I guess that one of the advantages of sleeping in hotels (or even on cold barn floors) is that it is so much quicker to make an early getaway. I was out of the hotel and on my way towards Boseong before dawn. On the agenda today were the tea fields of Boseong, a temple or two, and a final destination on the coast with a relaxing spa.
It didn't quite work out like that.
The road to Boseong was dual carriageway - a major road and boring to boot. There was also quite a severe amount of headwind blowing dust facewards The decision was quickly made to cut out the tea fields. Hell, I live next to O'Sulloc, a tea farm on Jeju. I know what they look like! So an improvisation towards Hoecheon led me to the coast.
The route took me past dinosaur egg sites. The southern coast is literally scattered with such fossils. No real fossils were to be seen however; the booth was closed, and the bridge to the site cordoned off. There were giant mock ups of baby dinosaurs popping out of eggs though, and there was an opportunity to pretend to be a baby dinosaur popping out of an egg. Fortunately for the reader, I didn't have a selfie stick.
The southwestern route was magnificent, and now with the wind behind me I made cracking progress, so much so I made my planned night stop by midday. Too early to stop for the day, but great for a lunchtime dip in the sauna
This was far less run down than Wulchusan. It even had a spa of Hot Green Tea, overlooking the coast on a bright, hot sunny day. Fantastic. There was an old bloke who insisted talking to me whilst scratching his balls. Not quite so fantastic. But amusing all the same.
It was too early to pitch, so I wondered how far I could get to Wando, the ferry port back to Jeju.
Failing to stop at Gwansu for a cup of coffee was an error on my part. The route up to that point was magnificent, hugging the coast and overlooking the islands beyond. The roads were void of all traffic. I even cracked the 50km/h barrier. But not stopping at Gwansu was not the best idea.
The road beyond got busier and more tedious. It was 4pm so the sun was starting to hide behind the hills and mountains. And it was another hour of effort to Maryang. I was definately getting tired.
There was also this nagging feeling that this route would stop after Maryyang and that I may have to add another 100km to go back up north via Ganjin. The reason? Google showed a bridge across two islands. Naver didn't. Nor did the satellite maps on either systems. This would add at least another day. Not what I wanted when my system was lacking caffeine and energy! It was a bleak moment.
Signs to Maryland promised a scenic town. I entered a run-down town with delapidated buildings.... and ended up with a few kids running and cycling towards me. A few smiles and uncomprehensible conversations were had, which cheered me up. So did the coffee and snacks in the local CU afterwards.
Daybreak to Sunset
I had made Maryyang, the edge of the peninsula of this part of Mainland Korea; The sun was setting. I set off over the bridge to the first island hop, with a glorious sunset over the bay - and looking towards the hills and a route that I definitely knew led to Wando.
Buoyed by the fact that there were still cars and trucks heading south onto the island (so the possibility of a boat) I ambled on. But with spirits high now that sugar and caffeine were floating in the bloodstream. But with still a nagging feeling that I may well have to turn around...
Round the coast.
With an unbuilt bridge.
And there it was.
A boat twice as large as the boat that links the Isle of Mull to Ardnamurchan point in Scotland. It could fit a dozen cars, and definately had room for a bike.
In fact, the route had several boats running back and forth on a regular basis. It made for a pleasant little hop to the second island under a bright moonlit night.
I had a couple of other plans on my to-do list, but I felt somehow that the beaches as Sinji and Wando were best seen during the day. So onwards, across the bridge from Sinji to the third island, Wando. And another hotel. After the longest ride of the trip, sleep came quickly.
The trip so far
The longest days ride, and a top average speed of 54km/h. Not much in terms of elevation as the route pretty much followed the coast. Swimming in tea was a first though!
Todays distance : 134km
Total Distance : 631km / 394 miles