Wednesday - 2 Nov: A quick check-in caught Bob about 100m from Temple 29,
having covered a total of 32km so far today. Said he has been "pushing like
a demon" and his legs were wobbling like a camel when he took his pack off
to answer the phone; and that he is wondering if he'll ever be able to stand
upright again after spending so much time bent under the weight of the pack
each day ... Averaging just over 5km an hour; on the road (incl food and
temple visits) about 10 hours a day. Plans to stop at Temple 30 (not sure
which one) for the night - about another 8 or 9km. He has met up with the
4th walking henro today. He's 59 and staying in hotels over night. A lot of
Japanese retire at 60 and do the pilgrimage walk as a thanks for a good
life - and that is what this gentleman is doing. It sounds as though the two
of them will walk to Temple 30 together as they are going at a similar
pace - although Bob did say that this guy was a 'real speed merchant' but
with a slightly shorter pace.
Apparently finding enough food and eating enough is proving difficult. Bob
has worked out that he must be burning up about 8 000 calories a day - and
has no idea where the energy is coming from - as he's not consuming that
much. (Don't let your mind wander back the legs like a camel comment - it's
not a pretty picture!) He has seen cosmos flowers in the fields everyday;
and is finding that he is becoming progressively more involved in the
experience with the passing of each day.
The route has been winding though paddy fields on the outskirts of Kochi,
and the coastal ports are populated by eagles - outnumbering even the gulls.
Bob reported that his leg is fine as long as you don't touch it or look at
it. He applied the bandage and pack he was given and was convinced it was
helping - until at the end of day two - and pack two - he realised that he
was supposed to peel off the plastic cover on the pack so the medicine could
actually get in contact with his body !! Lets just say that it was applied
correctly today and we can move forward from the possible placebo effect!
Only other news is that he is desperate for a good bath. Says his white
henro jacket has taken on a (possibly permanent) silver-grey colour. "It
looks like a cow slept in it - and smells like Bob's been walking in it for
17 days," was his comment. About 470km down so far - with plans to break
into the 500km tomorrow.