果てに向かって(re:日本一周#16)

須崎の道の駅で野宿していた4時半

けたたましい猫達の鳴き声で目が覚める

発情期の盛った猫たちがそこら中でおっぱじめていた

そんな猫たちの楽園で男2人で寝る惨めさと言ったらもう…早くテントをたたんで出ようという無言の同意のもと、道の駅を飛び出した

そんな16日目の道のり

まだニワトリも寝ぼけているような早朝に、須崎を飛び出した2人は、大自然帝国である四国の中でも特に秘境。四国最南端の足摺(あしずり)岬に向かって走り始める。

しかしまぁ、須崎を出てから早速現れたのは終わりのない山道だった

登っても山

一つ山を登ったら、また山

終わりのない登りに汗が噴き出す

カイトは1週間分の軽い装備だから、先に頂上目指して走っていった

一方のヨコイシは、ひたすら汗まみれになって登り続けるだけ

山を登ってる時は色んなことを考えさせられるなぁ

はじめての自転車旅で、当たり前の大切さを思い知った。

当たり前にご飯が食べられる大切さ

当たり前に寝る場所がある大切さ

当たり前にシャワーが浴びられる大切さ

はじめて峠を超えた時に、自動車のスゴさを知った。自動車とかバイクだったら気にもしない峠が、自転車にとっては大きな壁だった

でもやっぱり、当たり前が当たり前じゃないと認識してこそ始めて、自転車旅にロマンを感じた。「ラクと楽しい」は対極だと知った

全てを自分の力で越えていく、決してラクではない旅だからこそ、ロマン溢れる楽しい旅になっていた。

そんなことを気付き始めたヨコイシは、ここに来て峠も楽しめるようになって来た

ツライ峠は登る前は憂鬱になるけど、それ以上のロマンがあることに気づいた

要するに段々と変態旅人の仲間入りをしていった

そうやって色んなことを考えながら、ロマン溢れる峠を越えると、気づけば1番高い峠の頂点に辿り着いていた

朝霧に包まれた山の頂上は、峠で戦った男2人の汗を冷やしてくれた

見渡す限りの深い森は、ここが本当に日本かと忘れさせてくれるような秘境を意味していた

そして峠を降りると、文明に忘れ去られたような、雲に囲まれた高原の町に辿り着いた

ひんやりとした空気を吸い込んで、また次の山に向けて走り始めた

四国最南端に向かうには、一筋縄ではいかないなぁ…なんて2人して笑いながら越えていった

途中の道の駅 ビオスおおがたでは、高知名物カツオを使った「カツオバーガー」なる看板が立っていて、2人してヨダレを垂らしながら誘導された

これがまたクソうまかった

思わず2個目を食べてしまうほどにはうまかった

四国で食べた食べ物の中で一番美味しかったかもしれない。

山越えの後の食べ物というのも最高の調味料になったと思うけどね。

そんなカツオバーガーに元気をもらった男2人はいよいよ足摺岬に近づいていた

かの有名な四万十川の川沿いを進みながら

気づけば最果ての匂いが漂う海に出ていた

遮るものは何もない

あるのは広がる海と深い森だけ

四国最南端の地がすぐそこに迫っていることを肌で感じた。

そんな最果ての地を進んでいく中で

男2人はオアシスを見つけてしまった

ここは「遍路小屋」という場所で、四国88ヶ所を廻るお遍路さんが無料で泊まれる小屋だ

四国にはそこら中に遍路小屋があって、四国の方の温かさを実感した

中でも足摺岬手前に位置するこの遍路小屋は、コンセントや洗濯機、畳まである最高級の遍路小屋だった

今日はここで休んで、明日足摺岬を目指すことにした。

まずはこの遍路小屋を管理している方に「お遍路じゃないけど大丈夫ですか?」と聞くと

「もちろんだよ、僕も旅人だったから歓迎だよ」って言ってくれて快く泊めてくれた

ちなみにこの人はこんな新聞記事になってしまうくらいに旅人だったから驚く。

さらにシャワーまで貸してくださった

唯一の難点はシャワーのすぐ横にスズメバチの巣があったことくらいだ

ぶんぶんスズメバチが飛び交う中で、カイトと2人で人生史上最も命懸けのシャワーを浴びたことは言うまでもない

そんな地獄のシャワーを済ませてさっぱりした後は、管理人の方と、もう1人いたお遍路さんと色々なお話をしながら夜は更けていった

走行距離 122キロ

高知県須崎市→高知県土佐清水市

総走行距離 1969キロ

今日も最後までブログを読んでくださりありがとうございます!最後に下の日本一周自転車ボタンを押してくださると、ブログランキングが上がるので是非お願いします!

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