Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Mountain and Town of Inuyama - 16th May 2015

I woke up when my alarm went off at 6am, stuck my head out of my tent and this is what I saw:

Rain, and lots of it.

So I went back to sleep for an hour, and by the time I crawled out of my tent the rain had turned into just a drizzle. I was glad I camped where I did, it saved me packing up a wet tent, something that means you either have to dry it out sometime later in the day, or set up and sleep in a wet tent again that night.

The first mountain of the day was Mt Inuyama, which proved harder than I expected. It’s not that the mountain was very tall, on the contrary, rather it was the combination of rocky slopes and the rain making it very slippery, so it was very slow going up and down. Here is an idea of what I mean: 

I had to move very carefully to keep from slipping and breaking my back

The clouds robbed me of any chance to get a good view at the top. I couldn't see anything and at some points it felt like I was in Silent Hill. The humidity was crazy too. The rain soon turned into mist and by the time I got down the other side I must have looked like a drowned rat. I was sweating in places I didn’t think I could sweat.

Coming down, the path was lined with these little Jizo statues that all had a red bib and cap knitted for them:

In Japanese folklore these small statues, called Jizo, and are meant to act as the protectors of deceased children and women in the next life
Quite fittingly for my purposes, they also serve the dual function of being the protecters of travellers on the road. All I needed to be protected from was wet spider webs...

They were everywhere, and I found myself walking with trekking pole extended for the most part...
See what I mean

I got down to the bottom and the weather cleared up. I can't quite put into words how uplifting the sun coming out is when you have been walking in rain for the last several hours. I felt on top of the world. Here is the day in pictures:

The road into the town of Inuyama

Bridge into the town

A sign that delighted me...

...and led me to my first McDonalds on the trail

I'm ashamed to say it, but it tasted so good I ordered another burger after this

The town of Inuyama

The road next to Kakamigahara Country Club

The lake too

Golfing at the Kamamigahara Country Club.

And the trail went on...

Fishing at a man made carp pond

A hitchhiker I collected along the way

I was led into a farming valley

And then across the a river I can't quite recall the name of. This was one of those "zen" moments when the weather and scenery came together in a way that will be in my dreams for years to come

After crossing this river I started to keep my eye out for somewhere to sleep, and in no less than 15 minutes I had found a perfect spot right next to the trail:

What I saw from the road looked promising...

...and got better when I got up there. It was empty, meaning that nobody had any reason to come up here 
So I got settled in

I thought I would try my hand at mixing up a decent trail meal for once, so earlier I bought these ingredients to give it a whirl:

That is curry flavoured noodles, a stick of pepperoni, and two pickled eggs 

It actually turned out pretty decently, compared to normal anyways:

Distance: 30km

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