Oniko's Travel Diary:|
The Saigoku Pilgrimage
(July 20-August 16, 1999)
August 16, 1999
I got up and packed my stuff; a little before nine, I ran down to the pay phone on the corner and connected my computer to send snd get email; ironically, I just recieved the names and phone numbers of about four people who are willing to let stay at their homes for a day or so each... good timing, eh? Anyway, I returned to my room, packed away my computer, and left the last hotel of this trip. I don't know how, but next year I want a place of operations; be it a hotel or ryokan room I get for the whole trip, or an apartment (though I don't know how), I want some place I can return to each night, and leave my stuff for a day or two at a time and know it's safe. I'll have to see what I can arrange over the next few months.
Anyway, I took the trains part of the way to Kyoto station, stopping early at Gojo -- lit: "Fifth Street" -- where there was a nice little post office branch. I mailed off the box I've been carrying all weekend, but decided not to mail another; my cash is low, but enough to finish out what's left of this trip.
So I headed to Kyoto station, planning to take a train to Osaka, then to Kansai airport... but, it turns out, there's a train that goes directly from Kyoto to the airport with only two stops, and my JR rail pass entitles me to fill an un-reserved seat on it. So I don't have to switch trains. Knowing that, I took a moment out to get a Nishi Soba for breakfast -- soba noodles in broth, with dried fish marinated in soy sauce; delicious!
I got on the train at eleven-sixteen, and arrived here at the airport at a little past twelve-thirty. I found my check-in area (on the fourth floor, where all international flights check in, by the way), and now I'm just waiting for my plane... which won't be boarding until five-fifteen or so. I have a nice, long wait here in the airport.
As I'm typing this, there's a news special on... somewhere in Japan called Kurokura (accordinging to the woman I asked) a dam broke and overflowed a delta with several camping areas last night, and a big rescue effort is now underway. So far, they've found eleven bodies, and eighteen people injured; and the rivers are still overfull and flowing fast, so a combination of boats and helicopters are being used. Four people -- including a five-year-old -- were found clinging to a steep slope just above the waterline, and were rescued. Elsewhere, a cluster of about eight people were found standing in a waist-deep area in the middle of a much deeper river, helping each other resist the flow until someone could rescue them.
That, and typing this, is pretty much all I'm doing. I have a big bag full of books for the long flight; and, unless anything else intriguing occurs, I think this trip -- and this chronicle -- is now officially finished. But I'll be back, next August if not sooner!
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