Sunday, March 8, 2020

Temple 11 and up a mountain

 Day 3: Temple 11 and up a mountain 
Today was terrible and wonderful at the same time. We woke up to the news that some thieves had smashed through our beautiful gates that Josh built for our property on the Big Island and they tried unsuccessfully to break into our container, but the gates are destroyed. We feel devastated and helpless being so far away.
Along the morning walk we saw a sign for a Pilgrim Oasis which meant a 400 m detour. Thankfully we decided to take it and were invited into a most wonderful Japanese family home where we purchased a fantastic breakfast and connected to WiFi for a half an hour. This encounter restored our faith in humanity. Thank you Arakawa family for lifting our spirits with your gracious hospitality.
When we reached Temple 11 (Fujiidera) we found our French Connectiion Trail friends Valentine and Amelie who we had met yesterday at two different temples. After having a look around Mrs Arakawa came running into the temple grounds waving my plug for my phone charger which I had accidentally left at their house. Again, I was amazed by her kindness for going out of her way to bring it to me and she was relieved that we hadn’t started the long trek up the mountain towards Temple 12. 
The journey towards the next temple is a brutal climb, taking us past two abandoned temples high in the mountain top. Today we climbed to 800m/2400ft  above sea level which included going up 600m, down 100m, up 300 m, then down 400m where we camped on a bridge beside a river next to what appears to be an abandoned or not very lived in village. As we entered the town, a loud speaker started playing a song at high volume which scared the heck out of us, but when we looked at the time it was 5 pm, so it was probably amend of work day announcement.... but who it was announcing to is the next question! 
Our camp site is lovely, with the sound of the babbling river and we’re protected beneath a cedar tree. There is rain forecast tonight. We go to sleep saddened by the fact that there are such awful people in the world who would smash our gates but also uplifted by the fact that there are so many wonderful people too, many of whom we have encountered on this walkabout.

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