Monday, September 27, 2004

Plugging Away


Day - 27
Temples - 51
Distance - approx. 940 km
Weight - ??

I usually hike around 35-40 km a day (21 - 24 miles). Today was a pretty light day, around 25 km (15 miles) into Matsuyama.

The road is definitely taking a toll on my feet, as the last few days have been a bit painful. Hopefully the rest here will reinvigorate me. I haven`t been meeting too many fellow hikers lately, but I did run into a nice couple the last couple of days. I first saw them at temple #44, where I stayed a couple nights ago (I think Friday, but the days tend to blur together). They didn`t speak much English (maybe a few more words then I know of Japanese), but we were able to communicate a little. I saw them again last night as I was getting into temple #46 after a long day of hiking. And then I ran into them again today at #51. They were very nice and even gave me some osettei.

The weather hasn`t been to bad, cooling off to the point where I might need a jacket before I`m done. It has been raining off and on, especially at night. Last night was the first rain free night in a while, so my tent and sleeping bag are finally (mostly) dry.

I also was able to hike a few good trails (aka marked trails) in the mountains the last couple of days. It`s been a lot more road hiking then I expected, so these forays into the woods are always welcomed. They were small short cuts (5-10 km), but enough to get me away from the roads and cars and people. It was very pleasent to get up into the pine trees and just sit there and relax and listen to the mountain. Very Zenlike (as opposed to dodging semis on the highway).

Timing-wise, I`m now aiming to finish in 40 days. I figure that`s a good round number. It`ll give me a week to recuperate, and maybe take a trip up to Kyoto for a few days.

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