Japan day 10
Japan day 10
Compared to yesterday’s route, today could be classed as simply a long hard day at the office, with a lot of these in the scenery
….but alleviated from time to time with sparkling views of cherry blossom (sakura) just coming into flower
There was a purpose to coming to Takamatsu, it didn’t just happen to lie on the route. The purpose goes back to a friendship formed 40 years ago, during my postgraduate days, and an invitation made at that time. But more of that later.
I want to tell you of the special welcome at Imabari. I am a newbie in the Warmshowers community, and last night was only my second experience of being hosted. I was a guest of this delightful couple…..
…Tsuneto and Akiko, both in their 70s, who were really doing the hosting on behalf of their son, Fumito and his wife (also Akiko). The latter two had spent their year long honeymoon cycling throughout China and Vietnam, and this was their way of putting something back into the community.
We lingered and chatted over a veritable feast prepared by Akiko senior,
and then afterwards Fumito took me to his favourite onsen (hot spring) where we soaked in the volcanic waters in an outdoor pool. For me, the perfect antidote to a day on the bike.
When Tsuneto revealed that he and his wife are veteran pilgrims, we discovered we had the route to Santiago de Compostela in common. But more than that, when Tsuneto retired from medicine (at the age of 75), they walked the famous henro pilgrimage round the 88 temples on Shikoku, covering more than 1000 km. That was a major feat, and I was deeply impressed.
From free camping to the luxuries of being hosted by such kind people…..this journey has had everything so far.