Day 23: running away from the comfort zone

After yesterday’s ranting, I was looking forward to hitting the road again.

I didn’t set up an ambitious objective, just a bit more than 20 Km, as I was already feeling stressed after waking up. 

The weather was warm and sunny, I had no excuses.

A small climb (around 300 m high) soon brought me back “into business”, and it felt good.

Nice path and forest this morning. It also had a very pleasant “forest-y” smell.

I met a few pilgrims along the way, something unusual compared to the last weeks. Some of them I knew already, some others I didn’t.

After all these “meetings” I still don’t understand why a number of them ask to take a picture of me, like if I were some sort of exotic beast. Well, whatever makes them happy.

There were many good signals today, and yet I managed to take a wrong turn in the morning. Yay me.

Once I arrived at the temple, I decided to take a long brake. I was right on time and there was no point in going at the minshuku so early in the afternoon.

While chilling there, I was surprised by Lieve’s arrival. It was good to exchange some words with her, before heading to a nice udon restaurant.

Inside the main hall of the 40th temple.

My shoelaces reached a critical condition today. Especially the right one seemed so thin that I was afraid it would break every time I tied my boots.

Luckily I managed to find a store that sold some new ones. I will try them before going for dinner.

I haven’t planned tomorrow yet, but I guess that won’t surprise you guys.

Today I also crossed the border between the Kochi prefecture and the Ehime one. If you remember from some days ago, each prefecture has a sort of meaning for the pilgrims.

After Kochi’s ascetic training, it’s now time for each pilgrim to discover the “enlightment”.

For me, last prefecture was more like Kocheating (with all the shortcuts) than anything ascetic. Luckily, I still have many days ahead of me to find some real sense in all of this walking.

I’m not saying that I will. Hell, if I could bet on it I would in all likelihood do it against that possibility.

But then again, I’m far from being good at betting, and I’d be happy to lose this time.