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Wanderings and Misadventures of The Toes Ramblings of a fledgling traveler...

Still Alive (but not kicking)

JAPAN | Sunday, 14 March 2010 | Views [666] | Comments [5]

This pilgrimage... I don:t really know what to think of it yet. It has been neat to meet some people but disappointing to only have partial conversations with them. I would like to be fluent enough to get to know the folk I meet since most are very, very nice. I have received gifts from several people along the way; mostly snacks and help.

My first day was made easier as I followed along with a walking group. They were nice enough to invite me along and chat. By the second day I let them get some distance as they were a paid group following a sort of "Henro-Tourguide". Since then I`ve been on my own.

I get pretty lonely sometimes. While in the mountains I just started talking out loud. I was almost completely alone for two days so it had a funny effect on me. The scenery was amazing. I had to stop a few times to enjoy it since I was gung-ho to make progress the rest of the time.

Most of the pilgrimage is on asphalt roads through smelly little towns. Inhaling diesel fumes all day can be tireing. That`s why the mountains were nice... fresh air, clean water and quiet. The downside was very steep ascents, narrow pathways with vertical drops on either side and snow. Oh yeah, there`s been unusually cold weather in Japan. I guess I brought the snow with me. It`s gone now but it was quite the morning waking up in my little (free) mountain hut. The temperature had dropped below zero and the snow stayed on the ground. Wind had taken down some trees and bamboo along those narrow paths... yee haw.

Eventually I made it to the most difficult temple to reach on foot. After that I hoofed it out of there and down, down, down... down the mountains. In the end my little right toe was toast. I took an extra day here in Tokushima city to relax and heal. I`ll see how my foot does today.

Most henro I have met are only doing temple 1 to 23 by foot or all 88 by bus. A handful are walking the whole thing. I`m starting to think this is a dumb idea. I predicted that though. This morning I met one henro who is almost done. She walked and took buses between the temples that were farthest apart. That might be a plan. I would save a crapload of cash that way and maybe save my little toe from falling off. I don`t have anything to prove.

I have to check out soon so I`ll leave it at that for now. I won`t have much access to the net for a while again. There was something else but I forget what I wanted to say... poo-crap. Oh! I think, rather than being enlightened this pilgrimage is making me want my material objects even more. I can`t wait to get my hands on an XBox controller and play me some RPGs while chowing down on pizza.

I`m off... wish me (much needed) luck!

Me! Just before hiking up the mountains for two days. (Day 3, Shikoku)

Me! Just before hiking up the mountains for two days. (Day 3, Shikoku)

Tags: pilgrimage



good luck Toes!!

  Sandra Mar 15, 2010 1:42 PM


Best of luck you little dancin/walking machine! Take care of your toes, they are very important ;)

  Jen (aka. the Vancouver bum) Mar 16, 2010 2:50 PM


It's very difficult to be alone - I tend to try and solve math problems or riddles to pass the time.

Keep posting!

  Marco Mar 17, 2010 2:21 PM


Being alone is not always a bad thing. You usually always win arguments with yourself. Toes, take in everything...close your eyes and breathe deeply of the air around you...weird things will happen, like you will smell more than you did before, and hear clearer than you did before and if you are lucky, you will see with that other eye and things will look different, clearer, more defined, more intense colour...It doesn't matter how many temples you do, or how far you travel...it is important that you stop and truly get a sense of the places you come across. all our love.

  Mumby Mar 21, 2010 7:35 AM


You go Yoda!!! (mum) Hey Toes, I'll play some RPG's for the both of us. When I have a chance.

  Julie Mar 24, 2010 12:59 AM

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