Saturday, October 2, 2004

Typhooned (again)


Days: 32
Temples: 1-59, 61-64
Distance: 1100 km
Weight: 69.15 kg

More metric factoids

The typhoon was packing winds of 35 m/s
Gas is Y120 / liter
Highs are getting down into the mid 20`s (Celsius, of course)

Yes, I am in southern Japan. And yes, the typhoon passed pretty much right over us. I hiked about 10 km the day it passed through to get to the nearest town and hunker down in a hotel. The next morning it was sunny and nice out and I started out my hike up to temple #60, which is on a mountain. I passed through a small town which had had its river overflow, and there was mud covering everything. A bridge had been washed out, and there was timber scattered here and there. Further up, the road was blocked off, but a woman indicated that I could continue walking up to the temple. Parts of the road were washed out, there were rock slides covering parts of it, and downed power lines. Eventually, I ran into a couple that told me the road was blocked further up. So back down to I went (I had only made it about 1/3 of the way). I then went on to temples 61-63 to reach the next road up the mountain. There, the calligrapher guy told me all three roads upto #60 were washed out and try again in a week.

So while contemplating my next step, I started talking to another henro. He had just spent five days helping an older couple clean up their garden, and the husband was a tea master. Part of his salary was learning the tea ceremony and he also received a Japanese tea set. So we had a little tea ceremony there at the temple. We then hiked together to temple #64 (I decided to forgo temple #60 for now, and take a day trip from Takamatsu next week) and then ownward a little ways to a town where we found a park to camp at. We met another Japanese guy who was biking around Japan and had camped there as well. We all eventually went to the onsen up the road for a bath and then returned to our little campsite.

Did`t get much distance in that day, but I have enough leeway in my schedule now to have a few blow off days. Typhoon season should be over, so there shouldn`t be too much to delay me from here on. I think it`s about over 8 days to the end from where I am now and I basically have two weeks to make it back to Tokushima. Throw in the day back to #60 and I can relax a little bit. After #65 tomorrow and climbing up to #66 the next day (it`s the highest at almost 1000m) it`ll pretty much be cruising through the Takamatsu urban jungle, with no mountains or real long hikes to worry about.

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