Page 3 of LuBarnham Travel Blog Posts

Asia » South Korea » Seoul October 1st 2008

The ferry crossing was quite rough. I lay in a half-sleep, thinking about Kobo Daishi's dangerous crossing to China by ship, and, on a personal level, of the irony of walking an 850 mile pilgrimage only to die at sea two days later. (Ever the drama queen.) It had been a good evening, though. I'd met a Finnish traveller, a monk from Detroit and a Japanese couple planning on doing the Shikoku pilgrimage. I'd also had the ferry's communal bath all to myself as I gazed out to sea, watching the last of Japan's islands disappear into the distance. I'd lived in, on and along that country for two months and this was goodbye. On reaching South Korea's busy port city of Busan, I was so excited and impatient to meet Seth the next day that ... read more
Flying Emirates
Buddha Carving at Songnisan
Songnisan National Park

Asia » Japan » Yamaguchi » Shimonoseki September 17th 2008

For an hour and a half I walked through the outskirts of Takamatsu, to the pling-pling-pling of railway crossings with their barriers down, and passed pachinko parlours, schools, and heaps of rubbish, waiting to be collected and stinking the streets out meanwhile. I was heading for the Yashima plateau, the mini Table Mountain I'd been seeing from my Takamatsu hotel room and trying to ignore. Temple 84, Yashimaji, is on top of it, and its also well known as the site of a great 12 century battle, the Genpei War. The path up to the top was steep and quite busy with locals getting some early morning exercise. There was mist at the top, and the temple had a red hondo (main hall) with peeling paint; I liked that about it. In front of it, an ... read more
Cliffs and rooftops at 85
A View of the Sea and Temple 86, Shido
On the way to 87

Asia » Japan » Kagawa » Takamatsu September 12th 2008

from matsuyama, i walked to hojo, visiting temples 52 and 53 on the way. it was a hot day and my energy was zapped, yet the little port town was pretty. at sunset, i walked along the harbour. there were lots of old folk in floppy sunhats and slippers gossiping in the streets. i had the feeling that, after id passed them and wished them konbanwa (good evening), they might gossip about me, too. the sun set over the kashima hojo island, a big green lump in the seto inland sea, and the water turned pink. big herons flew from boat to boat. i felt lazy, and not much like i wanted to walk on the next day, yet i had to, so i did. after hojo, i found myself in a seemingly endless stream of ... read more
receiving osettai of coffee and sweets
island at hojo
its not all beautiful

Asia » Japan » Ehime » Matsuyama September 1st 2008

i was so busy concentrating on not getting lost in its suburbs that i forgot to glance behind me at the castle, and at the cute little city uwajima had been. another place passed through and left behind. we'd shared an existence for about a day and a half, but now i'd probably never see it again in my life. for several miles i walked uphill along a stream into which yellow leaves were falling from the trees. a buddhist would regard it as a symbol of transcience. the henro signs pointed me across a bright yellow field where i surprised a gold snake with a lime green head. they dont scare me but i scare them. (later, i almost trod on a black one in the forest. i can just see my parents reading this ... read more
tenshean garden
uchiko street

Asia » Japan » Ehime August 25th 2008

i had set two goals. to reach the remote cape ashizuri misaki, location of temple 38, and to leave kochi prefecture - the biggest, longest, most difficult of shikokus four prefectures, in a henro sense of looking at life. im very happy to tell you that both goals are in the bag, though not without a small crisis of faith and one big bloody mountain along the way. the day i left kochi city, everything went wrong. i woke up too late, i didnt have enough time to get to all of my intended temples, it was swelteringly hot and i got lost. on the way to temple 31, chikurinji, i kept emerging into the botanical gardens, much to my own distress as well as those whod been innocently looking at exotic plants when a mad henro ... read more
temple 33
statues at temple 40
koichiro with grape settai!

Asia » Japan » Kochi » Kochi August 13th 2008

its 12 days and 234km since my last blog. sounds like a long way but in fact i continued to battle with my feet and was thus slower than i hoped. but the good news is that my blisters and i have finally come to an understanding; i smother them with antiseptic several times a day and they only give me bother after six or seven hours on the road. you find me in kochi. im having a day off to appreciate its original castle, kochi jo, and to stock up on plasters and other goodies like sellotape to mend my collapsing map book, and a vest and shorts for these long coastal stretches. not being a henro for the day is quite refreshing. i think its the first time ive actually stopped, reflected and felt ... read more
shukubo lodging at temple 19
temple 20
lantern at temple 21

Asia » Japan » Tokushima August 1st 2008

Well, here i am, six days in, and I'm in the city of Tokushima, resting my feet for a day - it may have to be two - because i can hardly walk for blisters. I have about seven and they are oozing various gross substances. (i always end up writing about puke and ooze in my blogs, don't i? The realities of travel!) My dad tells me they should harden up in a day or two, but yesterday it took me seven hours to hobble eight miles which isn't good. Still, I'm holding out hope for a recovery within the next 24 hours. I've still got 71 temples to go! I have come 62 miles. I'm kitted out with the hat, the hakui shirt and the staff, much to the amusement, I'm sure, of many ... read more
A Roadside Torii Gate
Heading Into The Mountains (and yes, the outfit...)
Becoming a Familiar Sight

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Gangnam July 21st 2008

I got to Seoul and it rained and it rained. My first impressions of South Korea will always be against a soundtrack of cars driving through puddles. I was jetlagged and keen to get on to Japan, the weight of the pilgrimage plan heavy on my shoulders. I want to find out if i can do it or not, and get started. So, i had enough time in Seoul to get totally drenched, and try snails (chewy) as well as delicious Korean kebabs. They love bbq beef here - my kind of place! - but to indulge you have to be in a group. I can't tell you how lonely that makes me feel! Me, the carnivore queen, dragging my heels as i skulk past these bbq restaurants with the sounds of families and friends laughing ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai July 18th 2008

On my first night in Dubai, i kicked back with a bottle of Asahi beer on the terrace of the Bahri Bar, and regarded the Burj Al-Arab as it shifted colours from green to pink, and sent beams of light dancing across the sky from it's rooftop. I like this dhow-inspired, world famous building but i don't think i respect it very much. A glass bottomed swimming pool, restaurant in an aquarium, dancing fountains, extortionate suites and thirty quid cocktails? Let's face it, it's pretty silly. Not that silliness should be discouraged but as Abdullah the laughing taxi driver told me later, 'who is paying this much money just to sleep, habipti?' I spent a day trying to take in what are considered to be the city sights. As is often the case, the more interesting ... read more
Muggy Evenings, Dubai
Peregrine Falcon, Falcon Centre, Dubai
Spices, Spice Souk, Dubai

Asia » India » Maharashtra » Mumbai July 2nd 2008

From Dhaka we travelled by bus for thirteen hours and reached Kolkata by evening. Just before boarding the bus, I was convinced I was going to throw up in the waiting room, quite possibly on the feet of the Bangladeshi poet Seth was chatting to. I held it in but felt rotten for two hours. In Kolkata we washed up, fed, got a great nights sleep, then flew to Mumbai early the next morning. Bad turbulence had me reaching for the sick bag, turning green and desperately holding back the vomit. (Damn food of Kuakata! I have lost three kilos in the last week!) And here we are in Mumbai, on our last day in India. Despite having an excellent time, Seth, to some degree, feels less enamoured of India than previously. I don't think you ... read more
Sea Lounge, Mumbai
Badly Burnt, Part Two

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