Ruth: There is usually at least one point in every trip where I have to thank my Pocket Earth app for finding me yet another magical alternate route to cycle.  This morning, after climbing up to a pass at 720 meters I needed to make a descent that would rejoin the walking route in the valley below. The link was made on this lovely steep and twisty mountain lane that took me past bamboo groves, dark forest and a group of monkeys. 
Absolutely beautiful!

Meanwhile, Gord was having his own lovely walk after a refreshing break at an osettai station.  I somehow missed the lovely lady who drags pilgrims off the street and plies them with iced coffee and cheesecake. Apparently she was disappointed that I didn’t make it, as she had already heard about me and my bike and seen my picture on Facebook. I heard from another henro that after completing the pilgrimage 30 times she moved to the route so that she could offer osettai to the passing henro. I was thinking about this as an excellent retirement plan for myself. 

I might have missed the cheesecake, but just after the mountain pass I was warmly greeted by an old man. About ten minutes later he chased me down in his truck, honking. He jumped out and gave me 200 yen. 

A rock that Kobo Daishi allegedly dragged in a net, leaving a fishnet pattern on it.

These three henro all claim to be over 70.  If they are not lying than they are doing something very right in Japan. 

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