can compare it with the Stelvio or the Trolsstigen. I enjoy the ride and the views to the max and when I get to the top of the mountain my heart just skips a beat.
Enough playing, riding time now. It’s already 16:00 and I still have a long way to go. Twisties and turnies follow each other from town to town and the Multistrada Enduro is loving it to the max. Even with the weight of the luggage this thing is fast and easy handling in corners! With sunset I get onto the highway and become a small rocket. Some of the cars are really speeding things up and I become a shadow in their rear.
Time of arrival 22:10 Friday evening. Hours of riding 19:00, ridden kms 1180, amount of fun? Uncountable.