part one, part two, part three, part four
Day Two: Hamo Beach - Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak)
GOTTA GET UP! GOTTA GET UP! GOTTA GET UP!
What better way to start the day than with a blast of Black Box! Apparently not, according to the rest of the crew, but that's tough luck because this became the anthem of the tour. Ha ha! From the crack of dawn to the dying moments of the night I made sure that this song penetrated the darkest corners of everyone's mind. I hope it remains there like a flash mark for the rest of their lives!
(gpx file download)
This was the longest day of our journey, 98km in total.
Sean was full of beans on day two. With exclamations of feeling superhuman that morning I can only assume one of two things:
A) Being woken up by a blast of "Ride on Time" worked wonders on his battered soul.
B) Anyone would feel superhuman after the emotional hell ride he suffered the day before.
This is the garden at our pension at Hamo Beach. It wasn't the cheapest but it was some pretty sweet accomodation.
The entire crew sets sail.
This is Sanbongsan. The view dominated our morning. We were going to take a short cut to save time but opted to stick to the coastal road on the most south-western part of the island. It was well worth it as it is a stunning little detour and it was not strenuous at all.
"If Scotland or Ireland had a subtropical love child with Jurassic Park, Jeju would have been born"
We tried to take a shortcut down to Jungmun Beach but ended up stuck on the Olle Trail behind the Hyatt Hotel. It was a nice little snack break with amazing views, but it was a pain cycling back up the hill - probably the steepest on the island.
The majority of the stretch along the southern coast was on the cycle path of the 1132 which was not very inspiring. There was a lot of traffic and it wasn't all that peaceful. That said the views were still pretty amazing as we had a perfectly clear view of Hallasan (see below), which was a first for me and this was my third trip to Jeju. On previous trips the mountain was always cloaked in clouds.
This is Oedolgae. It's a very popular tourist site and you can probably imagine why. Jeju is sold as a honeymoon island to Koreans and at any given opportunity they will capitalise on that, whether it be "Loveland" the weird erotic park, the Teddy Bear Museum, or a humongous rock phallus rising from the ocean. There is no mistaking that this is clearly the cock and balls of a giant man lying down just under the surface. I wonder what else is going on down there? I dread to think.
I didn't manage to stop off at this point as we were on a tight schedule this day. I visited this spot on the edge of Seogwipo in Feb 2011. Behind the fisherman is a nice little lagoon with clear blue waters. It would be perfect for swimming in as the bridge that you can see dips just beneath the surface of the water keeping any trash out out of the area. I'd like to come back to this spot and take a dip when it's a bit warmer.
This was the first coastal road all afternoon and it was long overdue. It leads up to Pyoseon Beach and was a welcome change from the 1132. Jenny's knees were starting to ache quite badly at this point as her seat had been too low the previous day. She decided to stay in Pyoseon Beach whilst Sean, Andy and myself pressed on to Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak) as we had some concrete plans to fulfill. I know I'm a terrible boyfriend but the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong is pretty special and I knew Sean would need some extra help getting Andy out of bed at 5:30am, that help coming in the form of my secret weapon: Black Box's "Ride on Time", the most obnoxious alarm tone on the planet. Andy's not a morning person. I should know as he's answered the door to me a dozen times wearing nothing but his whitey tighties.
We took the coastal road for the final 20km to Seongsan Ilchulbong. We didn't get there until dark. It's a really scenic route but we didn't get to fully appreciate it as we were in a rush and the sun was setting fast. We chose to stay at a nice "minbak" on the edge of town call Seongsanpo Village (성산포빌리지). I stayed there last winter and the views there are amazing, if you stay there make sure you get a room at the back so you get views overlooking the sea. Above you can see the view from our room at night, a little sneak preview of the the views to come. We paid 55,000 won for a large room with windows that gaze over the water to the Sunrise Peak and a balcony that looks south west towards Hallasan for the sunset. Room 301 is the room you want to snag.
(photos: Alasdair & Jenny)
part one, part two, part three, part four