Monday, 31 March 2014
Sunday, 30 March 2014
Breakfast was at 6 am, since the ohenro's wanted an early start.
Saturday, 29 March 2014
Supper was some tempura, sashimi, assorted pickles, noodle soup, rice, and a small soup bowl with a cover on it to keep it warm. I thought it was dessert as it looked like warm custard. However, when I ate it, it was not sweet and had some vegetables in it. Not sure what it was. Will have to find out from Kaz or Masa after the trip. Dessert was a strawberry and slice of apple. Everything is so nicely arranged on the tray and the dishes.
Today I met a nice couple from Australia with full camping backpack. It looked so heavy. I am so glad I shipped all those things I decided I didn't need back to Kaz's place at Temple 11. My pack feels so much better now.
As well, met these two older ladies, one who spoke good English. She was from Tokushima and her friend was from Osaka. Wish I had more time to chat with them but I had to press on. They were walking as well and met them at a few temples.
Also met a Japanese walker who spoke some English. I learned later her name was Kayoko. One time as I was walking I could see she was behind me in a distance. I thought great, I must be going in the right direction. At a traffic light she caught up with me and we exchanged greetings. She was a fast walker and zoomed ahead. I thought good I can follow her, which I did and suddenly she disappeared. I thought, which way did she go. Then around the corner and the temple was magically there.
So when I was doing my temple ceremony, I have been lighting my candle from another candle. Kayoko commence to tell me that I should not do this, as it is bad karma. I felt like a school kid being scolded by my teachers. I thanked her and started to use the lighter Kaz loaned to me.
I was awake early this morning, since I went to bed early. So decided to add this to my blog. I am finding it very tricky typing on this smart phone, so do please excuse any typos. I went back and fixed up some from yesterday and did a repost.
Friday, 28 March 2014
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
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.
Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Monday, 24 March 2014
Sunday, 23 March 2014
It was a long day traveling with the 13 hour flight to Tokyo and long line up to clear immigration. Thank goodness for text messaging which was handy in meeting up with Kaz.
After taking a few local trains we made it to Kaz' place, where we went to the local supermarket to buy some bento boxes for supper.
After a long talk about the ohenro walk and what we could do tomorrow retired for the evening.
Tried to sleep but was wide awake due to the jet lag so got up to see if I could get the data connection working as it kept saying NO CONNECTION. I think I got it to work and will try to post this to the blog.
All in all a good day.
Saturday, 22 March 2014
Everything was going well for the 7am departure from Ottawa until about 15 minutes before boarding when it started to snow hard. There was a delay due to de-icing but arrived safe and sound. The weather is not bad in Toronto. Not much snow. Mostly wet and overcast. Looking good for the flight to depart on time at 1 pm.
Friday, 21 March 2014
Wow....what a day a work!!!!! It was very hectic with dealing with some last minute problems, but by being busy, made the day go by so fast.
Many THANKS to Debbie, for arranging for the Canadian pins, to have to give out to the monk at each temple. It was very much appreciated and helped make my day.
As well, many THANKS to Linda, for the surprise treats in the afternoon and the get together of the whole team in wishing me a "BON VOYAGE".
Many THANKS to all my fellow employees (Team Leader, Manager, etc.), who dropped by my desk, to wish me well on my trip and adventure. I know I have left things in good hands with Marina, who had to put up with my many phone calls, to work out the fun we were having with our problems today.
Not sure how well I will sleep, with the weather forecast calling for 10 to 15 cm of snow in Ottawa in the morning. I was looking at going to the airport early to see about catching an earlier flight, since I only have two hours to connect to my Ottawa to Tokyo flight.
Then around 10 pm I received a phone call from Air Canada advising me my 10 am flight from Ottawa has been cancelled and wanted to see about putting me on an earlier flight. I said that would be GREAT with me. They mentioned the only option was to put me on the 7 am flight. I said that would be definitely OK with me, as I rather be there early, verses missing the one direct flight from Toronto to Tokyo.
So, it looks like an early morning start tomorrow. I usually don't get much sleep before I leave for a trip anyway, so will do my last minute packing stuff and then try to get a couple hours of sleep.
Friday, 14 March 2014
" Today we had a big earthquake near Matsuyama City, near Temple #52. Scale was about M6.2, several people were injured, but not so disastrous. Because of heavy rain and earthquake, the footpath to Temple #60 would be damaged, but you have one month, so it will be repaired or take a diversion which will be given at #61. The route from #61 is rather safe and less chance to be closed. Route from #59 is likely.
However, geographically the area is very weak with some faulty, so land slip or falling rocks can happen anytime, especially after heavy rain.
Also please don't underestimate the power of Tsunami and once you felt strong shaking and listen the alert for Tsunami, run as quickly as possible to somewhere high (more than 20M high). Long time ago, tourists for Switzerland did not escape, but went to the coast to watch Tsunami and all were killed."
All very good advice.
Then with all the news about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. I checked my Air Canada flight from Toronto to Tokyo, and it is a Boeing 777 plane. I figure "oh well, if something happens, nothing I can do about it, so might as well not worry about it." The good thing is Air Canada has a good record of safety and proper upkeep of their fleet.
Planning to do a dry-run packing this weekend to see how much my pack I will be carrying everyday will weigh. Then I will see what I will need to remove or can add.
Below is a map with the 88 Temples marked:
|Click on picture to see larger view|
As well, Wikipedia has a good description of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage:
Sunday, 9 March 2014
|Click on Photo to make larger|