The day trip of death
Trip Start Oct 23, 2006
26Trip End Oct 25, 2007
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900am - Our journey began early on a Saturday morning by taking the subway from my home base stop, 'Seoul National University', across the river to 'Sincheon' station so we could rendevous with the bus which would take us to Gangwado.
1000am - After stumbling across Sincheon Bus Terminal, and incidentally, by 'bus terminal' they obviously meant 'carpark in front of a shopping mall with no signs', we managed to procure some tickets and find our bus and at a few minutes after 10 we were on our way
1200pm - We disembarked the bus in the tiny village of Oepo-ri on the west coast of Gangwado. Admiteddly it does only take 20 minutes to get from the east coast to the west coast. Crossing from mainland Korea to the island itself required, obviously, taking a bridge, where we were able to view muddy water and riverbanks not unlike North Queensland. I did actually catch myself checking the banks for lazing crocodiles.
1215pm - The ferry terminal for our boat to the island of Seumogdo (our ultimate destination) was barely 50m from were our bus trip ended, but if it hadn't been for the crowd of locals heading in that direction, I venture to say we would never have found it. But we did, and via a light jog we made the ferry before it left the dock.
1225pm - Arrived at Seumogdo to find that we had to take another bus to reach our final destination - the Buddhist temple 'Bomunsa'. We had time to stock up on snacks (I do love snacks) and read in the Lonely Planet that a steep walk awaited us at the entrance to the temple. Brilliant.
1240pm - Our bus left for Bomunsa. It wound it's way through forests and along the edges of vast rice fields, all lush and green. I really got the feeling at that point that it would be difficult to get further from the city than here - a few houses, minimal cars and no department stores (only the small stores which served the local farming community).
100pm - Finally, we arrived at our goal - Bomunsa
I made the walk up the stairs alone, my companion preferring to sit. The stairs just kept going and going, turning every now and then, and because of the thick jungle surrounds, this meant I could never see the summit. But there was an end, not before time I might add, and thankfully, it was a decent one. It had to be really. Stunning panoramas of the island and ocean, which I was able to enjoy after purchasing coke from the vending machine which lived next to the giant Buddha. I pitied the poor man who surely now had permanent spinal injuries from having to cart that thing up those stairs.
315pm - After a lunch of tempura fried shrimp and veg with rice and kimchi, which was a taste sensation, it was time to board the bus bound for the ferry terminal. The return journey has begun.
345pm - Our return ferry ride was much like the intial one, but who really ever tires of boat rides? Certainly not me. We did manage to get lost upon leaving the ferry - to quote "We don't need to follow the locals - it's definetly this way!" Dumb. Will we never learn. Two wrong turns later we found our bus, stumbled aboard and grabbed a seat.
430pm - Our bus driver for the journey home to Seoul was in possession of the most incredible pair of 'lamb chop' side burns I'd ever seen on a Korean man
615pm - As soon as we saw a subway stop we recognised, we jumped from the bus to begin the final leg of the day trip of death. The tanks were well and truly empty by this stage and we were tickled pink to score a seat for the 8 stops home.
640pm - Home. Finally. Satisfied. Knackered. Day trip of death completed.
It's time for the 'Pointless Korean Fact' - incidentally I have recieved some encouraging feedback about this segment (you know who you are). Ok, did you know that South Korea has a special day to celebrate their Alphabet called Hangul on October 9th? There you go.