Day 7: ups and downs

On a travel like this, you have to focus on so many small details that sometimes you don’t pay attention to obvious things. An example? As soon as I got out of the minshuku, this morning, I took a picture with my camera and the battery died. Great. Well done.

It was naive of me to think that Pentax had somehow equipped my K-50 with a infinite motion turbine that recharges itself indefinitely.

In any case, the rice mixed with raw egg that I had for breakfast gave me the energy to climb the first mountain in about 1 hour. The temple #19 was the reward and I took a small break before coming down to cross a river (top picture) and then go up again to reach temple #20.

Through that “window” you could see, very tiny, the 19th temple.

I met again a few people I encountered a few days ago, including the Japanese lady with whom I had walked on my way to temple #7.

Furthermore, I even had the chance to walk with a western pilgrim: a Belgian lady who is also for the first time in Japan. The kilometers felt shorter, and it helped me reach the temple #22 in a timely fashion.

The main hall (#22), where the divinity that gives the name to each temple is worshipped.

With all this going up and down, I didn’t get the chance of buying something to eat. I had to scrape the leftovers of whatever I could find in my bag. It was barely anything, just a few nuts and candies. As a matter of fact, I was starving when I arrived at the minshuku.

Of course, this was the first time that dinner was served a few minutes later than 6.00 PM.

My face when I was at the table, hungry, and waiting for dinner to be served.

When it actually arrived, dinner was amazing. There was an entire grilled fish together with lots of sashimi and the usual “other good stuff”. I felt like in heaven for a few minutes.

Tomorrow is a big question mark. The next temple is only 20-ish Km away, but between that and the next lodging possibilty there are 15 Km of ugly highway. I will need to sleep on it and take a decision before leaving.

My spirits are high now. The walk seems doable and my feet are holding it together. They do hurt but, if it stays like that, I will be able to endure the pain every day without too much drama.

Mosquitos, on the other hand, are eating my legs and arms. I’m fighting back and killed a handful of them, but they keep coming at me.

Shikoku is savouring my blood and my sweat. As long as I keep getting sashimi in return, I am not going to complain.