Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Geumganag River Trail

Like a ton of extra well cooked roast duck confit, an extra-long weekend hit us here in the humorously unhinged hamlet of Hongseong. A combination of our University's music festival on Thursday and Friday, and Buddha’s Birthday that Monday gave us a nice stretch of a few days for an adventure. So, despite feeling a little tired and emotional on Thursday morning after festival mania, we geared up our bikes and away we went for 4 days of river and coast cycling and camping.

At the bus station in Hongseong

We got a bus from Hongseong to Daejeon. From there, the cycle track starting along the Gapcheon river, and changing to the the Geumgang river cycle path, took us continuously for 170km to the coast at Gunsan. From just East of Gunsan we had about 145km of beautiful country road and coastal cycle lanes that took us all the way back to Hongseong via Daecheon beach, where we camped for a night. Here are a few photos of our journey...

The sun was searing! At the end of the journey Stef's back looked
the opposite of what it does in this photo

A bus stop pit stop

Cycle lane on stilts over the river.
 There were long stretches of the cycle lane made of elevated board-walks over hanging the river. Twas great!

 At one of the stamp stations (for stamping journey log books) along the river there was a cool-box full of ice and drinks with an honesty-box next to it. Amenities in South Korea never fail to amaze me.

Camping under a bridge
We struggled to find somewhere to camp on the first evening and then found this little platform next to a bike park  under a bridge on a side loop off the main trail. Perfect. We even had the sound of a stream and frogs having sex to lull us off to sleep

I wonder was this dude doing the entire trail. Hard core... literally!

About 100km in

A dedicated cycle lane under a bridge

Stef bombin' hills!
 Some parts of the trail winding though the hillside are really impressive

A ramyeon and a beer at the end of the day

Estuary crossing at the end of the river trail

Sunset at Daecheon beach, Camp 3

Me struttin'!

Crossing mud flats

Near the end of our trip we stopped in a pagoda for a water break in the shade and this man asked if he could join us. He whipped a container of water melon out of nowhere to share with us and told us how his parents work the surrounding land - mostly paddy fields. He is a nuclear engineer who comes to help his parents farm at the weekends. A thoroughly happy chap he was, and a pleasure to chat to!

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