Last night’s accommodation next door to Temple 13, “Myozai” looked less than impressive but once again the owner couldn’t have been more helpful. A row of washing machines awaited the incoming pilgrims and the Wi-fi puts BT to shame. One moment my photos for the day were on my iPhone, seconds later they were all under the care of Microsoft.
I took a shower, dropped my clothes into a washing machine and then relaxed with 650ml of cold Asahi beer. Sandrine & Erika arrived and there were a dozen others for dinner. We each had a pot of stock and vegetables on a burner and a dish of raw fish which we threw in as needed. And there was a full supporting cast of miso, pickles, rice and assorted unidentifiable things. After that, he made my reservations for the next couple of days. Another pilgrim super hero.
Today was a routine day. Four temples came in quick succession and then I left the two French ladies and walked on to Tokushima. Yes, the same Tokushima where I started last week. We have made a small loop to nail 17 temples but next comes the big loop. In fact I was well inside Tokushima when I realised I’d left my staff behind at Temple 17. But all was well. I caught the train all the way back back, walked 4Km and just 2 hours later I was back at the station to continue my walk to the hotel. Should we start a lottery about how many times I will leave my staff behind and how many staffs I’ll need to complete the pilgrimage?
For the record, Temple 15 was under renovation and Temple 17 was another really peaceful one. It featured a well dig by Kobo Daishi.
After last night’s feast fit for a Samurai, today was an opportunity to rediscover western food. I felt guilty about picking around the massive Japanese breakfast and leaving most of it. The French ladies were in an equal state of despair but as we came off the mountain into a small town I caught sight of a Family Mart convenience store and soon we were gorging on croissants, coffee and a banana. And for dinner on the outskirts of Tokushima I sat down with a lot of preteen schoolchildren and enjoyed a McSalad, BigMac and fries and no chopsticks to be seen anywhere.