That hut was convenient, but very draughty. Including the slats on the floor. By 4h30 I had already given up trying to sleep as it was also damned cold. So once the sleeping bag was stuffed away, I pottered on my way - to rejoin the Yongsangang bike path.
The road was mostly dark which is when the chain decided to go AWOL and promptly fell off Nothing major. In fact I only mention it as in all of the 680+ km route, that was the /only/ incident I had with the bike!
As dawn struck I found myself on a very major road that eventually became dual carriageway. Perhaps that is why the statues looked unimpressed with a lone cyclist.
I rejoined the bike path at Naju but not before a couple cups of coffee and breakfast. Not bad with 50k already under my belt;
Yeongangsang Bicycle Path (133km) : Mokpo to Damyangdam
The Yongangsang bicycle trail forms one of the 4 major tourist bike routes in Korea - an offshoot of the revitalisation of Koreas waterways. One of the results of such a restoration is that there are dedicated bike and footpaths along the whole of the river. At each point of interest, before and after photos are printed to inform the public on how that area was transformed. The whole restoration project is not without controversy, however.
4 Rivers Guide (English)
Environmental fallout of the Four Rivers Project (The Hankyoreh)
20km later, I managed to get my cycling "passport" , something I failed to do in Mokpo two days previously
Despite the controversy, it made for very calm, stress free cycling.
The trail goes through a major city, Gwanju. This city is infamous for the May 18th uprising in 1980, when civilians protested for democracy. There was massive bloodshed and many deaths. To this day, the numbers that died are unknown. A memorial has been built in the centre of the city where there are interesting, grusome and sad photographs on display.
The May 18 Democratic uprising (May 18 Memorial Foundation)
On a lighter note, Gwanju also hosts an exposition every second year. As I was in Gwangu, I thought I'd have a look. Unfortunately due to my crap navigational skills I lost an hour trying to find the place, so I didn't get to absorb a lot of stuff, especially the video art. Still, the first piece of work was very interesting in all of its three dimensional glory (see second image, below)
Burning Down The House - The Biennale Organisation
Arrival in Damyang
Under way again, I made my destination, blurry eyed, in Damyang. I must apologise to Darby, a Korean who I met here. I was so out of it that I must have appeared to be a bit of a zombie- he was into his 57'th day and planning to continue cycling Korea until the end of the year. I honestly didnt think that Korea was that big. Hope to catch up with him again when he comes to Jeju.
Damyang Bamboo Forest
Before the light totally faded, I visited the bamboo forest. They told me I had to rush as I only had 30 minutes. So rush I did, got out in time, only to see all the staff walk away, not closing anything, and allowing people to enter for free! Oh well!
Duck Sung (Darby) 's blog is here. Its all in Korean but also has photos of the trail
The trip so far
An early start and an afternoon in Gwanju. I was getting into a rhythm so much so that I all but missed Gwanju completely and had to double back. Ooops
Todays effort : 98km, Sunny, mostly flat
Total: 217km / 135 miles