Nara

Two nights and one rainy day in Nara, staying in another youth hostel. Final inspection of the wounds by a doctor. Wounds were getting much better he says. A Japanese backpacker tells me about some very very old shrines and a temple that is UNESCO World heritage, each some 20, 30 kilometers away from Nara. Heartland... No tourists here, but spirits of ancient times.

 

Wakayama

After this day trip tour, I felt well enough to cycle again bigger tours. I decided to skip Ise (1xx kilometres east of Nara) and take a route directly into the mountains. After a few hours cycling industrial areas and getting lost with my inadequate maps, I'm climbing mountains again with my bike. No traffic no more, but woods, bamboo grooves, a few palms here and there. A river winding in a stony bed below the narrow road, and the mountains climb steeply on both sides. Someone told me about a famous bridge "Tamise no Tsuribashi" and I go for it. In a restaurant - they are seldom on route 168 I went on, I ask for directions. The staff smiles and shows me a rope bridge (Seilbruecke) out of the restaurants the big window, high up above the wide river bank here. For pedestrians only. Curiously, they have a camp site just on the other side on the river bank. I decide to stay, have diner at 4PM since I know they will close soon enough. Can camp for free on the camp site, the old lady has seen me on the road before she says and is happy about her only customer tonight. Have a foot bath in the Kumano river and do Tai Chi in the moonlight. I'm more than happy that I can cycle again, that I have the freedom to do this adventure and many many people have helped me to come here. Next day off to Hongu, and its famous Hongu shrine. Pouring rain, nevertheless the shrine is fantastic. Decide to move on towards Wakayama city the following day. Reaching Shiramizaki, the white cape south of Wakayama city. Splendid weather again, tropical feeling with palms on the beaches. Swimming on the beach, camping between the white rocks on the cape that shine brightly in the full moon.