But once I made it down and was at the next temple it was just noon. And there were only four temples left, #14-17, all neatly in a row just a few kilometers from each other. With no place yet picked out to spend the night, momentum kept me moving forward and by 16:00 I was at Idoji temple.
Finished - Idoji Temple, #17
After saying my prayers and getting my nokyo-cho stamped and signed, I called home and left a message on the answering machine: "Shikoku Hachiju Hakkasho marimashita." There was directly in front of the temple a small ryokan with a room available and so I spent the night next to the temple where I completed my journey of Shikoku's 88 temples.
I feel a bit sad that the journey is nearly at an end. On the other hand, it will be nice to be able to wake up and not have to pack my bag, to enjoy a slow morning on the sofa with a book and a cup of coffee, to not have to worry about where I'll be spending the night, to lay down in the evening next to Mutsumi.
At the moment I'm in Tokushima city preparing to catch the ferry to Wakayama. I plan to take the train to the foot of Koyasan and spend the night there. At first light I'll start the hike up the sacred mountain, a five to six hour walk that will end where I began, at the grave of Kobo Daishi at Okunoin.
Om namu Daishi henjo kongo.