Sorry for losing your comments yesterday. Something got switched off by mistake.
This is a very weird feeling, reaching Temple 88 and then walking on for two more days back to Temple 1. You no longer feel part of the pilgrimage but there is a space in the stamp book for the closing stamp so we have to walk the 41Km. But the good news is that I’m staying in Temple 6 tonight. I met a few people who stayed here on the way out and they said it was a very good experience, particularly the evening service. Blanca said she tried to stay here before but it was fully booked so now we have the chance to see what it’s all about.
We stayed in the Shirotori Onsen last night with Silvie and Ryan from France, drank enough beer and had a relaxing evening. This morning Blanca and I set off on our 9th and final day of walking together. Tomorrow will be the last day of the pilgrimage and I’ve always walked the final day alone. Most people need that time to reflect on the journey and to prepare for whatever is coming next. It’s always an empty feeling finishing a pilgrimage, rather like leaving school for the last time.
When we set off this morning there was a distinct nip in the air. The sun was shining brightly and we soon warmed up. There was one more trail through the woods and then we were dumped onto the road heading south to the first ten temples. So we finished today by walking back from Temple 10 to Temple 6.
I think that’s enough for today. I’ll report on the evening service tomorrow.