Well, Korean Love Hotels are not the best place for a good nights sleep 🙁
I was on the road at 9 am and headed up Highway 1 to the DMZ checkpoint where 1 finishes (at the moment), I tried to blag my way in but the guard soldiers and there superior weren’t having it.
I headed back, Last night I noticed a road went to a bend in the border river so I headed up on the 37, amazingly busy even today. I then came off at the first turning and was greeted by splendid river views and the hills in the DMZ. As a bonus I also visited a lovely, rebuilt, pagoda style platform ( whasookjeong) where Yi Sack meditated and wrote poetry, it still has a serene air to it even though Route 37 runs close to it.
I then followed the DMZ route which I found somewhere 🙂 amazing to see all the cemetries on the hillsides from the war plus all the tank traps on the road. No wonder the war was so long, the hilly terrain with deep valleys must have been hell to fight in.
I eventually got tired and and headed South to Jeongok to find a bed, no problem today as a motel had a huge 10-foot sign on its roof 🙂 The Mu Hotel is very pleasant and the goodie bag is far more conventional in its contents! The roof is ginormous with ultra-fast upload speeds.
A great day with the sort of hills I love, short & steep 🙂 The countryside is interesting. I find it astounding how rural and urban are so clearly separated like ancient & modern worlds.
After spending 24 hours in a windowless world yesterday (why does everyone shut the blinds on aeroplane) and OK 8 hours of which was stuck in Doha airport with no windows but it did have a 25 metre indoor pool if you remembered to put your costume in your carry on bag – I didn’t 🙁 I must also remember to carry a fine pen for filling in the 3 landing forms.
Arriving in Incheon airport I failed on both of my customary tasks when first arriving in a new country, both reflect rather badly on Korea. First job is to hit the ATM’s all my cards failed on all machines, I had revert to the expensive way of changing my £ notes 🙁 Next job was to get a SIM for my dongle or phone both failed miserably, all they want you to do is rent kit, tempting you with expensive unlimited data. Not much use when you aren’t returning to the airport! My worst experience of any country in the world. So much for hi-tech Korea!
I was picked up by Incheon Airport Best Guesthouse (using WeChat on the airport WiFi) so soon had my bike box in my room 10 floors up.
This morning I biked the 6 miles, all wrapped up, to Unseo station, on lovely cycle tracks, thinking I might spy some cash machines or phone stockists but to no avail, although I did procure a European plug to fit on my extension lead
The train was ultra smart, although it’s a steep climb up the 3 flights to the platform. 36 minutes later I arrived at Cheonga Int’l City Station and ready for the adventure.I rode around to the
I rode around to the Ara West Sea lock and bought a passport (nope the cash machines don’t work there either). There were loads of cyclists there today since it was a sunny Saturday. After stamping it at the first lock I was away 🙂 the cycle track is wide and really smooth, very easy to follow so no GPS required 🙂 Where the canal meets the river I left the 4 Rivers route to head north so I could visit the Dora Observatory. Alas, it wasn’t to be as the instructions Mark gave me (and no online maps) I somehow ended up in the wrong Paju 🙁 However, one good came out of this I found a huge supermarket with an array of ATM’s one of which finally behaved and released a pile of notes, but only with my Barclays account the others still failed to work. To celebrate I devoured two large scoops of very nutty ice cream.
Once I realised my error, after chatting to a pair of MTB’ lads I decided to carry on North with the intention of starting The DMZ trail (interestingly I could see I was quite close by seeing the trail on the phone but with no maps). I was beginning to worry a bit when no hotels appeared and anyone I asked looked at me a bit weird 🙁 Eventually in Musan someone understood and pointed up at a huge building, The Royal Motel is up on the eighth floor and with the key you are given an interesting bag of goodies for those who are here for very short stays 😉
A lovely ride, although the cycle paths soon revert to the English variation with tree root bumps and disappearing.all the time once you leave the 4 rivers way.
We started the day at 8 am with a 15 minute €20 taxi ride up the coast to Zambujeira do Mar where we had a lovely breakfast at the Por do Sol cafe. Fortunately, the rain stopped just before we departed in the cab 🙂
After breakfast, we started on The Fishermans Trail all be it the final section. After some confusion, we finally found the trail on the other side of a huge empty car park. This place must be heaving in the summer with the vast car parks and large number of hotels/b&b etc
The trail is delightful with splendid views and very hilly, constantly dropping down to sea level and then straight back up. Very reminiscent for me of my walk on the South West Coast Path in Cornwall. However, one huge difference is the sand! how does all the sand get on top of the cliffs? was my constant thought.
Once again the trail was virtually devoid of people even though it was sunny today.
The last 4km into Odeceixe was a bit disappointing as it’s along on a flat surfaced road, at least it had no cars on it.
The trail itself was a fine end to our short walking holiday of just over 80 miles and 7,260 feet of ascent.