The day started out much more mellow, however. We had a large pot of rice left over from the evening before, so Monika made up an incredible Malay/India-style impromptu ride porridge.
Unlike previous days, we were now heading south, and the howling tailwind we’d been enjoying for the past few days was now in our faces. I’ve never been so grateful to be cycling with a group that includes at least two round-the-world cyclist in prime cycling fitness. They set the pace and dulled the wind for the rest of us.
Thanks to the group peloton, we made good time up till lunch. We were happy to find a relatively sheltered spot out of the wind for lunch, just off the main road.
Hardly surprisingly, I don’t have any photos from the torrential downpour in the late afternoon. It was rip-roaring fun for the most part. Dodging massive potholes as we careened down the pass to Mikasa…then on to the onsen to warm up.