Such a pleasant day yesterday, who would have thought a typhoon was in the neighborhood. Mercifully it steered itself away from Shikoku but even so, the wind disturbed my sleep. The forecast today was rain and wind but I set off anyway and without a reservation. The French ladies decided to remain behind where coffee and toast were plentiful so I bid them adieu and departed while it was dry.
I soon received an email from the owner of last night’s inn saying that he was trying to find me a place for the night but almost everywhere was full or, indeed, closed. However he had secured me a place at a beach hotel. There was a hint of apology and foreboding about his email but I felt the need to make progress so I thanked him and confirmed his recommendation.
Soon after I left town the rain started. Perhaps not the worst rain ever but it soaked me through and I was happy to only have 20Km ahead of me. Fortunately the trail was the main road so I didn’t have to worry about navigating my way over mountains. Indeed I had the benefit of several long tunnels which provided respite from the rain.
Before I left home I bought a couple of super lightweight LED lamps for just such an occasion. I attached one to my staff and set it to flash it’s 6 LEDs as I walked through the tunnels and I could tell that the few cars appreciated the warning. Japanese drivers are so polite and the last thing they would want to do is hit a pilgrim and Kobo Daishi.
I reached the ocean and rounded the beautiful bay where surfers were riding the wild waves. Ahead of me, all alone on a small promontory rose my destination. Even from the distance it carried an air of desolation. I reached the entrance where several cockroaches were enjoying the damp algae covered step. I opened the door and stood dripping onto the genkan.
Eventually the owner appeared with his wife. I suspect the hotel was built years before the Japanese economy stalled and had subsequently lain derelict until this man bought it for next to nothing and now they must endure a losing battle against the elements.
I won’t describe the shower except to say it is in the basement and if I hadn’t been soaked through I should have skipped the experience. I wasn’t alone down there. Even so, back upstairs a state of the art Toto toilet awaited me. The door wouldn’t close properly but I’m the only guest and I doubt anyone has stayed here for awhile.
Fortunately I saw the kitchen. Was I ok with Sashimi for dinner? Tabenai! Instead he drove me back to Lawson where I bought sushi, beer and croissants for breakfast.
Nevertheless they are a delightful couple and they phoned ahead to book my next stop.
My pack is soaked. The rain cover is soaked. My boots are being dried on a handy Japanese shoe drier, a device which looks like two hair dryers strapped together. My phone and camera were in the pockets of my waterproof jacket. Sadly the pockets are not waterproof and the camera is now in a coma so there are only a few photos today. Fortunately all my photos are backed up but I do hope it recovers otherwise it’s over to the iPhone for the duration.