I crept out of the hotel before dawn this morning and took a deep breath to get in the mood. After a moment a woman came running out of the hotel shouting I thought I’d forgotten something such as paying the bill. But she just wanted to wish me a good pilgrimage.
There was a tempting cafe nearby with coffee, pancakes and proper breakfast items but it didn’t open until 9am so I set off for Family Mart instead. After that I walked the rest of the way to Mishima. The path follows the busy highway but brings a little relief by taking you along side roads where possible. This breaks the tedium of the main road and you can see where the rich people live but you miss the shops.
I went into a large supermarket and bought fruit and a freshly made curry doughnut. A free-milk-at-school size carton of milk rebalanced my food intake.
The next Family Mart was overrun with a huge number of children who were celebrating a Shinto festival and had stopped for a rest so I moved on.
I doubt the past 50km is anyone’s favorite part of Shikoku but I’m now in base camp ready for the next two temples. Temple 65 is a mere 350m high but is rather awkward to access. Temple 66 on Friday is the highest on the pilgrimage at 912m. It should be an excellent couple of days.