We had a good stay in Panda House last night. It’s surrounded by bamboo. The house looked like it might blow over in a typhoon but the owner was very hospitable and we enjoyed a good dinner. He made our reservation for tonight’s accommodation and drove our bags down today. So far, the people who’ve looked after us couldn’t have been better.
Once again I’m walking with Sandrine and Erika. They are good company and, just as important, they are stopping me putting on the afterburners and roaring ahead, only to develop two feet full of blisters.
We started the day at Temple 22 which is a quarter of them done already and we finished at Temple 23 which will be the last temple for a few days. These temples bring a wonderful feeling of calm and tranquility to the pilgrimage, particularly those in the mountains and the forests.
During the day we came around a bend in the road and a clearing in the trees to see the Pacific Ocean which will be the backdrop for the coming days. We reached a large beautiful bay and, from the map, you’d expect to find a row of cafes and shops but the whole place was deserted. Only two WCs and several tsunami evacuation signs.
We are staying in Hiwasa in a very fine house (Oyado). The owner is French and has provided a fine breakfast for us. Bread, butter, honey and coffee. The little town has a few cafes and restaurants and other shops. But when we set off looking for dinner at 7.15pm on Saturday night, it looked more like four in the morning. Nobody about and all the shops closed. Eventually we found one restaurant open until 8.30pm and, having progressed beyond the picking around stage, demolished everything on the tray. It’s what hunger does to you.