Day 26 – A Walk on the Wild Side

Actually I enjoyed my stay in the Tatsukushi-en minshuku last night. It was right on the beach. I had the window open all night listening and sleeping to the beautiful Pacific Ocean crashing on the shore. And thinking of the lucky wild sea turtles navigating their way around the world.

I realised very soon that the lady owner who lived there alone was very old and troubled by bad legs etc. She was beyond maintaining the house and everything was worn out. There must be many people like her running these pilgrim accommodations for a little money and to have a purpose in life. The dripping taps and broken bits and pieces told her story. She looked after me like an elderly relative and the run down state of her house didn’t matter anymore.

I had planned a 27Km day but it became 41Km and I loved almost every bit of it. I was in good spirits and tore off at the crack of dawn along the coastal road through a series of tunnels which gobbled up the distance. I had the road and the whole coast to myself.

One of the odd things about Japan is the difficulty of recognising a cafe. I’ve probably walked past many without realising. This morning I passed a house with a sign which said coffee in English. It looked closed but I opened the door and went inside. The owner welcomed me to his empty cafe and sat me down in the corner with my backpack and staff completing the table. His wife soon appeared to inspect this man from Weybridge. They made me a delicious cup of coffee with chocolate biscuits. Soon the place was buzzing with locals ordering the full Japanese breakfast. And when it was time to pay they said o-settai and wouldn’t accept a yen.

On I went and soon came to the 10Km walk in the woods. I could have continued along the road but the sign was clear enough: Pilgrim route this way. I should have stuck to the road because I was soon deep in the forest, hacking my way through the undergrowth. To be honest, the trail was always clear and incredibly well signed but since the last pilgrim all the spiders had spun their webs across the trail and were hanging in the air. I felt like a majorette with my staff twirling through the air clearing the webs and then pounding the ground to clear any ground living undesirables from my path. I was glad to rejoin the road at the Himenoi Bus Stop.

A short walk brought me to my planned stopover, a dull apartment block. There was nobody about and when I called the telephone number there was an answer phone. I said cancel and walked on. The next town was just 12Km away and was ideally placed for Temple 39. I arrived as the sun set and checked into a business hotel.

The Mother of all typhoons is currently heading straight for Shikoku, due Saturday. I’m open to any suggestions about what to do.

More very long tunnels today

Oura fishing village
A walk in the woods

8 comments on “Day 26 – A Walk on the Wild Side

  1. The scenery is absolutely beautiful! I saw the typhoon heading your way on the BBC weather this morning. I thought of you as soon as weather lady Carol Kirkwood started describing it! Hope it is not as bad as it looked on TV, hopefully it will ease off somewhat before it reaches you.

  2. Roger Clarkson

    Looks like the typhoon is swinging up the east coast towards Tokyo so you should miss the worst of it, fingers crossed.

  3. Stay in a tunnel for the next week Tim.

  4. Tassie Kaz

    Ride it out Tim…you’ve got time & it was always a possibility walking in autumn.
    Like many others, I’ll certainly be monitoring the typhoon’s path closely & hoping for the best possible outcome for you & the good people of Japan.

    Stunning scenery…your phone is handling being chief photographer very well!

  5. I agree with Tassie, Tim. Your phone is doing magnificently well! Who needs the extra weight of a camera? And I also agree that as the typhoon nears, you should find a nice little accommodation that serves coffee and biscuits and hang tight until it passes! Only stay in a tunnel if there isn’t anything else available. 😉 Take care!

  6. I also agree, take a rest day and don’t challenge the typhoon

  7. Vicky Williamson

    Kia Ora, Tim, You could spend the day in a place with TV and watch the World Cup rugby played in pouring rain! Go the All Blacks! Ki o tsukete, ganbatte, Vicky

  8. Philippa

    The typhoon also made the sports news here in NZ (because it may threaten several World Cup rugby matches)! Take care Tim!

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