Dedication: Dr Bacon was my director of studies at Cambridge. She was incredibly supportive and helpful right from the first time I met her. I wouldn’t have got where I am today without her. Thank you.
Picture: Koninobori flying over the river on the way to the temple. These are to celebrate children’s day in golden week which is coming up shortly.
I really struggled today, every step felt like a challenge and every time I stopped I didn’t know if I could carry on. At 3.30 I got to this temple and the stamp office said they had a hut with free accommodation for the night so I knew I had to stop. Pierre pressed on to the next temple. About an hour later after I’d sat in the sun for a bit and relaxed an Austrian woman called Carina turned up and begged to stay in the Tsuyado. It was a squeeze but with a pull out wooden bench we figured it out. She was walking back a few kilometres to the onsen and I thought that sounded great despite how my feet felt so I walked with her. She worked in theatre and was doing a season of projects about long distance walking, including Goethe’s walk through Tuscany, so had decided to try one herself. She said she had done a 40km day and it had nearly killed her the next day so she wasn’t going to do more than about 30km a day. I got to the onsen and had a fantastic bath then came back to a sweet, warm sleeping bag.