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Monday, September 20, 2010

Jeju Adventure! (Numero dos!)

Aaron and I decided to take a last minute trip to Jeju-do this weekend!  So, Friday, after work, we jumped on the ship and headed south!  This was the view of the harbor, in Busan, as we were leaving on the ship to Jeju!  We left at 7pm and arrived in Jeju at 6:00am!!

We reserved a 10 person room on the ship, which really probably only could have fit 5 people comfortably!  We had heard nightmare stories of people being in these rooms and having tons of old korean men and women, drunk and staying up all night, acting crazy!  So, we were really excited when we realized we didn't have ANY ROOMMATES!   While we always like to have funny stories to share, we were more than happy to have a quiet room to get some sleep in! 

We arrived in Jeju as the sun was just coming up!  So, we jumped on scoot and headed for Hyeopjae Beach, which we had read was great for camping!   When we arrived, we knew this was the perfect spot, and set up camp here, right on the sand!

Aaron, being the mountain man that he is, played Bear Grylls all day and fashioned a spear out of a piece of wood he found on the beach!

... and then went out into the water...

... and caught himself a nice lil crab! 

and then... a fish!  I couldn't help but laugh the whole time, as this fish took a good 5-10 minutes, and 15 or more attempts, for Aaron to spear!  We both had a nice celebration dance when he finally speared it!  (Sorry for all the animal rights people out there reading this!  We did end up laying the fish in a pool of crabs and smaller fish for them to feast on though... so, technically, we helped the other sea creatures, right?!)

Since Aaron didn't spear anything worth cooking, we walked into town and found this "Big Burger" restaurant!

... and when they say "Big Burger" they aren't kidding!  This was actually the "couple burger!"  There was one even bigger for families!

mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

After lunch, we went back out the beach and did some exploring in the tide pools!

and then Aaron drew a nice picture for me!  (With no probing on my end!  Yes, he really is this sweet!)

On the other side of the street, from the beach, there was a big park called "Hallim Park." The signs at the entrance alluded to the park having beautiful waterfalls, palm trees, peacocks, lotus flowers and all things tropical!

Unfortunately, it was a bit misleading and this was the most beautiful thing the park had to offer!

What experience isn't complete without a picture!

After only about an hour, we decided we had seen enough of the place and headed over to the nearby grocery store to pick up some food to grill for dinner!  We ended the night with a humble campfire on the beach, grilled hotdogs (which were paired with small dinner rolls!), and a bowl of grilled potatoes, carrots, peppers, and onions!  mmmm, delicious!

We woke up early in the morning as the sun was coming up, jumped in the water and chatted for a while, and then decided to have some breakfast down the street (rameon, a tuna kimbap triangle, and some strawberry waffers!  It's how we roll!)  We loved our little spot on the beach, but decided to pick up camp and move up the coast!  First stop was mysterious road!  We didn't get a good video of it, so I found this one to show you how it works!  It basically looks like your driving uphill, but when you put your car, or in our case, scooter into neutral, it rolls forward, appearing to be rolling uphill!  It's really awesome!

We found this beautiful road off to the side, and snapped a quick picture of scoot!  What a trooper this little scooter is!  He has gone over 2,000 km's already!

We couldn't help using the timer to catch these pics too!

We had heard a lot about Loveland; from friends and co-workers who had been!   It's basically an outdoor sculpture park which opened back in 2004, focusing on all things sex!  The park's website describes the location as, "a place where love oriented art and eroticism meet."

After the Korean War, Jeju island became a popular honeymoon destination for Korean couples, because of it's warm climate. Many of the couples had wed because of arranged marriages, so the island  quickly became a center for sex education.  

In the late 1980's, a travel writer  reported that some hotel employees on the island even performed as "professional icebreakers," featuring lap dances and other erotic elements, to help the newlyweds relax.  

It was a bit shocking, to say the least, to see all of these sexually oriented statues in Korea, since it's such a conservative country!  It was even more shocking to see just how many koreans were at the park!  Groups of women came together and giggled about the statues!  Young couples came and stared, some with babies strapped onto their backs, and once in a while, we saw older korean couples wandering the park hand in hand!  Besides an oversized penis sculpture, when you first walk in, this is the sculpture that welcomes you into the park! haha

For the sake of keeping things fairly clean on this blog, I'll leave you with this picture, and you can just imagine what the rest of the sex-action-sculptures were like. :)

Aaron and I had a contest to see who could jump the highest! ***

He was the winner!

Go this way!

Anyone thirsty?!

After we had had enough awkward laughs, we decided to mosey on over to our favorite Mexican Restaurant on the island, Zapatas!  Aaron took me here for my birthday last time we were in Jeju-do!  mmmm, Quesadillas!

Then, it was time to head over to find a new camping spot for the night!  We scooted over to Hamdeok beach, which we had heard was great for camping, but when we arrived, there were hundreds of people on the beach, and it just wasn't what we were thinking when we set out for a nice quiet camping spot!  So, we continued up the coast to Sinyang Beach, but it was just the same as Hamdeok, so we decided to head over to Sunrise Peak!   

By this point, we were both dirty, sweaty, and desperately in need of a shower, so we decided to forego camping for the night and checked into a Min bak along the coast!

*** As a side note, a small dog, with rabbies, was convulsing and foaming at the mouth in the Min Bak parking lot when we arrived and actually died as we stood checking in.  Very, very sad to say the least.

On the positive side, the place had windows overlooking the ocean and perfect views of sunrise peak!  The sun went down shortly after we arrived, and the blue sky was gorgeous!

We took a nice walk through town to find Black Pig for dinner... a specialty in Jeju.

We found it, and it was not quite what we had in mind!  There were literally black hairs poking out of the skin of the meat!   eeehhhhh!

In the morning, we woke up to a beautifully sunny day and a nice view of Sunrise Peak!

We packed up and headed over to climb the peak!  This is us, halfway up!  By this point in the day, the sun was blazing, and everyone coming down the mountain was literally dripping in sweat, so we decided to only climb half way up!  Call us lazy... we like to think of it as being a hygentically smart choice!

The view of the ocean was stunning from the peak!  We climbed down to the beach below and watched old Korean woman pick fresh abalone out of their shells to serve to visitors!

After climbing, we headed inland in search of another campground... but were unpleasantly surprised when the "campground" turned out to be a glorified park with tennis courts, perfectly manicured lawns, and all the amenities one could find in a large city!  So, we continued on our way and headed for Jeju City!  

At this point, we both new our idea of camping was not going to be a reality in Korea, so we made the best of our last day in Jeju and wandered through the markets...  This was a group of women cutting up HUGE frozen fish!

Then, we indulged in some Dunkin Donuts (Aaron's idea)!

... and then drove over to the harbor to load Scoot onto the ship and head back to Busan!

Our room was much nicer, and bigger on this ship!  Aaron and I claimed the corner of the room and played cards most of the night...

... while our 3 roommates watched TV!   It was actually really cool because everyone spoke English, and 2 of our roommates were Buddhist monks.  (Well, one was a woman, so she is technically called a nun.)  You can see her in the mirror of this picture!  Her name is Ann, and we chatted for a while about her life.  She became a Buddhist nun when she was 22 years old.  She's 37 now.  Her friend was a Tibetan monk, and they had traveled to Jeju to do some mediation hiking.  They actually hiked the HUGE mountain twice in 1 day (a 9 hour hike each way!)

We arrived back in Busan at 6:00am this morning, and were sad to have said goodbye to Jeju, but glad to be back home! :)

1 comment:

  1. I am always so excited when you post. I need to get off my patoot and write! Then again, starting in two weeks I will have TONS of time for that. :)

    Sounds like a great trip :)