Just 170km to go now. Pedalling upriver tomorrow and turning left for Tokyo on Monday. Too many stories from this last week to fit into a single swift post, through these tired fingers and befuddled brain. It feels like my headspace and fresh legs have abandoned me somewhat, as though they are lining up to stand down. They know what is around the corner once we hit Tokyo. A rest. A pause. A sleep.
This last week has been emotional – both looking back at what has been and ahead to what shall be. Seven and a half months out of London and heck knows how many back. But the most emotional of all journeys is not my own and yet somehow it is all of ours. For this week I have been shown the rawness and grit of much greater battles than I have fought on my way here and I have witnessed optimism and hope enough to fire me with drive forever. I have been humbled and silenced by what I have encountered on Japan’s East coast. The earthquake and tsunami of March 11th this year have devastated vast areas. Flattened towns. Claimed thousands of lives. Altered landscaped. It has reminded me of the awesome power of nature just as much as it has shown me about tenacity and fight and community.
I want to share this part of my journey properly and do it justice – I promised the people I met on my way that I would. So I shall. But not now. Next week. Japan, you have my deepest respect. I am proud to finish this leg here and begin the next part of my journey from here. Ganbatte, fight on my friend.
Sarah and Hercules x
PS Thank you to Choshi City Hall who welcomed me to their city yesterday. It was wonderful. And thank you to Kay and Kaz who have been instrumental in showing me round and helping me prepare for the ocean next year.
PPS Thank you also to Mike from the British Embassy for all his help and for cycling with me yesterday. Hero that he is will be cycling into Tokyo with me on Monday too.