In 2004 the Kumano Kodo was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site — making it one of only two pilgrimage routes to achieve this accolade. Many sections of the ancient mountain paths have recently been restored and there are a range of comfortable traditional guesthouses (known as ryokan and minshuku) along the way. Therefore, it is now possible to undertake your very own pilgrimage, and as such, walk your way into a small part of Japan’s history.
On the creaky second floor there are fewer writings and etchings than on the first floor, but they are still clustered in certain places where the plaster has not broken off from the old wood. Many of the names were written over a hundred years ago. However, at the base of a grandiose door frame, carved rather haphazardly in bold letters, an etching reads: “Charlie Manson & Family — 1969”. It is hardly what one would expect to find in a ghost town, yet it has been interwoven into the long and interesting history of Nye County, Nevada.
The flagship product of this restaurant is the lasagna, with 14 varieties to choose from — everything from the traditional beef and sausage to snow crab and shrimp — all made with a white wine cream sauce and parmesan cheese.
Angea warmly greets me and invites me into his home. His home is a combination living and work area. There is a hutch near the front door filled with finished pottery. The dining room table/work bench is filled with pieces he is making. Angea tells me that he uses two types of clay from the area, white and red. He learned his trade from his mother, who learned it from her mother. Pots made of white clay are used for decoration and those made of red clay for food and water storage.
Lazily strolling along, I was listening to the sound of my own steps crunching on the pebble-strewn path and stopping every so often to rest in a patch of shade that dappled the walkway before me. Watching the comings and goings of the bees flitting from one bloom to the next, inhaling the sweet smell of lilies and honeysuckle heavy in the air, and listening to the sound of trickling water, one could easily forget such things as deadlines and due dates. Luckily, Shangri La isn’t an escape available only to an enlightened few but to everyo