I’m sure for anyone starting their cycling tour there is a big count down until the day they leave. For us, we had the idea for our trip around three years before we set off, we hosted numerous touring cyclists in Hokkaido, gathering lots of useful information, and we did a few smaller trips in Japan before the big off. Now it is a whole year on since we said goodbye to our apartment in Iwamizawa and our friends we had many fun adventures with in Japan. And what a year it’s been. There have been so many amazing experiences leading to it being one of the best years, but also one of the worst years with losing my Dad. With great loss it can put life in perspective, to try and live every day and make the most of this one opportunity we have. I have tried as best I could to do this.
South Korea has been full of surprises, pretty much all of them have been good. We started out with this idea of how easy it would be to ride from Busan to Incheon, and quickly with it being 633km directly along the cycle pathways. We were wrong, with unknown punctures and into a land where the language is alien to us it caused a few stresses along the way. Luckily the one constant on this trip is each other and supporting each other. Once we settled into things and finally sorted the wheel issue out, things turned around. We were back to relaxing and enjoying our path through South Korea.
October 27th – 30th. Seoul, Seoraksan and Incheon. 72km
A couple of days off the bikes over in Seoraksan National Park. We based ourselves in Sokcho city, about a 3 hour bus ride from Seoul. We camped on the beach for two nights and travelled into the park to do a couple of hikes. It was raining heavily when we left Seoul, but the weather was great for our time there, if a little windy and getting chilly overnight. A few photos:
October 23rd to 26th Jeomchon to Seoul 252km
I don’t want to jinx it, but we made it up to Seoul with precisely zero flat tyres since our last blog post. It looks like the rim tape was the problem. Our 24 hour break in Jeomchon was great for us too, as we were getting a bit fed up with the constant stop start, and worrying about when the tyre would go flat again. We had a relaxing hotel stay and made the most of the generous midday checkout time the next morning.
We also met a couple of other touring cyclists who we’d been following on Instagram. Tatyana and John from Singapore are here in Korea for a few weeks and coincidentally were staying in the same hotel as us. Another coincidence is that they were touring around Hokkaido over the summer and had been in touch with us through Warm Showers back in June. They travel light on their road bikes, so although we’re all heading in the same direction, they’re way ahead of us now, so our paths probably won’t cross again unfortunately.
October 16th to 22nd Busan to Jeomchon 358km
We arrived into Busan harbour on the ferry as the sun was setting. By the time we’d picked up our bikes from a weird side entrance in the terminal’s carpark, it was dark. And a bit scary. We weren’t in Japan any more.