Continuing on the Shimanami Kaido

I made good time to Kosangi temple and strolled around the grounds, a monument to the creator’s mother. There was a cold, dark cave of buddhas, which was intimidating and frightening, but you exit to the feet of a huge goddess of mercy and feel like you’ve been saved. I bought an island orange and the kind shop owner gave me one extra for free. An elderly, blind dog.

The obaasan and ojiisan who didn’t speak any English. Rain. Alone in the homemade onsen. Obaasan wiped my bike seat dry for me as goodbye. Fog, bike puncture, onwards-facing cyclists bowing hello. The sight of beaches and lush island greenery threw me so much that I missed my turning and ending up cycling all the way into town to return my bike.