It was a dark and dreary day, pretty well sums it up. After a peaceful sleep I had an early breakfast at 6:30 am. At that time it was just cloudy. Had a wonderful breakfast and just as I was starting to walk around 7 am there was a light rain.
I said good bye to wonderful hosts and got to feed the two pet goats, which were so cute.
With raingear on and umbrella in hand, off I went on my journey for the day. The light rain was ok to deal with. At one point it stopped and looked like the sun might break thru, so took off my rain coat. However, that was short lived and on went the rain coat for the rest of the day.
Last night there was also a guest from Spain who had done the Camino. He was doing it the opposite way and said he thought the last trail I was planning on doing was closed due to the recent typhoons. He said there were signs in Japanese which seemed to appear the trail was closed. He decided to bypass it and take a bus. Since he had a long trek he was looking at bus options as he thought some of the wet trails might be dangerous.
Needless to say I didn’t take many photos due to the rain. I will include the limited ones I did take before the rain got too bad.
As I started one of the first big mountain climbs, the rain got very heavy. The leaves and moss on the trail made it more slippery. I took my time and there were a few times I said to myself when am I doing up here in the pouring rain. To help clear my mind, I thought I would pray to the rain gods to take pity on me but it didn’t work. I needed a different strategy to get me through this. As the trails, became small rivers and my sweating from the climbing justade me soaked thru the bones, I think the new lightweight umbrella I brought at Tokyo Hands was the only thing keeping me sane. I thought on a positive note at least I get to use my new umbrella.
I remembered as a kit jumping in mud puddles with rubber boots on was fun. I thought as I sloshed thru the rivers of water with my soaked shoes this was like being a kid again. But that novelty soon wore off as my feet felt like they were in ponds of water. Thank heavens I had on my Monthly Merino wool socks, even though they were soaked my feet were surprising warm. I didn’t want to stop too long as I knew I would get a chill.
I ran into the Australia friend from yesterday who caught up to me and she was hoping for a shelter to stop for lunch. I agreed. The Kumano is not like Shikoku which has much more rest stops with places for pilgrims to sit out of the rain.
Thanks to her we both kept up our spirits and pushed forward as we slugged along in the river trails and mud in places. Heaven knows why we didn’t trip and fall as the trails we’re on the trederous side.
Well the gods were in our favor as we were able to catch a bus from Hosshinmon-Oji. At this point we were so wet, the sky was still dark and dreary, the rain was still pouring down, we both agreed enough was enough. We took the bus to Hongu Taisha theain shrine, since I still had a couple hours to wait before I could check into the Ryokan Yunomine onsen.
I found a coffee shop and met up with this woman who I saw the day before who was from France. She was so cold they brought a heater to warm her up. She said she had to change out of her wet clothes in the washroom across the street. I said the heck with that and preceeded to take off my wet upper clothes and get on a dry t-shirt as I was getting chilled. Thank heavens for my Merino wool sweater as I was finally able to get warmed up. She was catching the bus to Yunomine to see if she could check in early. I decided to have a look around the shrine before catching the bus to Yunomine. Here are some of the photos I was able to take in the rain.
Kumano Hongu Taisha
I then took a bus to Yunomine Onsen to check in. They had WiFi and the onsen is open 24 hours. When I asked if they have a laundry machine, he said bring down the clothes in a plastic bag and they would wash and dry and have ready for tomorrow morning for 540 yen. Bonus, at least the laundry God’s were being good to me.
I have a nice room with toilet and sink. There is a hair dryer in the room so I will see about trying to dry out my shoes and day-pack overnight.
The Yunomine Onsen area has a natural hot springs which I took some pictures when I arrived. You can see the steam from them.
It was a dark and dreary day, but I survived. It sure makes you appreciate the nice weather.