日が暮れる前に(徒歩日本縦断#77)

77日目の今日は宇和島市から大洲市に入ったばかりにあるパーキングの東屋で起床

木陰で国道からも隠れていて、車も入ってこなくてトイレも綺麗でめちゃくちゃ良い環境の中寝れたのだが、夜中からまさかの雨。東屋の中にテントを張っていたので濡れはしなかったが、朝方になっても止む気配はない…

雨雲レーダーを確認すると午前8時くらいまでは本降りのよう。8時まで待てば雨も止む予報になっていた。

だが横石は今日どうしても6時に出なければいけなかった

というのも、今日の目的地はここから51キロ先の久万高原の道の駅なのだが、この道の駅に出る本当に直前まで、未舗装の山道を越えなければならず、いつも通り18時に到着するようでは山の中で日が暮れてしまうのだ。

山を17時には抜けたかったが、そのためには余裕をもって朝5時には歩き始めたかった…

しかしあまりにも雨がひどくて、朝5時に起きてはいたが30分ほど葛藤。

「今日は山に入る手前のここから30キロくらい行ったところで野宿すればまだ寝れるし濡れずに済むぞー?」

「いやいや、今日どうしても久万高原まで行けば明日の道のりが楽になるし、がんばろーよ俺」

毎度恒例の葛藤を続けた結果

横石はやはり朝6時に歩き始めていた

まだ本降りの中、濡れるのを覚悟で国道56号を大洲市街方面に下り始める

ちなみに6時に出ても日が暮れる前に深い山越えを出来るかは本当に微妙だ

少しでも予定より遅れれば本気の山の中で野宿確定。まさに背水の陣で歩き始めていた

とりあえずこの季節の雨はそろそろ身体が深く冷える雨だ。どうせ今日は急ぐし、体も冷やさぬように大洲市街に入るまでは一石二鳥で早歩きだ。

そして9キロほど歩いて午前8時に大洲市街に入ると雨は小康状態になっていた。予報より早めに止みそうでまずは一安心。

大洲市街のコンビニで朝ごはんを食べて、次の町内子に向かって歩き出す

ちなみにここ大洲市には十夜ヶ橋という弘法大師が初めて野宿した場所があるらしい。どうやら弘法大師ともなれば、野宿にさえ「御」とつくらしい。

ここでは橋の下で日本で唯一修行としての野宿が認めれた場所があるので、昨日ほんとはここまで来たかったが、流石に昨日のハプニング続きの1日で60キロは歩けなかったので、今日は通るだけで終わってしまった。是非いつか横石も御野宿をしてみたいものだ。

ちなみにお遍路中は橋の上で杖をついてはいけないという決まりがあるが、それもこの場所の伝説からきている。橋の下では今も弘法大師がお休みになられているから、橋の上で杖をついて音を立ててそれを邪魔してはいけないのだ

そんなプチ面白スポットを抜けて、大洲市街から5キロほど進むと

次の町内子町に入る

内子は横石が好きな小説の舞台にもなった町でゆっくりしたかったが、ゆっくりした瞬間山野宿確定なので後ろ髪引かれる思いで歩き続ける

ちなみにスタートから内子市街まで18キロ歩いて午前10時だが、今日残り33キロの道のりはコンビニ一つないので、昼ごはんだけ購入。久万高原市街まで出ればコンビニはあるので昼ごはんだけだ。予備の食料を買わなかったのは「絶対日暮れ前に山を越えるぞ」という決意の現れである。これでいよいよ山を越えて久万高原市街に出るしか生きる道は無くなったわけだ。

そんな内子市街を抜けると道は国道56号から国道379号へ

379号を20キロほど歩かなければいけないが、ひたすら川沿いに緩く登る綺麗な道だ。

歩道も完備されているし、町並みものどかでついついのんびり歩いてしまうような素敵な道

天気も午後からは朝の雨が信じられないくらいに晴れてくれた。

山々の木々は紅葉を始め、空気の冷え込みとともに秋が深まってくる。落ち葉はなんとも言えない甘い匂いで、歩いている体を包み込んでくれる。いよいよ山も里も冬支度を始める頃か

それにしてもこの国道379号は国道とは思えないほど車通りもなく静かな道路で心底気に入ってしまった。川沿いをのんびり歩けるのがまた堪らない。まともに休憩もせず急いで山を越えなければいけない横石にとって最高の癒しだった

午後2時半を回り、そんな風景が20キロ続いた国道379号の遍路道も終わりが近づく。

ここからは県道42号から、遂に未舗装の峠を二つ越える本格的な山道が13キロ続いて、そのまま目的地の久万高原にゴールだ。

時間的には予定通り進んでいるが、予定通りということはやはり日暮れギリギリ。ここまで既に40キロ近く歩いてきて疲労も溜まっているがペースを上げる

県道42号に入ってすぐに湧き水があったのでパンパンに汲んで山への準備はオッケーだ

一層細くなる県道の登り坂を歩き続ける

相変わらず一つ一つの集落が、家が5軒ないほどの小さな集落で、趣深く歩いていて楽しいが、そろそろそれを楽しむ余裕もなくなってきた

そして県道42号に入ってから9キロで1個目の未舗装区間である下坂場峠へ

綺麗に植林された森の中を標高570mまで上がる

距離自体は短いが、ペースを上げている分汗が吹き出てくる

そして午後四時

一つ目の峠を無事登りきる

ここからこの峠を2キロ下って、さらに高い未舗装の山道である、標高800mのひわだ峠を越えて初めて久万高原市街だ。残りタイムリミットは1時間半程度なので本当にギリギリを攻める

2キロ駆け下ったあとは、またもや狭い山道を登り続けて

午後4時半。ひわだ峠への最後の山が始まる

ここから登り1キロ、下り2.5キロの完全な山道だが、時間的にはギリギリ日暮れまでに間に合いそうだ。まともな休憩を一切せず歩き続けた甲斐があった。

とはいえ油断は禁物。雨上がりのよく滑る山道に気を使いながらアタック開始

西日が差し込む山の中を全力で駆け上がる

そして、平地とほぼ同じスピードで午後4時45分に頂上へ。

そして休憩する暇なく、下り始める

もうさすがに50キロ歩いた最後の最後でこの山道の連続を受けて身体はヘトヘトだが、久万高原市街に出たらいくらでも休憩は出来る。今休憩して暗くなった山道で遭難や怪我をするよりは歩き続けた方がいいので、間髪入れずに下山を選択した

そして午後5時15分。なんとか下山を完了して久万高原市街に辿り着く。舗装路がこんなに愛おしかったのは久しぶりだ。安心感が違うぜ。

ちなみにひわだ峠は登りより下りの方が怖かった。とにかく滑りまくって、怪我をしないように慎重に下ってきた

今日野宿する道の駅のすぐ近くにはコンビニがあったので、そこでご飯を買って

ご褒美はローソンの100円ビールだ

今日くらいはお酒を飲んでも良いだろう。というか最近は毎日飲んでもいいくらい毎日自分と戦って頑張っている。

そして明日はいよいよ松山へ。久しぶりの県庁所在地楽しむぞ!

歩行距離 51キロ

愛媛県大洲市→久万高原町

総歩行距離 2700キロ

お遍路16日半

総歩行距離 749キロ

今日も最後まで読んでいただきありがとうございます!ブログランキングにも参加しているので是非下の日本一周ボタンを押して応援してください!

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 日本一周へ


にほんブログ村

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