Rest and relaxation (2)

Dark ocean
On the second day I wanted to venture a little further afield, so I went by bicycle (an incredibly rickety old  'mama-chari' I found in the shed - where did it come from? I can't imagine who went out and bought that) to the far south of the bay, and used that as a starting point.

Paddy vista
I parked up in Koura, an even smaller fishing village than the,one I visited yesterday. Despite the call of the sea, I turned inland and headed for the hills. More precisely, I  headed for the biwa groves that cover the hills in this region. The groves are everywhere, as the biwa trees love the climate and the soil around here. And who wouldn't, especially at this time of the year? The groves start pretty low - just above the rice paddies - and they stretch way up into the hills. Yes, well-drained hillsides, no matter how steep or precarious, are ideal for them. Not so ideal for the farmers of course, but with their networks of paths pulleys and lifts, and their incredible variety and number of ladders, they get by. I'd have included some photos of the biwa fruit growing on the trees, but the thing is I actually can't. Don't get me wrong, there were fruit growing when I was there, but as each individual one is wrapped inside it's own little protective bag, it's literally not possible to see them.
Biwa ladder

The other reason I headed for the hills, is that from one of them there is an excellent viewpoint. A small shrine, perched on an outcrop, affords really nice views to the northwest; down through the groves and paddies to the gently curving beach, across Tokyo Bay and on to Fuji-san. It was a relatively clear day, hence the decision to give it a go. In the event the view, despite being spectacular, didn't stretch as far as Kanagawa.

After admiring the view for a few minutes I headed back down towards the sea. I wanted to explore the area beyond Koura. There's a tiny blink-and-you'd-miss-it lane that disappears around the back of the local shrine and runs along the low cliffs towards dense forest, where it stops in a cluster of very secluded houses. There are seven houses and a vacant lot, allowing a little dreaming; what I wouldn't give to build a little place there, right on the cliff top, with uninterrupted views facing west: watching the sunsets, night after night, as I move on towards my own.
Local shrine
Road train
Rock pool
Shady climb
Shady descent
Village store

You'll be amazed at a Mazda

Zoom zoom zoom

Jungle path
Shady lane


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