Yeosu, Korea - June 22, 2015
In Yeosu I guess, but not where I wanted to be...
OK, well this is just nuts. I was reading up on this cute town called Yeosu in my Rough Guide to Korea and thought I'd like to spend half a day there. Punched it into my GPS and arrived in town with no issues. So I'm walking around town trying to find the things that are listed in the guide book and can't find any of them. So now that I have an internet connection, I punch Yeosu into Google maps and sure enough, I'm in exactly the correct spot. But the map in the guide book doesn't really match the layout of the harbor here. So I scan around in GM, and what the guidebook is calling Yeosu, is actually the next harbor over. That is not called Yeosu anywhere but in the guidebook. I guess you could say it's in Greater Yeosu, as long as you're willing to count all the farmland in between this city and that one over there! I've never seen a guidebook pull such a screwup. No wonder I couldn't find the hotel I was looking for... or anything else for that matter. They're all 10 miles away.
Anyway, had a really nice ride over from Jeungdo Island. Started getting up into the hills a bit and although it was threatening rain all day, it never really materialized, at least not where I was. I see it off in the north, where I am headed tomorrow.
Today was a day of missed opportunities though. The GPS was taking me along some really small back roads... like single lane back roads... all very nice when I was passed by what I thought was some crazy truck driver. He pulls ahead and stops on this rather deserted road, and his arm pops out of the window holding a can of juice for me. So I pull up alongside, accept it gratefully, and we get into a conversation. His English as pretty good, not great, but we could converse. He wanted lots of details. A very nice guy indeed. So he eventually asked me where I stay at night... some camping, some motels... so he asks if I'd like to spend the night at his house with his family. He has a room with "air con". You know, it would probably have been a chance of a lifetime to spend some time with a Korean family, in Korea, and talk about all kinds of things. But in the three seconds you have to decide, I'm thinking it's 9:15 in the morning, it's a work day for this guy, so what do I do until knock-off time, and I do have a destination. The weather is good and the bike is finally running well. So I politely declined. I saw he was somewhat disappointed, but understood. Maybe he's also thinking now that his wife would freak! Too bad, but had it been later in the day, I might have taken him up on it.
The other missed opportunity came when I passed the turnoff for the Something-or-other Literary Theme Park. I can't imagine the combo. The Dostoevsky Water Flume? The Victor Hugo Fun House? Nuts, I missed it.
Had a nice visit with some cops today as well. I was parked outside a shop picking up some Ramen when they pulled up behind me lights flashing. Oops. No, they were just two young guys who wanted to take a look at my bike and visit. I think the two things they found most impressive was that the bike has a driveshaft instead of a chain, and that it was being driven by someone 62 years old. They acted like 62 was absolutely ancient... which it is...
OK... well this is really getting long, so I'll wind it up. I think I'll head up and over Jirisan National Park tomorrow. but don't know if I will stay there. Depends a bit on the weather. I really only have to be in Donghae on Saturday to catch the ferry to Vladivostok on Sunday. So I have a few days to play. I can't have too many short days though, because I do get wiped after about 6 hours riding, and on the back roads, that doesn't take one very far. And of course being 62 doesn't help.