The last few days of the tour saw me cycling on some of the most secluded roads since Hokkaido. I started out from Cape Tsurugo with an exhilarating descent along the headland in the morning sun. The route then flattened out and wound along the coast for a short while.
I was glad I took the advice of one of my hosts in Shikoku and made my way south along the east coast. It was absolutely beautiful and quiet. I saw maybe three cars all morning on my road. There was a highway nearby that cut through the mountainous terrain, but I was happy to trade some steep climbs for a quiet road.
It was descending from one of these climbs that I got my first puncture since, I think, Nara. A had the tube swapped out in minutes but disaster! My hand pump was broken. I was regretting now cycling on a road so remote, there wasn’t a soul nearby, just the road and the sea. I pushed my bike down the rest of way. About 20 minutes later I reached a small group of houses clustered in the bay. An old guy there gave me a lift (with my bike) in his truck to the next town over where there was a garage. Didn’t take long after that to fix everything up.
There was one hard climb left that day and the rest was smooth and flat as the mountainous coast gave way to a flatter, beach lined one. The puncture ordeal had set me back about 90minutes, or 30KM of cycling. I would just have to cover it tomorrow.
I found a campsite near Hyuga, but their price for the night was crazy high. I cycled 10 minutes down the road and camped in a park by the sea.