Ruth: Thank goodness for these henro huts that are sprinkled along the route. As I write this I am sitting in one watching the first of the colossal monsoon rains sweep through. The news this morning said that Shikoku would receive up to 200 mm of rain today and I am beginning to believe it. When I spotted this lovely shelter I was filled with relief. 

I didn’t have a long wait before I was joined by a very soggy Gordon. Next a tv cameraman showed up and asked if he could film us trying to stay sheltered from the rain. After he left we were joined by Theresa, another henro from Hong Kong. In spite of her rain paints and jacket, she too was soaked to the skin. Then we heard a car honk and it was our host from Panda house. He and his son arrived with two cars to rescue us from the storm. At that moment the rain had decreased a bit and we thanked him but insisted on making our own ways there. 

After he left us the sky opened up again, but this time with wind and lightning. Our host returned to offer Gord and Theresa a final chance to catch a ride but they were determined to march on. 

Whatever the situation whether it’s heat, exhaustion or biblical rains the henro huts have been waiting for us. The day before I made the climb back up to Temple 20, I stopped in a rest hut to cool off in the shade. Someone had left a knee brace that fit perfectly.  It was just what I needed for the most difficult climb on the route. I plan on leaving the cheaper sleeping bag we bought in a hut for the next pilgrim in need. 
These huts are also the unofficial but mostly tolerated camping spots for many henro doing the route on a budget. One of our friends was camping in a hammock a few days behind us. Whenever we spotted a particularly sweet hut we would text her the location. 

This one even has a shower!

The Henro huts have played an important role for us all along the route. It’s the day after the storm now and I am sitting under another shelter cooling off out of the hot humidity. I’m sharing this one with a number of stray cats. We brought cat food up this time, but we were too late. A young man on a motorcycle had already cleaned and filled the food bowls he leaves for them. We gave him our food for next time. 

Pictures of many more of the huts can be found here: 
In the last two days we returned to four of my favourite temples on the route. Kakurinji temple 20, Tairūji temple 21 Byōdōji temple 22 and Yakuoji temple 23. This is where our henro will have to end this year. 

Temple 20

Temple 21

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