I made it back from Shodoshima, my feet cursing me, however, and my shoulder muscles having painful twinges from bearing a rucksack all week. That’s aside from all the mosquito bites and fatigue. I completed it though, all 88 temples in the circuit and an extra 8 not necessary, but along the route.
I did have a little help on some days from other pilgrims who offered to take me part of the way in their car and countless o-settai (small gifts given to pilgrims to symbolise the giver partaking in the journey). I walked about 147km and did 34km by car, usually at the end of the day when I would have otherwise had to walk to my accommodation for the night.
I’ll likely write more about it when I’m back in England. Right now, I’m in the same internet cafe I stayed at before in Tokyo, approaching 11am (I bought a short 3-hour pack as I arrived really early this morning via night bus.) I’ve just finished watching ‘Secret Window’, with Johnny Deep (so-so) and soon I’ll be off to spend the rest of today an tomorrow doing some final shopping and whatnot. And then, that’s it! I’ve said goodbye to the staff an residents at Shiso and soon to Sumiko-san, whom I’m staying with today and tomorrow. I can’t really comprehend that I’m coming home. After 11 months, I’ve settled down. Packing up everything from my apartment was a nightmare – my bags are still over the weight limit for the airline despite sending two huge boxes home! I hope I get by without incurring a charge…
Well then. I guess I’ll be seeing some of you in August sometime. We’ll arrange a sleepover at my house, or I’ll come and visit individually if it’s impossible to agree on a date.
Sorry for not writing letters for so long. It’ll be nice catching up ^_^