Should I be concerned that I’m prepared to offer more money at the alter of the drink vending machine than I am when I pray at the temples? I suppose I pray a lot more than I drink canned coffee these days and it costs ¥300 at each temple to get my book signed which adds up to a fair bit over 88 temples. However, I can assert that the Nescafe canned coffee is not up to much. I’m going back to Georgia brand.
I said goodbye to Patrick and Shian at the business hotel this morning. They were still deciding whether to head inland or follow the coast today. I’m still pretty impressed that Shian is not put off. It must be pretty tough getting on a bike without any training and doing a trip like this. At least they don’t have any agenda so can take their time about it.
I’ve just arrived at temple 37, 30km from where we slept last night. I thought it be just down the road. But instead I’ve spent the morning doing a steady climb up beautiful mountains forested with bamboo, pine and many other trees whose names I don’t know. For anyone following me on a map, I’ve been going along route 56. I hope to get to Cape Ashizuri-misaki today, which will take me to route 321 but I’ll be back on route 56 in a day or so I think. If it’s mountainous like this morning, I won’t get to the next temple today but if I’m lucky and it’s downhill and along the coast, I just might make it.
Because of the traffic, route 56 is not the most peaceful road and the pilgrim walking trail takes them through the forest but I’ve still been passing the odd walking pilgrim who has perhaps decided they prefer the more direct route to the tranquility if the walking path. I say good morning to them as I pass, just to let them know I’m one of them but I think mainly I just surprise them.
According to my walking mapbook, the next temple is 80km but I think it may be less by road. Either way, I’m pretty sure this is the longest distance between temples. At least it’s nice and warm. It looks like I might be in for a light sprinkling of rain at some stage but with luck, nothing more than that.