Day 3, Temples 11-12, 20.1km

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  • Tuesday 8 October 2013
  • Weather: Rainy & Humid, 26⁰C 
  • Temples: 11-12, (Fujiidera, Shosanji) 20.1km
  • Accommodation: Traditional Japanese room in a pension (Sudachi-kan, 088-677-1180), including dinner, breakfast, entry to the bathhouse and rice balls for lunch, ¥4000 

We had planned to leave at 6:30am because there was a typhoon coming and rain was forecast from midday onwards. We were woken by the rain at 5:30am and had to do a mad dash to bring our washing in off our makeshift line between two power poles… Unfortunately we weren’t quick enough and it was soaking 😦

Given the rain had already arrived we decided to take our time getting ready and left the hut after 8am. We were in our wet weather gear which we very quickly took off; it only took about 3 minutes to start sweating in the humidity. It’s like midsummer here, not autumn!

We reached Temple 11, bowed, donated and chanted then received our stamp before filling up our water bottles…

The next stage to Temple 12 was supposed to be the hardest part of the entire walk. Looking at the elevation plot gave us a good idea of what we had ahead of us… It was a series of very steep ascents and descents for 13km and it was hard going! The thumping noise that seemed to be getting louder and louder and following me was my heartbeat. My face turned a lovely shade of beetroot and stayed that way for the 6hrs it took to arrive at Temple 12… Because of the rain, the stones and slate on the ancient trail through the hills were very slippery and it would have been very easy to twist an ankle, it was a long hard slog.

We met 2 Canadians that were also walking the whole trail. So far we hadn’t seen any other foreigners and neither had they.

Temple 12 was stunning; built on top of a hill 700m above sea level. After getting our stamp we sat down with the guidebook and decided it was time to find somewhere to stay, I was exhausted! We got into the first place I called and only had to walk a further 3km downhill. It’s a pension type place in the smallest village set in a valley next to a waterfall. There must be only about 20 people living in the village. When we arrived they told us to drop off our things and they would take us to the public bathhouse, no doubt we stank! After a relaxing soak in the bath we were taken back to the pension and treated to a Japanese dinner of fish, rice, pickles and salad. Breakfast is also included at 6am and rice balls to take with us for lunch.

The typhoon didn’t hit today, just the rain. It’s now supposed to reach Shikoku tomorrow morning. We’re planning on a 35km day but this will depend on what the weather does…

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