South-Korea - Hadong
Friday 29 may 2015.
Today we took the stoptrain to Hadong in the middle of the Mountains. The trip lasted 3 hours and from the station we went on foot with our luggage in the sun to our motel, only 15 minutes away. Hadong is a region, but the city itself is very sleepy. Though is seems to have a few 100.000 inhabitants. This would be one of the most slow paced moment of the trip. Time to relax.
After freshing up we took a bus to the plum factory. Actually this was more an afternoon walk as the Plum factory was open to visitors and you could stroll around the plumfields on your own. We just visited the visitorcenter where we could taste just a tiny sip of some plumjuice (and didn't buy any of the really expensive plum-products).
We walked a bit around and after a small hour we just relaxed at a viewpoint. There are lots of viewpoints in Korea woodenpagoda-like huts where you jsut can picknicnk or relax. We came a across a group of Korean tourists, businessman on a daytrip. The boss was the loudest but he shared the food with us ;-) A nice custom in Korea: sharing your food.
When we returned, me and my mate again strolled a bit through the city but so far nothing much to see. As we had to buy lunch for the next day we really looked in the supermarket for Kim bab. One of the workers pointed out the kim and then pointed at the regoin with al kinds of food and made clear we could buy this and make it ourselves....
not our aim. In a local small shop I asked Kim Bab and then the women took a paper the tried to explain. Together with a man that was in the shop. It took them 10 minute sto explain something really simple and the only words I could understand was policestation and bank and that it was not far from there.
My mate said He had seen the policestation already. It was just a few meters away lol.
Then there was the bank and then there was a small restaurant even called Kim Bab.
We entered and asked kim bab to take away. We had freshly made kim bab two big rolls each for 3000 won each.
That is like for free!!!
We were so happy and kept the food in our fridge in our room.
In the evening we went eating chinse :-)
The next morning we took the bus to the teaplantage. Plans had changed as to the rainy weather and actually we could do more this day, like all activities for which we normally would have split up.
And we enjoyed a really traditional tea ceremony.
After that we took the bus to one of the nicest temples in the Jrisan Mountain region: the Ssyangyesa Temple. There were luckily not that many people and the rain really was just a continous curtain of very small drops...not even to worry about.
We strolled the temple for an hour before we met at the pathway to make a hike to the Burill falls in the forest.
The climb was not that heavy and the temperature was really gone down so it was quite easy. Which did not mean we were not sweating. After a short time we were ahead of the rest again and yeah walking in the dense green wet forest with no sounds but our steps and sometimes a bird and woodpeckers I really become zen haha!
We saw those small Korean Squirells enjoying eating nuts! So funny! And at a resting point again some totems. The we had to climb more as the rain began to become a bit harder. We came across a temple and sheltered there. Everything was closed but there were clearly people lving here high up in the mountains. Suddenly a monk came out and invited us in to shelter. I kindly kinda refused but he opened a door and invted us in and disappeared. Then I realized and my companions also that we couldn't resist this invitation so we took of our shoes and got inside. Shortly after the monk returned with a watercooker and made us some excellent tea.... he hardly spoke English but seemd to understand it better and really did made an effort to listen and be interested in us. Actually this moment: having tea while sheltering in the Monk's premisses with the Monk was magic and a once in a lifetime experience.
Shortly after our other companions crossed the temple and were invited too. They had already been to the falls so while they were having tea, we wnet to the falls. I've seen bigger falls, but the Burill falls well the whole context and moment and place made it just perfect.
The way down went a lot faster still in the rain. and the forest was smoking clouds of the heat and the rain. So beautifull.
We joined after taking a bus the others who didn't do the hike at the folk village. Not so interesting actually but guess you needed to have seen it. I enjoyed the natural surrounding and agricultural scens and ricefiedls more.
In the evening with a few people that didn't want to barbecue we went looking for a local restaurant. The waiter didn't quite understand what we wanted. We pointed as always to the dish of our neighbours and made a sign of 7 persons.
Maybe they took that as 7 bowls... as they don't want mistakes he called his mother i guess.
Bulgogi it was, as the women said that one word I could understand. Then she came with a ordermenu in Korean... and made clear we had to fill it in... we hadn't got a clue.
We sat down figuring out how we could make the understand. As I was always doing the job I waited a bit, but then one of us stood up with the order, went to the neighbours explained in gesutres what they ate and made them point it in our order and we just ordered 2 bowl of that dish which would be sufficient for 7 people.
Then the boy was that and looked happy: this was something clearly reasonable :--) As always the food was excellent!
We found our mates sitting in a bar with overpriced smoothies (8000 won!! was by far the most expensive smoothie ever!!) So we closed the night and had a really pleasant relaxed day.