First day in Japan – Fukuoka

The bike squeeze

The crossing from Busan was very smooth and I slept all the way. The immigration officer looked askance at me and wanted to see my flight home details and how was I going to get to Tokyo? Good question I thought!

I tried to get some Yen in the terminal with my plastic but no go 🙁 The bank teller said I had to use the cashpoint a mile down the road in a 7/11 which thank goodness worked. For me, the amazing thing about their notes is that they are big and all totally pristine, like the rest of the country I guess.

Art the linguist from Colorado

I dithered about what to do so ended up parking my bike in the cavernous space under the square outside the main station (take note Cambridge this is a real pedestrian square)  the bike racks are awesome they are on sliding rails so the bikes crunch up against each other so compacting them, when you want to get it out you just push the others down the track 🙂 It’s free for 2 hours afterwards a modest charge, Since it takes scooters etc there is a moving belt to assist going up the steps.

The shopping is amazing, the electronics place, Yodobashi behind the main station, where I got my SIM (5GB for £39) makes a Currys look like a village shop! Coffee shops and bakeries galore I easily packed in the missing calories from yesterday. Everyone I’ve met speaks some English or at least willing to try.

My kind of shops

An American from Colorado, Art, offered his language skills. btw Art if you read this I returned to Yodobashi and found shelves of MiFi type devices – but only obtainable with a 2-year contract) So the FreeTel SIM I purchased with you is still the best value.

I also found a bike shop to salivate over, Uemura Cycle Parts, I’ve never seen such a well stocked,  comprehensive bike shop. It will be interesting to see what riders use when I start riding, which brings me to the sad part. Rain forecast for the next 6 days. It’s Morocco all over again 🙁

Currently, I’m staying at the Daiwa Roynet Hotel an aircrew favorite by the number staying here

All the pictures so far are here

 

Biking from Namjiri to Busan & ferry terminal on lifeday 25,454

Tuesday 4th April 2017

My final day on the 4 rivers and what an amazing finish it was!

 

A Korean cyclist!

I started off at 8am which was a bit early for the Korean bakeries 🙁 so I made do with a few rolls and other bread bits then proceeded to do an 8km loop onto the other side of the river. Only to discover that the concrete bridge near theAdellia has a cycleway on it 🙁

I sped alongside the river with a decent wind behind me to the first registration stamp box and said hi to a group of MTB’s wearing the customary face masks, I felt almost naked in my shirt & shorts 🙂 Just after Sisalli there was one of the dreaded steep climbs straight upto 300 feet 🙁  then it was a turn to the south and straight into a big head wind! There was one small stretch on a busy road with no cycle way, the first yet! but soon a concrete path appeared. Once again there were no cafes. At the old bridge in Samrang I at last found a cafe!

The last few miles coming into Busan were stupendous, magical with all the cherry blossoms in full flower making a canopy over the whole cycleway, it was crazy with pedestrians and everyone taking selfies etc for several miles. So I timed my trip to Korea perfectly 🙂

Geoff Jones with bicycle at the end of the 4 Rivers trail

An English cyclist at the end 🙂

At the end of the trail, I took my cycling road tour passport in to get my certificate. The guy kindly filled in my missing stamps 🙂 to get the substantial medal and certificate snail mailed to me in the UK cost 32,000 WON for the postage etc.

I really do have to give tremendous kudos to K-Water for constructing the awesome cycleway and also the idea of having a passport etc. It’s certainly a notable forward-looking achievement for Korea. Given the obese nature of many of the young kids over here probably, a very good idea.

Since it was only 4pm I thought I would try and get on the ferry so maps.me gave me a route to the port. Strange to be on normal roads again, It was a hell of a ride with a monster steep hill upto over 400ft  and used as a rat run by the local taxis – I’m convinced my fate will be sealed by a mad taxi driver! Then it was through a long tunnel along a very narrow pavement – the wind behind me was so strong I ended up braking all the way through it. Out the other side it was then trough a tunnel under the rail tracks (lots of rough sleepers here) the other side it was a mad dash across 12 or so lanes of traffic. Strava says I rode 69.5 miles

The terminal itself is very efficient I just put the bike in the lift upto the third floor and bought a ticket. 10,000 fo the bike and either 90,000 to share a cabin or 150,000 for your own cabin 🙂 The cabins are very pokey with only a basin & no WiFi 🙁 Nothing like the Harwich Stena lines ferries.

I nade the silly mistake of getting rid of all my WON, so on the ship I was cashless 🙁 and yes they only accept YEN cash! (They will convert WON notes to YEN). Fortunately a UK guy who used to live in Mill Road but now lives in Sydney 🙂 befriended me and gave me a beer! Many thanks if you are reading this 🙂  Given the 250 school kids on board I just went to bed with no dinner sleeping like a log!

The pictures of the day are here

So goodbye Korea many thanks to Scott & Laura, Tim & Viv for the evenings out and sorry I dashed off at the end 🙁

I did 534 miles ( 854km) and 16,610 feet of climbing (5,100 metres) in 11 cycling days and spent £396 on accommodation in Korea. The actual 4 Rivers is given as 633km

 

Farewell Korea!