I left at 6.30 this morning clutching my bag of croissants and set off down the coast for the last 24Km of the south west peninsula. It was a quiet Sunday morning and I was soon on the beach where the local fishermen were repairing their nets. I walked through woodland until the trail brought me back to the road for the duration.
The temperature soon rose to 27 degrees and there were no convenience stores. As usual I drank from the vending machines which saves carrying a lot of water. It was another beautiful walk with extensive views of the Pacific Ocean.
Eventually I reached the Temple 38. It is the most isolated of all 88. It is nestled in the hills and surrounded by trees rising high in the hills. There were many pilgrims but few if any of them are walking pilgrims. It’s quite unusual to come across another pilgrim while out walking.
The atmosphere in the temples is very calm and peaceful. Quite agreeable. I can often sit in the grounds looking at the different buildings and statues and landscaping for ages. Incense adds to the serenity. I’ve lost track of my favourites so it will be fun to sort through my photos and see how many I can remember.
Opposite the temple are a few shops. I bought an ice cream and while eating it a man came up to me and we had a basic chat (no I’m not American) and then he gave me 200 yen as settai. Isn’t that amazing? In return I gave him one of my prayer slips. I’ll leave it at the next temple.
I had a look at the sights (the lighthouse and a rock in the shape of a turtle) but like everywhere else, there is very little development and no reason to stay so I’ll continue on my way tomorrow. There is a choice of routes to Temple 39. The shortest (52Km) requires backtracking all the way to yesterday’s tunnel and then crossing the hills to the west coast. The most challenging is to hike up something called the Ashizuri Skyline, up the central spine of the peninsula. The longest (72Km) is to follow the coast. None of the options has a store.
Something to contemplate over dinner.