Thursday, April 30, 2015

Shimanami Spring Intensity!

Ahoy, lovely readers!

With Spring in the air, a lot of creative energy has struck me lately. The biggest of all is finally finishing Devon`s second adventure. That`s right, Reverie is officially written and is now undergoing beta reader and pre-edits! I will keep you updated on any news that comes my way. Get excited!

As if editing a sequel wasn`t enough to deal with, Japan has thrown me many great experiences in this past month. Being from a sub-tropical climate, I never really get to experience a proper spring. The best part, hands-down, were the lovely sakura trees blossoming seemingly out of nowhere. Seriously, these trees went from being barren to full of pink and white lovelies! They only lasted for a few weeks, but that makes them even more special. I`m lucky to be in a prefecture with lots of great places for hanami (sakura viewing.) Onomichi, a town about a 90 minute drive south from me, has the most breathtaking park that is a sakura wonderland in the spring. My own town`s humble park has a pretty good spread, as well. The nighttime events for my town`s sakura was the best. I stumbled upon the festivities one night during a lonely drive. Really lucky I did!




Alas, it appears springtime is also fleeting in the Land of the Rising Sun. Summer is well on its way, but I used the last cool weekend to do a feat of endurance and strength. Onomichi (I frequent that place, if it`s not obvious) is also famous for being one end of the Shimanami-Kaido, the longest suspension bridge system in Japan. This 77km road spans across several small islands, connecting mainland Honshu to the island of Shikoku. The road is comprised of 7 bridges, beautiful beach roads, and cultural stops along the way. The salty sea air propelled me and my friends forward, even when the bike seats started to abuse our backsides. Oftentimes, the bridge ramps seemed impossible, but reaching the top of each bridge rewarded me with a stunning view of the Seto Inland Sea and astonishingly beautiful beaches. Through all the sweat, heat, and bottom pain, the only thing I could think of was how beautiful the ride was. Those scenes were why I came to Japan.
I even got to see a dinosaur! 

One of the many beautiful scenes atop the bridges.

Hard to stop when there were so many beautiful sights! 

I REALLY didn't feel like tackling that last bridge. 

But we did and we FINISHED! Dekita! 

After the ride, a victory dinner, and a night in a traditional ryokan (Japanese inn,) I headed back to my little mountain town full of pride and feeling accomplished. I truly cannot wait to see what the next 3 months will bring!
Ryokan supplied the hungry cyclists with MEAT! Could've eaten 20 more of these pots, to be honest.

Until next time, keep readin and dreamin!


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