After taking a day off yesterday, it was difficult to find the mental strength to get up early. I technically didn’t really have to get up early as the distance I had to cover today was not very far, but it still felt wrong starting a day of walking late in the morning. Fortunately, one of my roommates was up earlier than I was, so I suppose she inadvertently encouraged me to also get up early. And with great effort, I did.
For the first time a while, I slept in…well, slept in until about 8:30, which to me, is sleeping in. My two other roommates were up earlier and packed up their things and checked out. I took my time waking up, waited til they left, and then got up and ready myself.
I didn’t end up leaving until about 9:30am. Despite the extra sleep, I felt a bit sluggish. I made my way to Imabari Station, which was practically next door, and went into the bakery/café there. I picked out a variety of pastries and ordered some milk tea, then sat down and enjoyed. I felt happy and relaxed, having nowhere in particular to go and delicious bread in my stomach. Again, any change from the traditional rice, fish, and soup was a welcome change.
I was thankful that my other roommates were also starting early. That way, I didn’t feel guilty when I had to get ready for the day at 6am. I left an osamefuda and some candy for the hostel staff.
I was out by 6:45am but had to take the streetcar back to Matsuyama Station, then catch a train heading in the direction of Imabari. I had a long debate with myself about where to get off. My original plan had been to take the train almost all the way to Imabari, but I had realized that this was probably the only section of the trail that went by the Seto Inland Sea coast and I wanted to walk a bit of it at least.
My name is Marianne and this is my journal about that time I decided to complete the 88 Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage. It was both the most difficult thing I've ever done and the most amazing thing I've ever done. It was truly an experience of a lifetime.