Day 17, Temple 36, 50km

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  • Tuesday 22 October, 2013
  • Weather: Hot, 28⁰C 
  • Temples: 36, (Shoryuji), 50km!!
  • Accommodation: In the tent at a Henro hut in Tosa-Kure, free

Up at 4am after a terrific sleep in the temple hut. We made our way slowly down the mountain using our headlamps to light the way and tried to find the Henro stickers that would put us on the right path. I found wifi wandering through the streets so I told Patrick and Dave to go on ahead and I would catch up with them. I got distracted and ended up taking a wrong turn and the GPS proved very useful again but my distraction had cost me an extra couple of kilometres! I found wifi again and told the others I would meet them at Temple 36 which was 15km away, if not sooner. I put on my exercise music playlist and walked determined to catch up with them…

The Henro trail started along a road and then rather than going through a tunnel (not sure why not when I’ve already had to walk through a dozen or so tunnels without footpaths!) the path started steeply up a mountain until reaching the top and then I had a wonderful view of the ocean and the bridge I was going to have to cross to get to the next temple.

I walked the 15km without stopping, hoping to catch up with Patrick and Dave and was surprised and a little worried when I arrived at the Temple and neither of them were there… I went through the temple rituals, took some photos then got my stamp and asked the stamp lady if she’d seen a couple of male foreigners before I came in, but she hadn’t… Weird! … Somehow I had passed them and they were behind me.

The night before, Dave and I had been looking in the guidebook at the next day’s section and noticed there was a ferry that took you across the bay where you could join up with the trail again. The problem with the ferry was that there were only 4 sailings a day so we really needed to get the 10:05am boat and it was now after 9am and the temple where we were was a couple of kilometers from the terminal. I headed for the ferry hoping I would be able to delay it until Dave and Patrick arrived. Dave arrived but Patrick stayed on at the temple to meditate so we were back to two.

It was a 45min boat ride and it was lovely to be able to sit down, take our packs off and in my case, fall asleep within seconds!

On the other side of the bay we hooked up with the trail again and decided to walk on further today than originally planned to take advantage of the remaining daylight and good weather – there’s another typhoon on the way and rain is forecast for the rest of the week so it was good to get some distance covered before this.

We had one more mountain to climb and I was a little worried when all the signs (in Japanese) started warning to be careful because of the steep, slippery track… It definitely was steep but luckily without the rain it wasn’t slippery.

After 50km we arrived in a town with a Henro hut and there was room for our tent next to another Henro under the roof of the hut. We set up the tent and then went in search of dinner and found a delicious okonomiyaki restaurant where you cook it yourself, washed down with some beer and sake, it really hit the spot after such a long day!

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