本能(徒歩日本縦断#66)

66日目の今日は宍喰の遍路小屋で5時に起床

歩いて1分で温泉

隣にはトイレ水道

広くて屋根の深い東屋

神のような安住の地だったが、早起き

何故かというと、そう。今日は1日雨予報で午後からは大雨となるらしい。

しかし午前9時までは雨雲レーダーを見ると雨は降らなそう

「なるべく雨に当たらないように朝早く出て距離を稼ごう」

その一心でまだ暗い5時半に歩き始める

一緒に野宿していたおじさんからも「歩くんか?」って言われた

そうなんです。歩きます。

おじさんは今日はここで身体を休めるみたいだ

横石だってそうしたいし、朝も寝袋の中で何度も葛藤していた

しかしそれは今日に限ったことではない

天気が悪い時、長距離移動になる時、ただただ疲れている時、「今日は休もう」と思ったことは何十回もある。でもその度にそんな弱虫横石と闘って、歩き出していた。

歩き出せばそんな迷いも消えて、ひたすら前だけを見れる。そんな旅がたまらなく好きだ。

「旅」というのは毎日ワクワクするものではないと個人的には思っている。

毎日笑えるわけでもないし、毎朝小鳥のさえずりで気持ちよく起きることもない。

むしろ辛いことの方が多いのに、それでもなぜか、まだ見えない次の町を目指して進む。

もはやこれは人間というか、生き物の本能だよな。

だって人間の本能が「安住の地」を求めるのであれば、今人間は始まりの地アフリカにしかいないはずだし、例えアフリカが安住の地ではなかったとしてもヨーロッパ大陸で収まるだろう。ロックスターだって売れるはずがない。「安心」を求めながらもどこかでまだ見たことのないような別世界を求めてしまうのが人間の本能なんだと思う

そして今日も横石は安住の地を自ら離れて、新たな土地へ向かう。

たとえその先に待っているのが土砂降りであろうと、強風であろうと、雷であろうと、気づけば歩き出している。

まだ真っ暗な中、一人歩きながらそんなことを思って笑った。

足は軽い。

大雨の中歩くのは流石にしんどいので、今日の目標は23キロ先にある室戸市にある佐喜浜という小さな街だ

小さな街でありながら、四国島南端の室戸市街に抜けるまでの最後の補給地点であり、「ここなら大雨に降られる前に辿り着きそうだし、降ってきてもどこかしら雨をしのいで野宿できる場所もあるだろう」そう考えてとりあえずここを目指すことにした

もし朝のうちから大雨になればもっと手前の町で泊まってもいい。とにかく「先に進む」ことに意味があるのだ。

宍喰の遍路小屋を出てからわずか2キロ足らず

トンネルを抜けると

まだ明るくなりたてで見えにくいが、高知県に入る。これで正真正銘「発心の道場」徳島とはおさらばで、ここからはお遍路中一番長い旅路となる「修行の道場」の高知県が始まる。

その距離およそ400キロ弱。札所間の距離が長いところも数多く、正真正銘修行の道場だ。

高知県に入ってからは東洋町という町なのだが、ここは甲浦→生美→野根と2キロ刻みで小さな街が続く。

明るくなってきた海を見ながらそんな町を越えていく。

まだ本格的な雨は降らなそうな雲だ

ポツポツ降る時もあるが、許容範囲内の傘もいらないような小さな雨なのでガンガン歩く

海はエメラルドグリーンのいい色だ

ついついこれから大雨なのも忘れて見惚れてしまう。

そして野根の町を過ぎると目的地の佐喜浜までは15キロ何もなし。ここまでは雨に降られなくてよかったけど、ここから降られるのが雨宿りする場所がなくて一番困るぜ。

お大師様にお祈りしながらいざ野根の海岸線越えだ。

ちなみにこの野根は国道55号が出来るまではお遍路の難所だったらしく、ルートとしてはゴロゴロ石の並んだ海岸を抜けるか、満潮で海岸が通らないときは遠回りして野根峠を越えなければならなかったらしい。

そのため、野根で一休みしていくお遍路さんが多く「野根の昼寝」という言葉が残っているほど。

と言っても国道55号が出来た今では難所と呼べる場所ではない、が、しかし

横石は野根市街を越えていざ、何もない区間に行くぞぉ!とした瞬間に足を止めて躊躇していた

目の前に日光猿軍団顔負けの猿たちがいたのだ

もはや写真を撮って刺激したくないレベルだったので、写真も撮らずにしばらく様子を見るが一向に退く気配なし。

「よし!車が通ると同時に通過してやる!」

と思っても、こういう時に限って車が通らない…

仕方なく3分ほど立ちすくみながら猿と睨み合いを繰り返し、ようやくトラックが二台通った隙に小走りで駆け抜ける。

「もしもの時は金剛杖が武器になる」

それが精神安定剤となった

まさか金剛杖がこんなところで役に立つとは笑

猿軍団を越えたところで気を取り直して歩き出す

あとはいつ雨が降り出すか、勝負だ

願いが通じているのか、まだ空は明るい

野根を出てほどなくして、最果ての街室戸市へ

そして海もだんだんと荒々しく、「高知の海」になってきた

たしか自転車日本一周の時もここら辺でそんなこと思ってたっけなぁ…

同じ道を通っているからこそ「同じ道飽きた、嫌だ」ではなく、あの時の思い出が蘇ってきて、そんな感覚がなかなか好きだったりもする

ほのかに風に雨の匂いが混じってきた

早足で佐喜浜の街を目指す

ここまでまだ朝の9時で18キロ歩いている

ふと横を見るとハイビスカスが咲いていた

赤く凛と咲く花に

「こんな花が咲く場所まで、北の果てから来たんだなぁ」なんて思いながら腰を下ろして少しだけ休憩。

そして10時過ぎ。無事に23キロを奇跡的に雨に降られることなく歩ききって佐喜浜市街へ

明日の朝の分までの食料と水を、これまた自転車の時も立ち寄った「モンマートむろと」で仕入れて

今日目星を付けておいた寝床へ

佐喜浜大師堂という国道沿いにポツリと立つ大師堂に1人が眠れるだけのスペースがある場所だ

なかなかに味のある場所だが、これからの雨風をしのげるだけ本当にありがたい。

そして雨も強く降ってきた。

今日はここで午後はゆっくり身体を休めて明日からの修行の道場に備えることに

久しぶりに「昼寝」という行為をした気がする…

歩行距離 24キロ

徳島県海陽町→高知県室戸市

総歩行距離 2174キロ

お遍路総歩行距離 223キロ

今日も最後まで読んでいただきありがとうございます!ブログランキングにも参加しているので、ぜひ下の日本一周ボタンを押して応援してください!

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 日本一周へ


にほんブログ村

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