山陽道中膝栗毛(徒歩日本縦断#93)

93日目の今日は広島市五日市のネカフェで起床

夜は美味しいものとお酒をたらふく飲み食いした後ブログとか書いてたから寝たのは23時半。起きたのは5時半の6時間睡眠だったけど、まぁ暖房で温かいしなにより安心して眠れたので爆睡。4日ぶりのシャワーも浴びれたし、疲れも取れた。寝癖はすごかったけど。

そんな今日は朝は雨予報だったけど

普通に晴れた。ここ愛媛からのここ2週間はずっと晴れ続きでラッキーボーイを発揮している。

気温もそこまで低くないし、朝から歩きやすい陽気の中を国道二号線西へ向かって、目的地の岩国は玖珂という街までの49キロのロングコースを歩き出す

国道2号は広島市から山口の岩国市街までは街が並ぶ都会なので、歩道も整備されているし、賑やかで歩いていて安心できるのがありがたい。

そんな2号を歩いていると、快活な女性の方に話しかけられる。

どうやらすぐそこの総合病院に勤めている出勤中の方で、少し歩きながらお話をする。

山歩きが趣味らしく、話も弾み、最後には「病院の中のコンビニで好きなものいくらでも買っていって!」と言ってくださり、お言葉に甘えて

夜の分まであろうかという食料をご馳走になった…朝から本当に素敵な出会いだ。ありがとうございました!

こういう出会いがあると歩調も軽くなる。靴を変えてからの足の調子も万全になってお遍路をしていた最強のあの頃に戻りつつあるので、もう特に問題なさそうだ。

そんな国道2号を朝から10キロほど歩くと、廿日市市に入って広島名物の日本三景宮島が対岸に見えてくる。

宮島は自転車日本一周で訪れた天橋立、松島と比べても最も綺麗でお気に入りの場所だったが、大鳥居が工事中なのとフェリーのお金、時間も考えて今回は華麗にスルーすることに。

まぁ宮島と綺麗な海を対岸から眺めるのもなかなか素敵じゃん?これもこれで宮島を楽しんでる気がする。別に観光地に行くことだけが旅じゃないしね。

宮島沿いからしばらくは綺麗な瀬戸内海沿いの道をのんびり進む。

鴨が浮かぶくらいのんびりした海だ。なんだかこっちまで気が抜けてしまうような風景が瀬戸内海にはたくさんある(褒め言葉)

そんな海沿いを10キロほど歩いて

広島最後の街、大竹市に入る。

大竹市に入ると海沿いの行く先に

見えてくるのは煙をあげる工場地帯

自転車の時も通ったのであれから四年経ったいまでもよく覚えているが、ちょうどあの工場地帯を左手に見るくらいに近づけば、いよいよ山口県に入るのだ。いわば山口に入る印のようなものだと勝手に認識してる。

これが見えると自然とテンションが上がるのだ

だって本州最後の県だもん!

そんな広島最後の街、大竹市街で朝いただいたパンとおにぎりで昼ごはんを済ませて、いよいよ工場地帯を左手に見るところまでくれば

橋を渡って

いよいよ本州最後の山口県へ

8月26日の深夜にタクマと北海道でフェリーに乗り込んで青森に上陸してから山も登ってお遍路もして、たくさん寄り道したけど、2ヶ月半の月日が流れていよいよここまで来たということだ

少し感慨深いけど今日はまだ25キロ歩いただけで、あと24キロ残っているので、まだまだ感傷に浸る暇もなく先へ進む

和木町は1キロほどで通り過ぎて、すぐに山口は東の都会岩国へ。ここ岩国は基地で全国にも知られている街だろう。ちなみに横石は毎年青春18切符で長崎に帰るときに岩国のネカフェで大体泊まるから謎に思い出深い場所でもある。

そんな岩国市街を通り越して西へ5キロほど進むと、これまた日本三名橋と言われる錦帯橋がある。

錦帯橋に関しても自転車日本一周の時に訪れているし、たった1キロの寄り道でも行くか迷っていたが、今回は気づけば足は錦帯橋に向かって進んでいた。

三年前に来た時は確か夏の朝早くだったのかな…そして今は冬に近づく11月の空気の澄んだ昼下がり。

やはり同じ場所でも、その季節、時間、天気、空気によって見え方は全然違うなぁ

三年前のあの日より、橋は大きく青空の下でより綺麗に鮮明に見えた気がした。

ちなみにこの橋を少し解説すると、流れている錦川を挟んで対岸にある岩国城と城下町をつなぐために1600年代に架けられた橋がこの錦帯橋で、錦帯橋ができるまでは、錦川の洪水で幾度となく橋が流されていたために、錦帯橋は石垣で下を固めることにより強度を上げ、さらにまだこの時代はこの長さの橋を架ける技術もなかったために、アーチをいくつも繋いでこの形の橋になったというわけだ。

まさにこの時代(江戸初期)最先端の技術を寄せ集めた造形美となっているのだ。

そんな錦帯橋を満喫すれば、ゴールまでは残り15キロほどなのだが、最後の最後は峠を2個越える山越え。

峠が辛いというよりかは、49キロ歩く疲労が若干溜まっていて歩くのが億劫になる瞬間が幾度かあったが、ここで止まっても何もない山奥なので歩き続けて

気づけば落ちていく西日に向かっていた

まっすぐ西日に向かって歩くと「着実にゴールに近づいてるんだな」というなによりの実感を得られるのでやはり気分を上げる着火剤となる

そして日暮れ前ギリギリに

山を越えて玖珂の街を捉える

今日はこの玖珂の公園で野宿なのだが、一つ心配事があった

それは今秋1番の冷え込みになる今夜のことだ

盆地の玖珂は気温が2度まで下がるらしく、流石に恐れおののくレベルの野宿になりそうだ

実際すでに午後5時でもクソほど寒くて、半ば身体を温めるため駆け足で公園に向かって、6時前に49キロのロングコースを歩ききって到着

到着と同時にテントを立てて寒さに耐えるために寝袋に入ろうとした瞬間、インスタにメッセージが来ていた。

なんと自転車の時から旅を応援してくださっている岩国の電気工事屋を営む若社長さんが「迎えにいくからラーメンでも食べようや!」と誘ってくださったのだ。

これは即座にお言葉に甘えることにした

美味しいラーメンで体も温まるなんて一石二鳥だし断るわけもなく、15分後には仕事終わりのお疲れの中、従業員の方と迎えに来ていただき「岩国といえばここ!」と地元の方に人気だというスエヒロラーメン店へ

中華豚骨の素朴だけど絶妙な濃さのバランスいいラーメンで食がすすむ。絶品だ。

しかも餃子にビールもいただいてしまって2日連続で美味しい思いをしてしまった…

そして社長さん自体も本当に面白くて気さくな方で、30歳という本当に若いこともあり楽しく話すことができた。しかもイケメンだし、(ホモではない)

次に岩国に来た時にはもう一つの名物「山賊」という有名な料理屋とそのあと飲みに連れて行ってくださるらしい…岩国に頼もしい素敵な兄貴たちができた瞬間だった。

本当にありがとうございました!ご馳走さまでした!

そして体もポカポカになった状態で再会を誓って別れを告げてテントに戻る。

寒さで凍え死なないように頑張ろ、頑張れ俺…

歩行距離 49キロ

広島県広島市→山口県岩国市

総歩行距離 3284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ぜひ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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