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

When in Rome... Strip?

JAPAN | Wednesday, 24 March 2010 | Views [675] | Comments [3]

It's nice to be back in a bigger city. I suppose I'm a city girl at heart. Being in the mountains is still the nicest part of the walk, though the hardest uphill climbs are there too. I just feel that the convenience of the city is ideal with occasional trips to the country. That way I can have some quiet time and enjoy the view and air, then return home to a nice warm bed or go shopping... I think if I was to live in the country I would get stir crazy and forget to appreciate how nice it is. But that's this point in my life.

I've been through many places and done a few things since my last post. After leaving Tokushima I had a couple of rough days and nearly called the whole pilgrimage off. I decided to give myself until temple 23, which is the last in Tokushima-ken (province), to make my decision. I had some luck on the way there and felt so great about reaching that far by foot so I decided to continue to the end. Maybe I'm stubborn or maybe I just have some time to kill and no immediate backup plans. The latter seems more likely to me.

So I'll be heading out to temple 44 tomorrow, in the rain apparently (shit). I've made a compromise though. From now on I'm allowed to use transportation in whatever form it's available. I passed up a ride to a fairly far temple while in Tokushima-ken but from here on it's fair game. I've taken many trains and buses; they're a pleasant way to travel as I can see the view, but not too closely.

To be honest, every place starts to look the same after a while. The towns all have the same features with shiny cars and dilapitated buildings. The countryside is fields all over, smelling of rotting vegetation. Yum, yum. The mountains can't be beat though. In the rain it's rather sucky but otherwise, wow! I haven't taken a picture yet that can show how pretty they are. They're fluffy with trees (assuming they haven't been touched by industry or construction) and in the mist and clouds, very pretty.

I guess this is a long post. Sorry.

I've camped a few times, some have been successful and others complete disasters. I love the free huts in random spots. It assures you can sleep for free and stay fairly dry. One night though I decided I'd camp in a rest area near the ocean. Sure enough, storm of my lifetime. First I waited until past sundown for some obnoxious teens to go the hell home. Once they were gone I started to set up my tent in the rain that had just started. As I did that a cockroach skittered away from my bag. Great. So I tore my bag apart on a bench and put my things, closely inspected, into the tent one at a time. Then the wind really picked up. I had been worried about the rain but it wasn't as bad. The wind was so strong it was pushing my tent, me and my heavy bag included, into the bench. If I didn't have anything behind me I would have flown away. Needless to say I didn't sleep. Luckily I had a day of trains and buses the following morning so I took my napies.

I keep running into this one young guy on a bike. It's frickin' weird! We met at temple 26 and since have kept running into eachother on the roads, in the mountains and today near a shopping arcade in the middle of this huge city. It's good though since we're having fun and helping eachother out.

That leads me to another topic: my friggin' backpack. The lightweight one I've been carrying has crumpled under the weight I've thrown into it. I have finally given up on it; it's toast. I spent several hours trying to find an outdoors store and ask for directions. Nobody had a clue what I was looking for and I was severely irritated. After a little lunch I was going to give up then, bam, bicycle boy to the rescue! He asked around for me and sent me on my way. I now own a smaller version of my big bag in Tokyo. I know that model is good so I'll stick with it. Hopefully the stabby pains in my left shoulder will stop with this new one.

I'm finally meeting people and having good conversations. I think I may be getting a little bolder as well which is good since it's one of my goals. My roommate here is great and she's been teaching me a little more about how things work in Japan. Maybe things are looking up as I learn more and more.

I've also decided if the weather gets truly nasty and my mood along with it I'll just stop and find a comfy place to wait it out. That'll add days onto the pilgrimage but I'm already saving some by using transportation. Huzzah!

Last thing: I've finally gone to an onsen. The most famous in Japan in fact. My roommate and I headed over there last night and payed for the basic bath. You walk into a changeroom, take a deep breath and strip. Then you proceed into the bathing room with benches, buckets and taps around the perimiter. You give yourself a good scrub and rinse then jump into the BIG bath with all the other ladies. It's a little uncomfortable to just take off everything with others around but everyone else is naked. *shrug*

I'm about 1/4 of my way through the pilgrimage. I'll take care of a big chunk in the next few days with this hostel as my home base. Maybe I'll actually update this thing more often.

CRAB CROSSING!

CRAB CROSSING!

Tags: bag, bicycle boy, camping, dogo onsen, pilgrimage, strip

 

Comments

1

Hey Toes,

Sounds like things are looking up! Steve and I enjoy checking out your blog...thanks for keeping everyone in the loop. Please stay safe and take care of yourself. Hope to see you some day for the in-person stories...oh and now the plot has thickened with Bicycle Boy - perhaps a romantic flare to your trip? Hehehehe!

Love, the Miltonians!

  Tami Mar 26, 2010 12:00 PM

2

Nah, I don't see anything like that. It's just fun that we keep crossing paths. It has happened with another man several times too. Today, in fact.

  Toes Mar 26, 2010 8:06 PM

3

Things are looking up girl. Sounds more positive. Is that a real sign? Crabs? Love to read your blog. We are off to visit with Lady Sophie this weekend. Call us on Sonia's cell or on ours.--Hugs.

  Mumby Mar 27, 2010 6:25 AM

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