When I had finished my time at Cape Sukai I started the long ride back to the ferry port. If there had been more time in the day I would have tried to visit one more spot on Rebun but it was now mid-afternoon and I didn’t want to take any chances on being late to return my bicycle to the rental shop. As expected, getting up the road from Cape Sukai was brutal and it was so steep that I dismounted and walked for a while until the incline started to level out. I rode back north to Funadomari Bay and when I got to Kushu Lake I turned onto a road that ran alongside the lake and cut through the interior of the island. Riding along the lake was really nice and I stopped a couple times for photos.
After passing the lake I had to peddle up a hill to reach Rebun’s eastern shore. It wasn’t as hard as getting up the road from Cape Sukai but it was a long incline and I worked up a sweat to reach the top. As I came over the ridgeline the ocean came into view and I got a long downhill stretch that helped a lot to cool me off. Rishiri Island appeared again and I knew the toughest part of the day’s ride was now over.
Though I wouldn’t have to climb any more ridges, I still had a long, long stretch of coastal road to cycle before I got back to the ferry port. I didn’t stop too many times for photos but I pulled over briefly to look at one of the tsunami shelters that I had seen scattered around Rebun. An enclosed staircase led up to a concrete hut on top of a hill. Hopefully the locals never need to actually use these shelters.
Shadows were growing steadily longer as I cycled south. An occasional car would pass by me but otherwise it was just me and the open road, with Rishiri Island looming in the distance to my left. One thing I wish I had stopped to photograph was all the dead sea urchins on the sidewalk. My guess is that local birds caught the sea urchins in the water and then ate them on the sidewalk, leaving behind their hollow husks. In some parts of the world bicyclists have to look out for things like shattered glass, sharp rocks, and thorns on the road. On Rebun Island they have to keep a watch out for dead sea urchins. Thankfully there was only one section of the road with sea urchin carcasses. I continued cycling south, passing through the tunnels and past the landscape that I had seen in the morning when I was going the opposite direction.
The afternoon was turning into the evening when I got back to the ferry port and returned my bicycle to the rental shop. My legs were throttled but I had managed to bicycle all the way out to the most distant parts of Rebun and I was feeling good about how much I had gotten done that day. A ferry was docked at the harbor and unloading its passengers as I stood around waiting for one of the staff from Pension U-NI- to drive down to the bicycle shop and pick me up. The next day I would be leaving Rebun and I figured my sightseeing on the island was finished, but it would turn out that I still had one more little expedition to partake in.