Bus stops, beer and Buddha.

30 Jun

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Day 5. Saturday.

So happy to roll off the bench and pack up our stuff after a bad night with no sleep. At some stage we are going to have to catch up on some much needed sleep if we are going to finish this in 21 days. The info we had found before we started, was that most people took over 40 days to complete all 88 temples. In one questionaire, only one person had recorded a fast finish in 29 days. Who the hell did we think we were expecting to finish over a week faster?? We had no idea what the trail or weather was going to be like. No idea, no clue.

We dusted ourselves off and headed down the coast for 21 Kms to get to #24, Hotsumisakaji Temple, located down on the tip of Cape Muroto-misaki.

We found Mikurado Cave where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) trained. It was a pleasant cool down in the cave before we made the steep climb up to Hotsumisakaji.339

351Steep climb up, steep climb down….

There was only 6.5kms to Shinshoji Temple, one of my favourites so far. Located in a fishing village (well that’s what it looked like) with friendly locals and interesting wildlife.354

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Lovely small shopping street with great atmosphere where we bought an ice cream from an okonomyaki shop. We should be eating there. It was lunch time and I’m through with eating bentos from 7-11, Lawson and SunKus.
Lunch wasn’t going to happen here. We only had 4kms to get to Kongochojo with a short but sharp climb of 250 metres. Let’s get it done. Business before pleasure.

371

372375There was a pleasant, peaceful atmosphere here, above the hustle of Muroto City.

With almost 30 Kms to the next temple, and no way we’d get there before 5pm when it closes, we went and explored Kiragawa Antique street, where the area looks the same as it did in the late 19th century. There was a red banner flying which was a sign to an Okonomyaki shop, all in Japanese. I followed it down a little alley to a tiny restaurant. Two tables with hot plates, an old couple who own it with no English . Pure gold. Lots of laughter and broken Japanese and Asahi Beer. Andy’s first experience with the delicacy. Pleasure.

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In the end we paid 2,000 yen for the beer and were given the meal free.

Happy, refreshed and full of beer and okonomyaki we continued on our way in the heat.
Back on the trail to get as close to #27 following some beautiful coastline.

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The weather started to close in and we were pretty keen to get shelter before our packs got wet. We had plenty of food in our bellies and packs.
We had done 57kms, it was raining and after the disgraceful choice of accommodation last night, we hedged our bets when we found this…..

386 Yep, another bus shelter for the night.

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