Day 15 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – Wakanoura To Wakayama City, Japan


Day 15 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage –   Wakanoura To Wakayama City, Japan

We woke up to a grey and rainy day.
We ate breakfast in the hotel, at a table overlooking the sea.

It was a Mediterranean breakfast with Japanese sensibilities. This means that the Greek yogurt with honey was a single spoon of a rich yogurt. But I am not one to complain about small portions. I actually LOVE eating small portions of food.

We left the hotel and started walking towards Wakayama city. The rain did not stop all day long. In fact, it intensified later in the day.

Instead of walking to Temple #3, we decided to delay our walk until tomorrow, when the weather forecast calls for a dry day. It will make tomorrow a bit longer, but if we start early in the morning, we should be able to finish everything in time.

So instead of pushing on in the pouring rain, we took it easy today. We walked only 13.5 kilometers, saw the Wakayama castle and gardens, and stopped for a long break at a Starbucks cafe.

The rain made the streets of the city feel gloomy. 
We walked by huge hospitals, and many pharmacies were filled with people. 
All of them wore face masks and many looked sick and scared. 
I saw people who had recently broken arms or legs and had new casts, smoking outside the hospitals. I felt so sad…

Some people seemed to have dis-eases that affect their mobility, so they were barely able to make their way to the bus stop from the pharmacy. I thought about the current situation that is shaking up the world.
For some people like those I saw today, life is a continuing struggle, even without a pandemic…. Oh, how the world needs a higher understanding of who we truly are  and of our true Higher Nature….

After dropping our backpacks at our hotel for the night, we left to have an Italian lunch at a small, casual Neapolitan-style eatery.
We had an enjoyable set menu for lunch that included a salad, a pasta or a pizza, a drink and a cheese cake, for less than ten dollars. It was delicious.

We walked around the Wakayama Mall and the train station, where we will buy our packed lunch for tomorrow’s difficult day of walking.
Tomorrow we are starting the first day of three difficult days of walking, up to the peaks of Mount Izumikatsuragisan (和泉葛城山)

It will be an ascent of 900 meters and a descent of 750 meters, which we will have to repeat each day, as we cross the mountain range. We will be walking with our backpacks and staying in remote mountain hot springs hotels. Most of this area has no services at all. No places to eat or drink, no bus or train support and no villages or shops.

We returned to the hotel and went to the hot springs bath to soak.
The hot springs were very nice, for a city hotel. They are nicely designed, spacious and very clean. We meditated and rested in our room until dinner.

The rain was so intense that we did not want to walk far for dinner.
We went to an Okonomiaki restaurant next to the hotel, where we could grill the cabbage pancakes right at our table.

Back in our room, we read and updated ourselves with the sad and depressing global news, and retired early.

Hoping you are healthy and keeping yourselves in good spirits. And if you are under a lockdown, do not worry. As an artist living on a remote property in the high Rocky Mountains, I know all about the many benefits of social distancing and isolation. It can lead to many good things.
You can start hearing a wise inner voice, that normally is buried under the noise of the world.

Take the time to appreciate the silence, the sweetness of meditation, of not talking all day or needing to prove your point to others. There is great peace in just breathing, just being….

Blessing and love to you,


Daily stats:
Steps walked – 18,020 
13.5 km. walked 
Active walking time –  3.5 hours 
Total walking time today – 5.5 hours.  
Total walking distance on the Saigoku to date – 276 km

Temple Visited:

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