Day 12: a dip in the ocean

In the early afternoon, I was sitting on a bench in front of the sea, eating a ball of rice and sinking in my thoughts. The hunger completely blinded me, as I did not see the great opportunity of finally taking a dip into the Pacific Ocean.

The temperature was perfect, the day was sunny and I wasn’t too far from the minshuku that I booked for the night. What are you waiting for? Go, do it, now!

The water was actually warm, thanks to the hot sun and breakwater.

And so I did, left my things on the shore and jumped into the sea. It felt so good! I didn’t stay long, sadly, because I didn’t have a towel to dry myself up. But I’m happy to have crossed this item off the “To do” list!

The day actually began in a poor way, with several rejections at the inns in my target town, Aki. So I decided to book one further down the road and cover the additional distance by train. With hindsight, it’s what allowed me to take a bath, so I’ll take it and will not complain about it (for a change).

The way to the main hall of temple #27.

The climb to Kōnomineji, the 27th temple, was steep and I even took a longer route than the usual one, by mistake. You know, it would have been to easy otherwise.

During the climb many cars and taxis went by. The pilgrims inside them looked at me as if I were an alien, covered in sweat and staring back at them with an angry face.

The table was completely dry before I sat on it.

At the temple, I met Lieve, the Belgian lady I first ran into a few days ago, and a French man who’s also here for the first time.

He and I went down together from the temple, to rejoin the pilgrimage route and be on our way to the next stop.

The rest of the day was spent walking, looking for a place that sold any kind of food, taking a train and bathing in the ocean.

The mosquito situation is still pretty tense. The post-bite lotion was “promoted” from the inside of the bag to the front pouch, first, and again from there to the fanny pack, for the quickest access possible in case of compulsive scratching.

My knees hurt a bit but my feet are OK. My thighs are also a bit of a nuisance because of the excessive humidity and friction while walking. If the weather stays like this, it might become a problem.

Tomorrow, I will be approaching the big city of Kochi. 

Let’s see how many times I will manage to lose my way. Place your bet, ladies and gentleman, and we’ll see who gets closest to the real number. 

I’ll be counting.