Eastern Korea ain’t flat!

June 1st, 2009 by scott and becky

50 km, 4 hours

We had ridden to Jinha Beach yesterday, planning for a shorter ride into Busan, but it turned into a much longer day than we had hoped. Twice we tried to get off the highway, only to be met by roads that were through roads on our map but were not in reality. It appears that South Korea does not put military bases and Nuclear power plants on the map. So, we ended up following roads that looked like they were through roads only to run into security pointing us the other way or large fences blocking our progress. Annoyingly enough, our map actually showed “Point of Interest” in these areas, but said points were inaccessible.

We noticed that there are several nice beach areas at the edges of industrial sites – such as Jinha Beach. We wonder if South Korea, which such little land, does not suffer from the “Not in my backyard” syndrome the same way we do in North America?

In addition to the roads that weren’t, as we entered Busan we discovered that it is a very hilly city. When we got to Songjeong, we searched for a way around the big hill, but there was none to be found. Automobiles had the option of going through a tunnel to get to Haeundae beach, but we had to take the scenic route over the large hill. Being the end of the day, we were tired but made our way up. The trip down definitely provided a nice reward for our hard work.

We had hoped to get to Haeundae Beach with enough time to take the boat over to the main ferry terminal in downtown Busan. That would have made for a shorter ride to the New Port to meet our ship. Unfortunately, we arrived in Haeundae Beach (the north eastern part of Busan) after the last boat had left. We found ourselves another nice love motel, opting to pay an extra $10 for a stellar ocean view (50,000 Won for a smallish room (still big enough for bikes) near the ferry terminal). We also learned that we could upend our bikes on the rear wheel when fully loaded – perfect for fitting them into small elevators. Now if we had only discovered this a few months ago!

We had also hoped to have time to visit with a Couchsurfing and Servas host in Busan with whom we had made contact. Unfortunately, with our late arrival today, and likely long day tomorrow, we were too tired for a visit and our time was definitely running short. Instead, we went out for a quick meal, and ended up at an Indian restaurant. Not quite the gourmet Korean fare we had been hoping for, but our other choice was one of the many raw seafood restaurants, and we weren’t feeling quite that adventurous today. (We also could have eaten at Outback Steakhouse or T.G.I. Friday’s, but declined).

We made contact with the NSB agent and were requested to arrive at the New Port before 4 pm. The GPS tells us that it is only 32 km as the crow flies, so we should have lots of time to get ourselves there tomorrow.

Elevation Profile
Download GPS Track in GPX format

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