Disaster struck in the tent last night. I was watching an episode of Boardwalk Empire before bed and munching down on a Meiji Dark Chocolate bar. At some point one or more of the pieces must have slipped from the pack without me noticing, somehow in between my sleeping mat and me. When the episode finished and I turned my torch on to get ready for bed, I discovered big brown splotches of chocolate all over the place, on my shirt, the sleeping mat, on the wall of the tent. It was a complete disaster that had me cleaning for a good thirty minutes. So, with this said new rule: No chocolate in the tent.
My alarm did not go off and I slept into 7am. But when I did wake it was an absolutely beautiful day outside:
The condensation in my tent though was immense. My sleeping bag and sleeping mat were both wet, the sides of the tent soaked. Teaches me for sleeping in. As I was packing up an old fellow came walking around with two trekking poles like mine, which I pointed out to him. He laughed and asked me what someone as young as me needed them for, he only started needing his when he turned seventy eight years old. As he was walking off he stopped and then rushed back and gave me two packs of green tea he said were harvested from the area. Thanks!
After packing up I went and resupplied at the local supermarket and brought some stuff for breakfast, which I then took back to the park I stayed in and proceeded to eat it. Out of no where a group of young school kids, maybe around five or six years old, came into the park on some kind of excursion, and as soon as they noticed the foreigner sitting having breakfast they all came rushing over. At one point there were probably about twenty kids in all gathered around me bombarding me with questions about where I came from, can I speak English, and my favourite, "what are you." It was pretty amusing to be honest, but the teacher soon came over and told them to leave me alone.
It was 10am before I really got on the road. The temperature was the highest yet, maybe around 25c. Really perfect, and so when I passed a stream with a path leading down to it I had a wash in it. I swear bathing in very cold water does something your muscles that is beneficial, I felt fantastic afterwards
The rest of the day was much like the days before, up a mountain, down another. Some nice views:
|Just outside Kawane|
|Half way up Mt Dainichi|
|There are so many dumped vans around the place. Nobody wants them.|
|View from Mt Harunosan|
|View from Harunosan|
|A famlus temple gate I passed through|
|Gate guardian one|
|Gate guardian two|
Just a note for anyone planning on walking this section of the course, after you leave the town of Kawane the path does not go past any natural water sources, and the toilets you find at both the mountain temples have “do not drink this water” signs on them. There is no indication of this on the information boards, so I had to refill in the temple toilets and use my water purification tablets for the first time.
So apart from a lot of walking for the rest of the day not much happened. I found this shelter thingy to stay in just outside the village (if you can even call it that) of Harunocho and set my tent up:
|It's better than nothing|
|Tap didn't work! Luckily I had enough water.|
As I'm sitting here after another long day of walking, I think I can finally say my body has hardened up to the challenge. I’m finding climbing mountains easier and easier; my muscles don’t ache nearly as much going up anymore, I don’t get puffed out nearly as easily, and I can just keep going when before I would have to stop to rest. I’m glad because it gives me more energy to enjoy the experience, rather than constantly being locked in death battles with mountains.