The little town of Tosa, where we stayed last night, scored highly on my list of essentials for the walking pilgrimage. Although I’m quite content sleeping on a futon laid out on tatami mats, it’s nice occasionally to check into a regular hotel with normal beds and nobody in the slightest bit concerned about which type of slippers you might be wearing.
Sandrine, Cecile and I ate dinner in an Italian restaurant up the road. No one appeared to have any connection with Italy but we had a fine pasta, pizza and salad meal.
And next door was a proper bakery with cafe attached. The cafe was serving Japanese breakfast but they were more than happy for us to grab bread and croissants from the store and to provide coffee.
After that we nipped up the mountain to Temple 35 which, like so many temples in the hills, was serene and beautiful. Candles flicker and incense hangs in the air. It’s relaxing to sit and listen to a small group of pilgrims chanting. These pilgrims always travel by car. We were passed on the way up by two New Zealand ladies on bicycles. They told me they had hired the bikes for 21 days to tackle the whole pilgrimage route.
The temperature and humidity remains high, 29 degrees and I was lucky to buy some more sun cream in the Tosa supermarket.
We said goodbye to Cecile at Temple 36 and set off along the coastal road which, according to the map book, offers breathtaking views. It was right. There are two breathtaking views but everywhere else the view was obscured by trees. The road climbed and fell over the cliffs with many hairpin bends. I wish I’d been driving one of the many Toyota Supras which were being flung around the bends at speeds way in excess of the 40Km speed limit. It looked great fun. But it was no place to be walking.