We spent a total of 3 nights at the Sanuki Mannou Park watching my wrist turn purple and yellow the colors of the Cosmos flowers. The days got brighter and sunnier. While Steve made his daily runs to town, I'd watch the kids eating ice cream cones or jumping on the 'Fluffy Dome', a huge air bag covering the ground like a trampoline.
I tried to buy a cone but it turned out to be adzuke beans frozen in sugar water and the ice cream frozen milk with vanilla extract. Everything else was going well.
THEN ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE!
Steve, returning from town on his bike, comes up the road and rides smack into the yellow and black barricade pole. It catches him across the chest, breaks the fiberglass pole and he does a triple axel back flip and lands on his butt!
Oh NO, not Steve too!!
It was more spectacular than anything seen all day on the Fluffy Dome!
Now, he is fine .......but Ueno our friend the receptionist informs us, "You must pay".
Steve responds, "No pay, I fix".
Ueno, "need engineer, you pay!"
Steve, "me engineer, I fix".
Ueno, "you not Japanese engineer, you pay".
Meanwhile, I am scrambling to find the phone number for the American Embassy as they are talking big money here, replacing the entire gate with a safer one. The Embassy bows out saying to call the police! POLICE! You must be joking, we don't need any more confusion.
must defuse this and keep Ueno from loosing face. I explain how I
slipped at Lawson's but did not make them pay.....I walked away.....did
not want to make big problems. Told them over and over how bad we feel, we want to fix, need Ueno to tell us how, need a solution. Sumi
masen/gomenasi, sumi masen/ gomenasi!! Then suddenly Ueno says " ok, you
no pay" !! End of problem, solution found....we no pay!! WHAT HAPPENED??
We have no idea, and to top it off Ueno comes by bearing all kinds of
gifts. We are overwhelmed ....and still trying to figure it all out!
Time to move on.
We discover a new convenience store for 'hot meals' the Daily Yamazaki! I call it the Daily Kamikaze!
I see a hotel up ahead, The Lemonade Hotel. (don't ask!)
It reminds me of my mom....
"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" she would say.
Ok, mom, that is why I am biking with a bum wrist and we continue on.
I see two 'henro' (pilgrims) on bicycles with backpacks whiz by in the opposite direction. Then an older 'henro ' WALKING!
Is he really walking to the 88 temples in the footsteps of Kobo Daishi? It takes about 60 days to hike the 1,647 kilometers going into rugged mountains, along rocky coasts and sandy beaches, through fields and hills, villages and towns.
IT IS A WALKING ZEN
They wear the traditional pilgrim attire. The sedge hat, the wooden staff, the white suit and pouches all bearing their motto written in calligraphy meaning "Daishi and I, Going Together" or " I Put My Faith in Daishi, the Universal Adamantine Illuminator".
The staff is most important in case they die on the way it becomes their grave post. In fact the white suit itself, was and still is, nothing but death garments.
While searching for the campground we find temples #68 Jenne-in and #69 Kannonji the only two that are side by side.
I meet an older henro at the Nokyo-sho, a place to get the temple's signature inscribed in fine calligraphy and a vermilion seal stamp. His album, that he delights in showing me, was huge and full of stamps.
Of the 88 temples, 46 have their own lodges for pilgrims but for us we end up free camping behind a sea wall. We shower in a cubical for truckers run by, Family Mart. I fall asleep in the golden pagoda feeling even more determined to finish this journey.
Day 10 77km Steve makes a miscalculation in the distance so we must push on way too far .
But I grin and bear it as it seems today we passed so many older people pushing little chairs with wheels or limping along with canes.
Then a stop at the Kamikaze for lunch and I watch a backhoe with a pneumatic hammer, slamming away breaking up pavement. My wrist begins to ache like a toothache. Steve is feeling extra agitated also, probably at me poking along.
SUDDENLY......... Steve bumps up on a sidewalk..... he hits the curb.....(Oh No not again) and his trailer does a flip... a 360 degree barrel roll and lands on its wheels!
Again, I did not see this spectacular 'fluffy dome' triple axel back flip.... but his hitch is stuffed! No problem this time, we know the routine. We move the trailer to the other side, the American side hitch. DAH, only don't forgot to screw down the bolts or the axel comes off!!
Bad Karma, we need more ZEN!!
We end up biking the last 3 km up a steep hill to get to an onsen with a campground down the other side by the sea. We are determined to reach them so push hard.
Too late....the onsen closed 15 minutes ago!
Oh no, this is not happening! But Steve turns on the charm...or the ZEN kicked in and they let us in. Maybe it was the little gift card we give everyone? Anyway this is the National Park Village Setouchi-toya and it is GRAND!
For the first time several ladies greet me in the bath. They see me letting the hot therapeutic waters wash over my now purple and yellow ARM! They take me under their care, plaster me up with the smelly Ben Gay plasters and later buy us an Asahi beer!
We end the night with a fabulous buffet of amazing traditional seafood dishes, surrounded by smiling faces all wearing the same print 'yukata' and little plastic slippers.
ZEN at it's best!!