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Henro Pilgrimage - Day 19 - May 4 (32km)

Last night I caught a monster spider hanging out on the hut wall near my tent, but this morning she was no where to be seen. I began the mountain climb at 6:00, and other than the stair section at the beginning it was no trouble. Before I realized it I had already popped out onto the road again. It was a clear, blue morning.

In a small mountain town I found a café and ordered breakfast, which one of the other patrons paid for. She also gave me her hard-boiled egg as she and the other old ladies peppered me with questions. Later, around noon, as I was walking the highway again she appeared in her car and handed me lunch, fruit, and some tea. I was shocked by both her kindness and her effort. Thank you, truly.

Iwamotoji (37) was another “well done” temple. The surrounding town is called Kubokawa and I found it quite a lively place. I’ll admit that some part of me is also scoping out Shikoku for potential places to live, should I ever decide to move here.

Apparently there were no bath houses in the area, so I had no choice but to move on. I’m at another Henro Hut tonight, sandwiched by a roadway and river. Tomorrow I’ll finally reach Tosa Saga.

Animals: 1 mamushi

Osettai: Breakfast, candies, tea, onigiri, fruit, etc.

Post-trip Addendum:

Through some smaller mountain pass I found myself on a thin trail cut out of the ground in the shape of a halfpipe. Lying in the middle was a mamushi, the deadliest snake in Japan. Poking the ground with my staff got him moving, but he couldn’t make it all the way up the steep wall of the trail and kept falling back down. Eventually I took as wide of a berth around him as I could manage and just ran past. He didn’t follow. Adrenaline surged through my body and I felt like I had passed a test.

Original Japanese:

昨夜の化け蜘蛛は見当たらん。六時登山開始。最初の階段以外は簡単だった。気付くともう県道に出ている。

ある小さな町のカフェでモーニングを注文すると、別のおばさんが払ってくれた。昼頃にまた同じ人が車で現れて弁当や果物を差し出す。有り難うございました。

岩本寺もまたよく「お寺」をやっている。町の名前は窪川で中々活気のある所だと思った。生憎お風呂らしい所は近くにないと云う。よって今日も遍路小屋を頼りにに晩を過ごす。明日早朝からやっと土佐佐賀!

動物:蝮1

お接待:朝ご飯・飴・茶・お握り・果物など

#henro #japan #buddhism

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