Already half of the trip... it goes fast !
The day before I asked to rent a bike at the guesthouse. They have 2 and lend them for free. After I got up around 7am, I went to pick up it around 8am. The first meters will make me understand that my day excursion all cycling, will not be the easiest thing : the saddle is too low and too rusty to turn the handle. Rust also prevented from turning the pedals correctly, to be short I knew I would have a hard time but I decided to follow the program I setted.
First, a place that I loved in 2011 and where I dreamed to come again : Utopia Farm.
This is a fruits and tropical flowers plantation fully open to visitors.
|Utopia Farm // ユートピアファーム|
I really suffered during those 10 km, often stopping in the shade to drink water and apply sun cream. I also cycled on the road to avoid the spiders (arachnophobes, you are warned, Miyako spiders are the size of a hand!)
Once I arrived to the farm, I was so happy to enter the fully air-conditioned lobby to refresh a bit. After I paid the 280 yen entrance fee, a ridiculous price for what the place have to offer, I went out towards mango plantations and tropical greenhouses. Once again, I was charmed by the place and especially by the hibiscus greenhouse that has no fewer than 200 different species ... that I photographed one by one. It was difficult to pick only 4 to post here. The tour ends with bougainvillea greenhouse whose petals fall to the breeze, and then by a shady terrace full of tropical trees before the lobby where I ate a very tasty mango ice cream .
Utopia Farm is a place I highly recommend for any visitor coming to Miyakojima . This is one of places that you should not miss !
It is with regret that I left the farm and took my bike for a few more kilometers under the sun. I headed to the Maehama Beach (前浜ビーチ), 7km long and classified for years as the most beautiful beach in Japan. It is particularly safe for children because it remains shallow far enough. That day there were big waves, a somewhat stormy sea as I had rarely seen on the beach which is pretty quiet ordinary.
Fortunately, a brief and violent storm cut out the conversation because I quickly went back to my bike. My spare clothes were soaked and full of sand, I wasn't good to see but I bravely took the road towards ... my favorite restaurant! On the way, as the heat and the sun had gone a bit down, I allowed myself a few detours in the small villages to see a little more closely the Miyako lifestyle.
|What 3/4 of Miyako looks like : sugar canes fields|
After I experienced some activities that they reserve some of their good customers only but as they asked me to keep it for me (they want to keep it that VIP if I can afford this term), I 'll post just a picture, without further comment .
|Shiisaa are big|
This break was more than welcomed and I left this lovely place to come back to the guesthouse through the mangroves, where I failed to drag again at exactly the same place, then I took the road along the coast before arrived at the small village of Hisamatsu (久松) where there is the guesthouse where I used to stay (full during my stay, unfortunately). The small village has changed! Many homes were built and also a large hospital and shops.
Admittedly Hisamatsu is the entrance point of the Irabujima bridge so it attracts a lot of people. They even placed a Mamoru-kun!
Mamoru-kun is a statue of a policeman painted by hand. It is placed at strategic locations to remind people that the speed can be fatal. This is the first time I approached one so closely. It is a little creepy, kimokawa, as we say here (キモカワ from kimoi = creepy and cute=kawaii ).
A few more kilometers and I got back to the guesthouse where I dined alone. In all I did more than 30km !!! It is needless to say that I slept like a baby. The next day I went to visit another part of the island and ... went out of Miyako !
|Thank you for protecting us, Mamoru-kun|