Day 13, Temple 27, 41km

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  • Friday October 18, 2013
  • Weather: Overcast, 23⁰C 
  • Temples: 27, (Konomineji), 41km
  • Accommodation: Yamatoya Ryokan 0887-35-2018, Aki, ¥5,000

I slept ok but woke up aching all over, the weight of my bag is taking its toll. I’ve moved about 3-4kg to a small backpack that I wear on my front now which leaves about 8-9kg on my back depending on how much water I’m carrying. It’s too heavy but I really am down to the bare minimum and am using everything I’m carrying… Bring on a shiatsu massage as soon as I have my next rest day… Whenever that will be!

We were up at 4am and walking in the dark for a couple of hours. I found wifi a couple of times in residential streets and other than at ‘Sunkus’ convenience stores, it’s proving difficult to find… I know this is a spiritual pilgrimage and I should be embracing being disconnected… But I need the Internet! 😉

We came across a Henro rest hut that was run by a lady called Suzue, she invited us in, asked us to sit down and brought out coffee and cake for us as ‘osettai.’  It was very kind and we enjoyed the short break without our packs on.

We were getting closer to Temple 27 and could see it sticking out from the top of a mountain in the distance. The path from the base of the mountain was 3.5km up the hill and the return journey was on the same path so we decided the most sensible thing to do would be to leave our bags at the bottom of the mountain rather than lug them up and down. We met a man doing some gardening and I asked him where he thought we could leave our bags, he said it was ok to leave them in his garage, perfect 🙂

We saw a (live) black and green snake on the way up to the temple and plenty of mamushi warning signs, but no mamushi. The temple had a terrific view of the surrounding mountains and sea at 446m above sea level.

Our bags were safe and sound in the kind man’s garage, we thanked him and continued on our way, now starting to think about where to spend the night. There was a Michi no Eki (services stop) coming up which sounded good but actually was quite small and didn’t really have any cover to protect us from the rain. We kept walking until we reached the town of Aki, hoping the Henro hut in the guidebook would have some space for our mats and a roof… It was closed down and after a 40km day I was ready for bed! The rain started and we looked for anywhere to sleep until eventually I gave up and decided this princess needed a bed (futon) and a shower after 3 nights of sleeping rough. There was a ryokan within 5 minutes of where Patrick was going to sleep outside so off I went for my long hot shower, washing machine, dryer and a comfy futon. It was lovely to feel clean again!

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