Incheon, Korea - June 18, 2015
So I had a great time in Seoul. Met up with Wendy and got all the paperwork I needed. Very nice lady. Anyway, she invited me out to dinner the following night and took me to a Korean buffet. What a great idea! Really got a sampling of a wide variety of foods and I could avoid all the wiggly stuff. Cleaned two plates. Also did a Hop-On-Hop-Off, but I was the only person on the bus. The MERS outbreak in Seoul has really killed the tourist trade temporarily. The HOHO was not the best one I've ever been on... my fault perhaps. I took the Panorama tour (with lots of expressway driving unfortunately) and the views of Seoul were impossible given the very high smog levels this week. The sky is like white paint with a brown smudge for a sun. I guess I should have considered that. Maybe everyone else did. We really need a good rain. But that will hold off until I start to ride I'm sure.
Anyway, bike is now safely in hand. All-in-all, getting it through customs was quite a smooth process, although it took over 5 hours since the people required to speed things up were always out of the office. Finding the place where the bike actually was, was the hardest part. The customs officer walked me to the shuttle bus, the shuttle bus driver made sure I got off at the correct stop, and as I was still looking quite lost, a couple of old men came up and actually phoned Wendy to get further instructions. That was nice. Anyway, I eventually found the correct building and everyone was quite helpful. Fun times.
Actually, given the Spot location, finding the bike could have been a whole lot harder! So I packed up, made it to a gas station (whew!), filled up and headed to the hotel near the terminal. Nice early arrival I thought. But a small bridge closure over a drainage canal forced a 20 km detour which the bike did not make. Died again. Lucky it was at a good location. So I pulled everything back off the bike, yanked the now full gas tank off and replaced the coils with the two I had purchased in Vancouver. Bike fired right back up, but I'm thinking that doesn't always mean that anything is fixed. Just fiddling with wires may be what's working. And that's not a satisfactory fix.
In the meantime, Wendy has been trying to get me ferry reservations over to Jeju Island, the large island off the south coast that made news recently with the deadly ferry flip. Jeju really is quite the garden-spot of Korea I've heard. Big honeymoon place. But the timing doesn't look like it will work. The available connections make for a quick visit, and I would have to rush to meet the ferry to Vladivostok. So I think I will have to miss Jeju. Too bad.
I've decided to stay at this place an extra day as both the bike and I need a small health day. It really is important that I track down this ignition issue. Also, yesterday I took the last of my cholera oral vaccine doses (for Mongolia), and now seem to have my own little case of cholera so to speak. Or was it something in the buffet? Hmmm...