Saturday, October 19, 2019

Day 22, Leg 19

Today's walk was only about 18 km, but it included a scattered series of hills. I'm at my campsite now, having arrived at 3 p.m. as predicted. I encountered some people on my walk: an older Korean gentleman who apparently can walk over 40 km a day, and a young English guy from Manchester who began a long bike trip in Japan and is now working his way up from Busan to Seoul.* Another Korean guy stopped his bike and handed me a fresh persimmon, which was sweet and ripe despite being firm. I forgot to mention that I encountered a Korean man during the rain yesterday; he offered me hot coffee, which I declined since I don't drink coffee. He also told me that this was his third year biking the Four Rivers Trail: he's been section-biking it, bit by bit, over the past three years.

My campsite isn't ideal. I'm not next to the river because I don't need to have access to water, which is one of the advantages of bringing bottled water. But my site is on hard concrete at the end of an access road that branches off from the bike path and goes out close to the river's edge. None of the plant-covered areas in the vicinity are good for camping: the plant life is mostly tall, stiff, and dead, which would poke holes in my groundsheet. So I'm exposed to the hot sun for another hour or so before it's twilight. Despite being on concrete, I'm beset by all manner of little critters that want access to my backpack and bivy.

Just one night of this, I'm telling myself. I have another night of camping in a few days, but that place comes with all sorts of creature comforts: it's not real camping by any stretch. Tonight, by contrast, when I poop, it'll be under the stars.

I have pics to upload, but I'll wait until I'm safely in Namji-eup tomorrow before I slap them up on the blog.

*You can always tell a Western distance biker by the fact that his or her bike will be laden with gear. Korean bikers know you can cross the entire country by bike with nothing but the clothes on your back and a bottle of water, as long as you have money. If you can average at least 60 km/day, you'll always find a place to stay and something to eat. Western bikers, especially if they don't speak or read Korean that well, will pack a lot of gear on the assumption that they might not find food or a place to overnight. There's really no reason for that. On a bike, you never have to worry about camping or being out in the boonies.

ADDENDUM: here are some pics of me and my campsite.

Photo essay:


  1. damn, that does look uncomfortable. As you say, at least it's only for one night... Sleep well, or at least as well as you can.

  2. Some people do like roughing it/camping and saving money at the same time. I've met a few that go riding all over the globe. I just wonder how many of the foolhardy idiots make it through some of the not-so-nice for women, or westerner, countries unscathed.