Day 3. Thursday
The best thing about sleeping beside a major highway and being awake all night with road noise, rain, wind and one eye open, was knowing there was a bad coffee brewing at the 7-11 just down the road.
We stocked up with plenty of food weighing our packs down as we would be leaving Tokushima city and venturing back into the mountains.
Temple 18 and 19 were on the flat before we found hills, bamboo trails and mountains for Temple 20 and 21. Tough trail, but stunning.
Big climb up, meant big climb down. Took a wrong turn coming out of Temple 20 which involved a lot of elevation… No thanks to the bus driver that sent us down the wrong way… back to Temple 19. Nearly lost my zen like state. We’d seen this from Temple 20….
That little arrow was where we were heading. Down we went to the beautiful Naka river crossing and followed the river up towards Temple 21. Really pretty but beginning to question if we could get 67 more temples done before hitting Nirvana if this was what we were in for.
Beautiful tough trail, temps in the 30s and with a pack that was running out of food again.
Hot and struggling after over 50 kms, we knew there would be shops as we neared one of the prettiest beaches on the island…. or so we thought. Had delightful conversation with two old ladies (or I think it was delightful?) they directed us out of Tainohama beach in search of food….
An old Japanese guy started having a chat with us in his broken English. We asked if there were any cafés or shops to buy food. He said “Japan very small country, no shops”
Great. We wandered on our way south until we heard him running up behind us “You need food? Bread?”
Ahh, YES! “Follow me”.
For 10 mins we followed this guy through some tiny streets. Everything was closed . He opened a shutter to reveal a FOOD SHOP!
Andy couldn’t get past the ice cream he wanted 5 hours ago. I went for inari.
Paid the lovely old boiler for all our supplies, except the inari that she gave us as “osettai”. (gift for pilgrim) Did we really mention beer would be good? ….. Oh o….
Off we went along the street with the old guy to the closed beer shop ….
4 Cans of Asahi in our possession, we bid a fond farewell to our best mate and went off in search of a bench to consume an ice cream and a beer before wondering where the hell we were going to stay the night..
Even better than that, there was a toilet beside it with a power point to charge our phones and GPS watches!
Let’s hope the weather is kind to us tonight as there was no protection from the elements or mozzies. This being homeless gig is kinda cool though. Wonder when we will be able to wash?