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Henro Pilgrimage - Day 23 - May 8 (47km)

Today I got a glimpse of my limits. At the moment I’m set up for the evening at a large dam in the mountains. I left the cape at 5:30 this morning and headed back up the eastern cost. The weather was perfect. Back near the long beach a local told me not to treck down the rockier path, since the rain had washed out the usual sand bridge. I went anyway and jumped the tiny river that had formed. No issue.

By 10:30 I was back at the inn from the previous day and grabbed a quick lunch. That’s already a good 20km walk. There, I talked with the owner about my options for the evening. I was thinking about heading for a campsite a few hours up the road. He suggested I instead go another 10+ km further than that to a dam, saying there’s a park there where I could sleep wherever I want.

I’ll get to the campsite first and then weigh my options.

By 15:00 I was at the campsite. The road to it peeled off from the main road and wound down to the riverside. There wasn’t a soul in sight. Furthermore, I had no water. None even for drinking, let alone cooking. I had drank it all working my way up the narrow yet scenic mountain road. There were outdoor taps here, but no way to know where they draw from. I checked my map again. Another few kilometers to Mihara, and then another handful more after that to the dam. It was only 15:00…

I got to the dam just past 18:00. I was active for a full 12 hours today. And you know what? I was in pretty good shape. Nowhere near as beaten up as I thought I’d be. I had pasta for dinner, alone(?) in the mountains.

Animals: 3 cats, 2 snakes, 4 “badgers”

Osettai: Citrus, nigiri, candies

Post-trip Addendum:

This was the furthest I ever walked in one day. I thought to myself at the time “I could have gone 50”, which means if I really needed to push it or someone’s life was on the line, who knows how far I could go?

As I was setting up my tent, a gray van rolled slowly by. I couldn’t see in the windows; the van was filled with trash and belongings. The nearby dam had a control building where employees must be during the day, and I had noticed a number of cars in its parking lot, and yet the building itself seemed dark. My guess was that the cars actually belonged to nomads, just one step away from homelessness.

Original Japanese:






#henro #japan #buddhism

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