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Training Log Archive: simmo

In the 7 days ending Nov 23:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Walking4 13:50:00 21.38(38:50) 34.4(24:08)
  Orienteering1 36:48 3.33(11:03) 5.36(6:52)
  Total5 14:26:48 24.71(35:05) 39.76(21:48)

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Saturday Nov 23 #

Orienteering race 36:48 [3] 5.36 km (6:52 / km)
ahr:136 max:150 shoes: Inov8 Parkclaw 275

Metro race at Trigg. I went West while all the guns went East. I think it was a reasonable route had I executed it much, much better. First up, I made a bad route choice after 24, where I could have got 4 controls instead of 2 for not much extra distance. Then I made a silly mistake after punching 14, going a long way around by road instead of the virtually straight line route available. Finally, after punching 16 I miscounted the number of controls I'd done and started to go back to 23, about 50m before realising the miscount. Time should probably be around 30 without those errors, moving me up 7-8 places.

1-11-12-24-13-27-14-15-16-4-5-3-2. Should have done 25-26-28-27 after 24, then omitted 16 and 5.

Wednesday Nov 20 #

Walking 2:00:00 [3] 5.0 km (24:00 / km)

Ont the coast north of Kii-Katsuura, from Arii station to Odomari station, most people would go over the Matsumoto-together pass, but we opted to do the coastal cliff Onigajo trail. Fantastic cliff formations, around a steep eroded volcanic rock headland, the trail looked hairy in places but was pretty safe. Great views out to sea and later across a bay.

Walking 2:20:00 [3] 6.7 km (20:54 / km)

Further north still, from Owase station to Aiga station over the Magose-toge pass. Both passes of today are on the pilgrim trail from Ise, where pilgrims from Edo (modern Tokyo) would have walked, but even though their destination (the three grand shrines) is the same, they don’t count on the Kumano Kodo/Camino dual pilgrimage.

The walk was through the town of Owase looking for a cafe to have lunch (fruitlessly as the whole town appeared to be closed), then up and over the pass - 350m from virtually sea level, then a very fast march of 2km to Aiga station to connect with a train that only runs every 90 minutes.

The trail over the pass was flagstone style withe few steps, steep and would be tricky in the wet. That’s it for serious walks, only a couple of hours wandering around central Tokyo tomorrow then home on Friday.

Time for the onsen now; there’s an empty hot tub on the balcony of our room in Kii-Nagashima, but we’d have to fill it up, and it wouldn’t seem the same as the hotel’s main hot baths, both indoor and outdoor. Sayonara.

Update: another fantastic outdoor onsen, next to a sandy beach with a view across a bay to a mountain range over which the sun had just set, the sky above the mountains turning an ever deeper yellow, then orange. Just then a small, fluffy cloud drifted across the sky and gradually broke up into several parts that looked for all the world like a group of Japanese characters. Then, to top it all off a bright star (Venus, I presume) appeared. Incredible!

Tuesday Nov 19 #

Walking 2:00:00 [3] 5.0 km (24:00 / km)

From the Daimonzaka bus stop up to the Kumano Nachi Taisha, then a wander around the temple, the temple next door (Seiganto-ji), up to the top of the three-storied pagoda, down to the foot of the Nachi Falls (the highest in Japan), and back down again. This completes the pilgrimage, although we have two more walks planned for tomorrow.

The falls are a great sight, particularly with the pagoda in the view. At the start of the hundreds of steps up the Daimonzaka are two 800 year old cedar trees (dubbed husband and wife). In the temple grounds is an 800 year old camphor tree, and around the pagoda were many manicured pine and deciduous trees that the gardeners were carefully pruning while we were there. PP managed to buy all her family their Xmas gifts from monks at the temple shop.

Back in Kii-Katsuura we bought cakes from a bakery and consumed them by the tuna fishing boat harbour. The tuna market unfortunately closed on Tuesdays, but there is a sculpture commemorating the biggest tuna caught on a line - 2.5m long and 450kg.

Back at the hotel we had an outdoor onsen - just incredible to be in a hot bath right next to the ocean with views to islands across the bay, mountains behind, and eagles soaring on updrafts right above. A silver airliner also came across the sky, very high up, while I was lying in the hot water. After getting out a cool breeze dried me off.

Dinner was pretty good too. Selection of chopped and marinated raw fish, then sashimi and salad, then sauteed scallops, then wagyu, mushroom and asparagus grilled at the table, and a fantastic dessert.

Monday Nov 18 #

Walking 2:30:00 [3] 7.5 km (20:00 / km)

Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha, which is the final section of the main Kumano Kodo route, and essential for pilgrim qualification.

Well this was much easier, gentle gradients (except for the last km or so down to valley floor level), and a mostly well made path with maybe 1.5km on local roads with little or no traffic. At the halfway point there was a teahouse where we had iced 'mint juice', actually a concoction of several herbs and not a little sugar. Opposite was a great viewpoint, and there was another just before the steep down section (PP fb).

Then it was coffee (not so good today as the barista from yesterday wasn't on duty), followed by our Japanese packed lunch at Oyunohara, the former temple destroyed by flood 300 years ago.

A long bus ride to the second temple Kumano Hayatama Taisha, a bit of a contrast to Hongu and near the centre of a busy town. Then another long bus ride to Kii-Katsuura, our base for the next two nights while walking to the 3rd Taisha tomorrow, and getting the stamp to complete the pilgrimage. The hotel is way out of town (12 km or so), but is very nice. Now it's time for a hot bath!

Sunday Nov 17 #

Walking 5:00:00 [3] 10.2 km (29:25 / km)

Kumano Kodo walk on the Kohechi trail from Warabio bus stop to Yakio bus stop. Did I say yesterday was a big climb and big descent? Well it was dwarfed by today; virtually straight uphill from 200m asl to the Hatenashi-toge pass at 1060m, then straight down again. Certainly one of the toughest walks we've done, but very worthwhile, see PP's fb for photos.

The onsen this evening was needed, dinner tonight not so good as yesterday, but still not bad - except for the very chewy snails.

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