Getting ready for the 88 Temples of Shikoku Pilgrimage

As a Yes men when I received the invitation to travel to Shikoku Island to do a pilgrim I just accepted, then I thought a little bit more about it and realized that only in the fifth day I’ll have to ride a bike for about 7 0km and that was just after another four days of ups and downs in the mountains and sea side.
To be honest I had toothache for few days and felt a little bit homesick and I blame me being nervous about the trip, I haven’t ride a bike for long distances in long time ago and it was a few times in Taiwan with a maximum of 80 km on a day, but besides that I have overweight and shamefully out of shape so I decided to start doing some biking around the city, living in the downtown means I’ve to ride for about 15 min to get to a straight road where I can ride without having to stop every corner.
It is nice! Besides the cold weather and having to use gloves and jacket the sight is great, biking by the riverside or the seaside is great! We have trained once and the last Sunday BBQ can count as a short training.
Two days ago I went to a city nearby carrying my backpack with about 10 kg, not a long ride, maybe 25 to 30 km but it was the first time carrying some weight besides the beers of last weekend.


This days I’ve been taking care of the morning shift so just some exercise in the room like jumping jacks, squats and some abs exercise for the core, hopping that this will help to increase my resistance and to be ready for the trip, is just 10 days from now.

Sleeping on a Car in Kitakyushu

I wrote before that hitchhiking makes me feel alive but didn’t wrote that also sometimes it makes me feel death, the memories will be good and for sure some moments unforgettable but there are also moments when in my mind toughs like “I should give up” “come on, just get in a bus and go to sleep!” “I´m sick of it” but suddenly the words of my hitchhiking tutors came to my mind saying “hey! There’s no point on being this worried, nobody will pick you up if they saw you sad and blue, you better cheep up and hope for the next car to take you” then I start signing “Mexico lindo y querido” or just smile to everyone that sees me and hope for the best.
This time I wanted to go east and a guest in the hostel also was planning on hitchhike the same day as me, so I made the easiest route to the service station to bu sure that it will be an easy trip. We took the street car and walked for about an hour to the service station, the weather wasn’t the best for this kind of trips but I felt it as wonderful, being someone that has lived most of his life in the desert being under the rain during an hour felt great!
It took us less than a minute for find someone who could bring us near Fukuoka and I just went with the flow and visit Fukuoka again, (to be honest I had read that the Pokemon center there was amazing and I really wanted to visit it), the road was good, we got some coffee and near Fukuoka the invited us some dinner then left us in the center of the city.
Fukuoka Red district
We were walking around the city center and suddenly we found the red district, places with pictures of girls in catalogs and names like “Exciting adult club” or sings saying “how nice of you to come!” we walked around the place and laugh a lot for the bizarreness of the place and talking about how good or bad is the prostitution. I’m still not sure how does it works in Japan, I know that in some countries they are sex slaves or forced to be there or what other motivations do they have, but I’ll read more about it.

 what a best name for a club “Exciting Adult Club”

 or How nice of you to come!

 Driving around the country

Sleeping in a car

 Next morning I planned to go back to Hiroshima so looking at the map routes there was a road that seemed to be a main one out of the city. I made a sing, a really bad one, with some paper and latter a decent one with a carton someone gave me in a gas station. Wasn’t a long walk till a guy in a black car told me to get in, I ran and got in to the car, say hello and he explain me that he could take me to the service station in Mitu but first we need to go to his home for something. His English wasn’t fluent so the conversation had a lot of loops, in his home I drank some water and then he took me to the service station and told me that if in two hours I still there we could have some drinks The idea of drinks sounded better than any other in few days so I told him that I can wait for him to finish work and then we could have some drinks, we went back to his home and watch some Japanese funny programs and he gave me an action figure of Koro a One piece character telling me that was his favorite and he wanted to me to keep it. (now I’ve watch some episodes of the anime and he looks like the coolest guy on the history)
After that we drove around the city, went to an island near Fukuoka, eat some snacks and then drove to another city for noodles, the store was closes so we had some Takoyaki and then moved to Kitakyushu there we walked in the downtown, it felt worse than a ghost town, old valleys where easily you could see people playing cards and drinking, most of the lights off and alleys inside the alleys, we found a restaurant and had some drinks, octopus kimchi, fried chicken, raw horse meat and other snacks with beer and highball, after that place we moved to his friend bar, drinking and chatting listening to Japanese music, sake and tequila, some weird Polish alcohol with 96% and more sake, it was fun. I remember going back to the car and sleep there but in the morning there was a bunch of boxes with cookies and chocolates, some coffee and in my phone a picture of some beer and noodles that look so good I wish I dint forget eaten them.


Early in the morning he took the to the service station in the expressway and from there I retook my way to Hiroshima. in my last ride Sigeru Tanaka took me to Hiroshima and we had some lunch together and he gave me a great Japanese souvenir, a wooden rice pale! what more Japanese than rice? and its believed that it was invented by a monk near Hiroshima

It was a great trip and it remained me again that traveling is not much about the destinations but the road to them.