Gone with the wind – Ishigaki, Japan

Another average day weather wise, so we decided to take our bikes and ride as far as we could before either:

  1. it looked like it was going to pour down with rain;
  2. it got dark;
  3. our bikes broke;
  4. our bodies broke.

In the end we must have been out riding for five or six hours, just cruising the highways and byways of Ishigaki and its surrounds. The wind was coming in from the north, and most of our riding was thankfully East-West or vice versa. I reckon riding north would have been an exercise in futility! We were also lucky that the terrain here is fairly flat around the edges of the island, so our thighs weren’t tested too much!

I have to say though, bicycles here are obviously not designed for the average 6 foot male. With the seat at its highest extension I still ended up with my knees approaching my chin at high velocity! Meanwhile, either I’m one fat bastard (which wouldn’t be at all surprising given the amount of food we’ve been eating recently:)) or the springs in the bike seat were designed for a 60kg featherweight. I swear my arse was sitting flush with the bike frame the whole time. The purchase of a rubber ring has now jumped above souvenirs to sit (un)comfortably at the top of my shopping list.

One of the two parallel malls in the centre of Ishigaki

Loved this sign spotted on the side of a local restaurant here in town!

One of the bridges we crossed to the east of Ishigaki

Karen battling valiantly against the wind! (I’m glad I don’t have long hair!)

Looking like a scarecrow!

While riding back to our hotel we stopped and watched a plane attempting to land at the airport. It became obvious that the pilot was struggling massively to keep the plane level and on track due to the strong winds, with him/her eventually aborting and lifting up before they got too close. Indulging in my voyeuristic side, I convinced Karen to hang around so that I could get some video of the next attempt! Unfortunately it’s too big to upload, but I’ll chuck it on the Book of Face when I get home.

We also grabbed some dinner from the local shopping centre. Another assortment of sushi and other delectables!