Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Temple 7 to 11

Breakfast was at 6:30 am and was typical Japanese with miso soup, rice, cooked egg, pickles, tofu cake with vegetables to name a few. There was a plate with pickled seaweed and large brown beans. As I was eating the large brown bean Kaz mentioned I thought you didn't like nato, which is fermented soy bean. It wasn't too bad. Wait til Masa finds out I tried nato. I forgot to mention, at the end of yesterday, Kaz blew a sneaker, and the bottom heel of his sole let go. He tried to glue it but it still was in bad shape. He was able to find out from the locals where there was a shoe shop and was able to buy a new pair of sneakers for walking. I was hoping my hiking boots I purchased for the pilgrimage would make it OK.
We started the walk to temple 7 around 7 am. It was cloudy and looked like it could have rained at anytime, as these black cloud would appear and the wind would pick up. I was prepared with my rain gear at the top of my pack, which seems so heavy now.
To temple 7 it was 1.3 km. Then onto temple 8 which was 4.3 km. We planned to stop at a rest hut to meet some of the locals who provide osettai, but it was to early and wasn't open yet. I am starting to get the temple routine down now.
Temple 9 was another 2.4 km. My hiking boots and toe socks are working out to be worth there weight in gold. So far I am watching for when my feet get too hot and make sure I remove my boots to cool them down. So far no blisters. Tomorrow will tell how well I do.
The steps to temple 10 were grueling.
333 to the temple, then another 111 to a higher temple and a lookout where Kaz pointed out where temple 11 was and the mountain to temple 12. Coming down was much easier. The walk to temple 11 was a killer, since my hip flexors and quads were screaming the whole time. About 1/3 of the way to temple 11 we stopped at a small store to see if they had any bento boxes for lunch. They invited us to eat the bento box with them in the store. We sat around a heater in the corner of the store with some of the local Japanese. I was glad Kaz was with me so he could translate my answers to their many questions. I gave them each a maple syrup candy and they enjoyed it.
At each temple I have been giving the stamp office one of the Canadian pins when they ask where I am from. They are always happy to receive it. I love to watch them write the kanji and Sanskrit in my book with the black ink brush.
We arrived at the minshuku (Yoshino) around 4 pm. After a hot bath to soak my sore legs and feet it was nice to rest before supper.
Tomorrow is an early start to hike the mountain to temple 12, which is a hard climb and can test one's stamina to complete the pilgrimage. I plan to be up for breakfast at 6 am for 6:30 hike up the mountain.

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