Day 12: Beppu, Oita to Ainan, Ehime

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Ehime smells of fish, old ladies fart mid conversation without even blinking, and beautifully constructed organic lives fall apart in one fell swoop.
Yawatahama is a port town so it is reasonable that it would smell of fish. But Seiyo is a mountain village so there is very little reason for it to smell of fish, but it did. In fact, all day as I cycled down Shikoku’s west coast I got a whiff of fish. It wasn’t me, I promise.

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I reached John’s house around 4, and parked myself on a stone at the bottom of his drive to wait. As I waited people came and went and a dog barked incessantly, ants crawled across my shoes and I ate peanuts. An old lady with no teeth and a walking stick shuffled over and stood in front of me. We said hello and she continued to stand there, silent for a moment. Then she let one rip. And I don’t mean a little toot but a valley shaking rumble. She stood and looked for a moment longer, her face somewhat glazed over. Then she went on her way mumbling something about the wonder of nature.
John served a top notch dinner of Korean food that he’d learnt how to cook when living there for 3 years before coming to Japan. He’d also been buying out the entire district’s strawberry supply and I scoffed more than I’ve ever had in one sitting before, doused in homemade yoghurt and beet sugar. Thanks John!

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Tomorrow and Saturday are biggies! 260km to Mima for the touch rugby tournament – wish me luck!

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