Day 35: getting ready to climb

Today was a day that didn’t matter too much. Yes, I reached the 59th temple, but my focus was all on tomorrow and the next days. Two though climbs are ahead of me and I planned my days to alternate flat terrain and mountains in the best way.

This morning I rested a bit longer than usual and walked only about 15 Km. In the early afternoon, I arrived at a nice hotel with hot springs: taking a bath in there was great for my muscles.

The temple #59, Kokubunji.

On my way there, I could see the mountains that I will have to face tomorrow. They’re tall, true, but also manageable. I will just need the necessary discipline to keep climbing with a good pace.

From the road. The camera doesn’t truly convey the height of those peaks, sadly.

The key will be to reach the top, and the temple #60, around 1-2 PM. That should allow me to go down without being in a hurry, and collect the stamps from the temples #61 and #62 before checking in at my next ryokan.

With only around 10 days to go, I’m starting to feel the pressure to finish the pilgrimage on time. Now more than ever I need to keep my head down and just walk. 

I haven’t met anybody today, sadly, but I’m confident I will see some familiar faces tomorrow. On tbe good side of things, my morale is doing OK. Part of me wishes to chill somewhere warm, but I’m not giving up.

It doesn’t help that the days are growing shorter and colder. I cannot wear neither the short-sleeve t-shirt or the short trousers anymore.

I’m tempted to just leave them behind and save some weight in my bag, but I would feel bad about it. They did travel with me for quite some time; it would be rude to just ditch them, wouldn’t it?

Now it’s almost 9 PM, which is a sort of pilgrim midnight. I will make a cup of tea and go to sleep soon, in order to fully recharge my batteries.

A good day can only begin with a good night.