Monday, 8 June 2015

The Things That Go On Under a Monk’s Driveway at Night - 5th June 2015 (Day 51)

I was kept awake last night by a slowly and irregularly crumbling rock face that was off to one side of the picnic area. All would be silent and then suddenly, the sound of rocks falling and tumbling would ring through the night. It must have woken me up four times at least. So in the morning I felt a bit groggy and was slow to get started; two hours in total, I think a new record for me. Here's how today panned out:

The trail connected up with this road and led me down into the northern part of Kyoto

This was the road leading in and had obviously been kept to look traditional

I passed this house where someone had posted pictures of their golden retriever out front

I thought it was nice

And so I was led into the historic and touristic part of town
And it soon got rather busy
Statues of Samurai were abundant

This was the bamboo woods just outside World Heritage Listed Tenryuji Temple the track took me right path.

A wedding couple that was soon swarmed by tourists taking photos including myself

Katsura River

Where you could enjoy a chartered boat ride

The boats were okay...

...but to be honest, I found these excavators digging up the river more interesting. They had built a platform to get out there, done some digging, and then were digging away at their platform to finish the job.

Rickshaws, with their driver off trying to scout for customers

Plenty of temples

But I couldn't waste time because soon the rain started again

I stopped at a supermarket and stocked up on food as I'm not going to pass any shops for the next two days, and just sat and watched the rain reluctant to go back into it.

This is where I was headed

One of my favourite surprises on this trip is road fruit

I think they were figs of some kind, although I am not entirely sure. Delicious nonetheless

Someone had decided to paint faces onto these scarecrow

I just thought this was an interesting house. That moat has probably been there for hundreds of years.

The mountains loomed closer, and the rain got harder, and I wondered if heading up there I was the right thing to do
As they got closer I resolved to keep an eye out for spots to sleep, but none came up
But I didn't find anywhere, and before I knew it I was right up in the mountains once again

At one point seriously considered breaking into this abandoned house to sleep in. I peered in the window though and it was filthy with junk inside so I scrapped that idea.

I kept walking and came across this interesting collection of stone monuments somewhere on top of the mountain

There was a space in the middle that would have been perfect to camp at if it hadn't been raining
By 6pm I was getting a bit desperate and strayed from the main course down towards a temple that might appeared on the map as though it might be able to provided some shelter. I had resolved that I would beg if I had to. The road coming down the mountain was stunning down, although it was almost vertical:

That temple I mentioned that I had so much hope for turned out to be rather uninviting. It was okay though, this rejection led to me finding one of my more ingenious campsites...
 Less than 100 metres up the road I had passed this spot and marked it as a backup if the temple was not hospitable. It was an area under a ramp that led to the back entrance of the temple (also with a huge barb wired gate)
Once I climbed up, it turned out there was a nice flat bit that was perfect for camping. So I set up, rather pleased to be out of the rain.
And because I had been to the supermarket earlier, I had a decent dinner too: fried octopus balls, fried chicken, and a large sushi roll. Wonderful after a day of trekking in the rain

I'm trying to dry my clothes now although I don't think it is going to be successful, clouds are rolling through on a regular basis so the air is saturated. I have to try though, hopefully the weather will be a bit better tomorrow.

Distance: 30km

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