Marugame - The fifth step ... the length of Japan. - CycleBlaze

September 24, 2018

Marugame

After our packing up at the campsite we cycled the few kilometers to the ferry port.  The ferry in port was dressed up in the most kindergarten of fashions and demanded a photograph.  We bought our tickets for the trip across to Shikoku and carried on for a few kilometers to the nearest konbini to buy some breakfast which was really enjoyable after missing out on supper last night even though it was the usual couplemof rice balls and orange juice.

The giraffe ferry
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As we approached the time for us to board our ferry, a new new boat came in and the ferry with the giraffe was replaced by one with a panda.

The panda ferry
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The first thing we did after our arrival in Takamatsu was to head for a bicycle shop to have the rear brake cables on both bikes replaced.  Leigh's was sticky enough for her brakes to not release completely.  I guess they over over seventeen thousand kilometers old so we can't complain.  The bike shop that we headed for and from which we received fantastic service is called AeonBike in a shopping arcade about a kilometer from the harbour.  They were fantastic and I would recommend them to anyone who needs bicycle repairs in Takamatsu.

Central Takamatsu is not a bad place for a cyclist to be.  Apart from the many bicycle shops, the streets are designed for cyclists with great segregated lanes and, to top it all, is a no smoking area.

We headed for a campsite I had found on the net, about fifteen kilometers from the harbour, first stopping off for some lunch at a Sukiya.  In many ways the Sukiya chain is as bad as any fast food chain in the world but the prices are OK and the food not too bad.  A butadon (bowl of rice with pork) plus rich soup with some pickled vegetables on the side costs about $6 and these are large enough portions for hungry cyclists.

When we got the campsite, we were made to understand, no uncertain terms by the camp[ administrator, that it was closed.  This in spite of the fact that some other folk were using it.  Oh well.  There was another campsite about twelve kilometers further on at the town of Marugame so we headed off there hoping that it would be open (or that they would at least let us in otherwise we would have to find a place to stealth camp).  

On our arrival the campsite administrator couldn't have been more welcoming.  He seemed quite chuffed to have two South Africans who had cycled all the way from Hokkaido staying at his campsite  and we were treated to a cup of tea.  Then he took us off to our campsite (shooing the day visitors off after telling them where we were from and what we were doing) and then escorted to the onsen a few hundred meters away (where he gave the folk there the same message).  We have the campsite to ourselves for the night and it feels good to be on our own after the busyness of Honshu.

We know the Japanese word for campsite - see the キャンプ in the top right hand corner
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Today's ride: 36 km (22 miles)
Total: 2,388 km (1,483 miles)

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