Is that a bike path I see?

May 31st, 2009 by scott and becky

76 km, 5 h

We were both feeling rather sluggish at the start of the day – the result we are sure of colds that we are trying desperately to avoid. Fortunately, our bus ride to the south west of South Korea brought us to some much less busy roads. We started off on a minor road that brought us through the artificial lake at Bomunho Resort. As we rode up the hill around the lake, we passed many recreational cyclists out for a ride around the lake, including several on tandem bikes. We certainly received a lot of puzzled looks and waves of encouragement.

To avoid the tunnel on highway 4, we had to climb for about 2-3 km up over a hill. We were surprised at how tired we were finding ourselves, so we opted for an early lunch break. Becky was in desperate need for a coffee, but unfortunately the “coffee shop” turned out to be a bakery with an instant coffee machine with no real coffee to be had :(.

Taking a closer look at the map, we decided to forgo highway 4 as it would bring us too far north, and we were hoping for a little less of a climb further south at highway 14. We jumped onto highway 7, which was a little busier, but had a nice shoulder and a gentle downhill slope. At highway 14 we turned off, but missed the turn in the small town and ended up back on highway 7. When we took a closer look at the map, we decided not to turn back to highway 14, as is involved at least a 200m climb (we could see the foreboding hills in the distance). So back onto highway 7 and the gentle downhill slope.

About 10 km outside of Ulsan we noticed a bike path. For the first 5 km it followed along a river. It was very reminiscent of the Ottawa River pathways except the river had very little water. After the river the bike path remained, although at times it was no better than a sidewalk. We followed it for 20 km, before turning off onto a less busy road. Unfortunately, that less busy road took us through a large series of industrial complexes. There was at least 20 km of beach front industry – yuck. It was a big relief when the industry stopped and we passed through some green fields before entering Jinha Beach.

In Jinha Beach we found a lovely sea side community. There were a ton of hotels in town, for the most part they were a little older and less flashy than any of the ones we have seen so far. We looked at one, which had a nice large room for 35,000 Won. The second one we looked at also had a large room for only 30,000 Won. The room was clean but rather than LCD monitors and TVs, they were CRT – not a big deal for us.

Sadly, neither of us were in the mood for seafood, which is what this town specialized in. We decided we needed to try out a Korean Fried Chicken place. The chicken was good, as fried chicken goes – certainly less greasy than KFC, but they did not serve anything else – no rice or any form of starch. We ended up picking up a couple of boxes of crackers at the convenience store. Overall, dinner was a bust – oh well, you can’t have yummy Korean BBQ every night!


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