Day 8: pacific detours

I’m so tired I don’t even want to write this article. Though I haven’t walked more than usual, this morning I felt like both my body and mind wanted to quit.

If only one of the two complains, it’s no big deal: the mind can overrule the body when something hurts and the body can encourage the mind when motivation is low. But if both are on strike at the same time, shit will eventually the fan.

The first part of the walk was pretty ugly, alongside a big road and going through some tunnels.

The day began already in a bad fashion when all the hotels (and similar) in Hiwasa, the town where I wanted to stop, were full. Time for Plan B then: Mugi.

The town of Mugi is around 15 Km away from Hiwasa, which is in turn 25 Km away from my starting point. Doing a 40 Km stage right now is not an option, so I decided to take a longer detour to Hiwasa and then take a train to Mugi in the late afternoon.

This allowed me to reach the coast and stay alongside of it for quite some time. It was nice to smell the sea and hear the waves continuosly crashing into the rocks. It reminded me of Fisterra, at the end of the Camino.

The beach of Hiwasa, where baby sea turtles are released into the sea ever year.
Turtles everywhere. You can see the temple in the background.

Somehow I managed to arrive at the temple #23, Yakuōji, which is nested on top of a hill and has a great view over the town.

This part of Shikoku looks very interesting and charming. I wish I had more time to explore it.

The place where I’m staying tonight is very humble and my reservation was only possible sudomari, i.e. without meals.

Luckily a supermarket was just a few steps away. It was my first time in a Japanese supermarket and I bought a shitload of sashimi at a laughable price, compared to Europe.

The owners where surprised at how much fish I bought, before engaging in a long and exhausting conversation about my plans for the next day.

The view from Yakuōji.

Speaking of tomorrow, I’m way too tired now to think about it. 

I bought a box of cookies for breakfast. Hopefully they will provide me with some inspiration and courage for the road that will be ahead of me.

Time to sleep now. It’s almost 8.30 PM. The daily agenda of a pilgrim is, as a matter of fact, very different from the one of a Berliner.

Alarm at 5.30, breakfast at 6.00, my boots will hit the road soon after that.

Stay tuned for more.

  • Lieve

    so sorry to hear about your lodging problems Alessandro, especially after you were such a gentleman to leave the last room at Umigame-so in Hiwasa to me… The only star they deserved though was for utter shabbiness and indefference. Of course there was the ocean front and the sound of a lazy surf to lull one through a good night’s sleep.
    My day yesterday must have been as hard as yours. Because I was so impatient to see the ocean I decided to take the trail through Mount Myojin to Cape Kanokubi, which proved to be a harsh 6-hour trip, much more korogashi than e.g. between temples 21 and 22. Rightout dangerous at some points – and not meeting a living soul. Divinely quiet it was though. I never made it to that Cape, but like you, ended up in a tiny fishing village where the assembled inhabitants decided to put me on a bus to Yuki (no more than 10′ waiting for 3 buses a day!). In Yuki there was this cute little train to Hiwasa, and voilà there I was in turtle town waving at you from the other side of the road.
    Today, after hesitating until the last metres
    because of a very tired body and lazy feet, I decided to take the Minami-awa Sun Line anyway. The regular route through the heat and the fumes of the 55 highway just didn’t seem a valid option. And how happy I am now, being on this shady, quiet and well-kept asphalt road through the hills with underway the most amazing views. It certainly is worth the occasional 10% rises. Right now I’ve reached a cape after all, be it the Senbai Kaigai Cliff, which absolutely splendid!

    Hope to meet you again!
    Lieve

    • I’m sad to hear that Umigama-so was disappointing. I’m starting ti question the “stars” on the book. All of them were rather bad in my opinion. But good that you had a nice walk on the Sun line! I thought about it but eventually laziness prevailed and I chose the shortest route.
      Hopefully we’ll meet again 🙂
      Alessio

      • Lieve

        well, Alessio (not Alessandro – sorry, though that sounded nicely Italian also -:)), as a matter of fact I did spot you on the 55 from behind a bus window on my way to Temple 24 today. Thus admitting that I skipped walking the dreary bit. I was justly punished, by way of a marathon taking place at the Cape, which obliged the driver to drop us off at an hour’s walk from the usual basu-tee. All in all, with the geo-promenade walk (very impressive) and the henro climb to the temple, I did do some kilo’s.
        On the climb up, the grotto with view on the ocean where Kobo Daishi practised and changed his name to Kuukai (sky+sea) was an emotional
        spot to be in, especially while holding the kongouzue.

        Tonight I’m at minshuku Muroto-sou at the tip of the cape. Also with ocean view but here with a warm accueil and the most wonderful food, as we are used to :-)). Tomorrow I will make it to Kiragawa I think. Want to see the antique streets there. Might catch up with you some place later on. Good to hear that the knees are under control!

        Lieve

        • Sounds great! I’m looking forward to arriving at the temple tomorrow. Good that the marathon is over 😀 not sure I’d have the patience to deal with it! Ahah
          Good luck for today’s walk 🙂