Shikoku’s glorious mountains seemed less and less attractive at times while pounding the pedals to push on upward even higher, but a wonderful descent followed on the final day of riding on the smallest of Japan’s four main islands.
Leaving Uchiko later than most starts, it was a steady climb upward for the remainder of the morning.
The strenuous efforts of the climbs were rewarded by priceless views across seemingly endless mountain ranges, whose splendor was enhanced by the brilliant sunshine and cloudless skies.
More climbing continued after lunch (the day would eventually top 1,100 meters of elevation).
An exhilarating and lengthy descent followed, though, winding downward through mandarin patches and bamboo groves.
The latter part of the trip was at sea level, first winding its way through the rice paddies, then along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea before moving inland and following the river into central Matsuyama.
The tour’s ride ended adjacent to Dogo Onsen, Japan’s oldest and most-renowned hot spring bath.
Brommie remained banished in light of the hardcore climbing earlier in the day.
With the next leg of the tour being its steepest and hardest climb of all, it seems a fate likely to continue.
For the time being, though he is looking after the other bikes in the tour. They have been packed in a van ahead of the tour’s rest day, when the troupe travels by bus and ferry to Honshu.
Brommie’s planned Saikyo to Teito Trip is looking increasingly likely to be a washout, with rain forecast for the scheduled four days of the planned odyssey.