It’s been three days since Jirisan and my msucles are still fucked. My calves feel like they’re full of lava and my left shin is so strained I’ve gained a turtle-like gait. I’m confused. It’s not like I’ve been hammering it everyday – just 30-40kms. That should be breezy right? There’s obviously some very different muscles involved in riding bikes and walking down steep hills.
Anyway, I’ve taken some measure to rectifying my lava-leg problem.
I’m in a Jimjilbang. I just spent an hour in several tea-scented baths swinging and arching my legs in the hot water while a middle-aged Korean guy, tattooed and incredulous, looked on. He didn’t seem to mind that my penis was hanging and flopping around like a circus snake – in fact he seemed quite curious.
Now I’m lying in the jimjilbang common room massaged and covered in skin lotion. I think I’m going to be able to cope with tomorrow.
Korea’s got heaps of bike paths. Everywhere I’ve been that’s big enough to be classified as a town has had them. Most have bike lanes on the foot paths, some have separate lanes and some even have specialised roads in and out of the city.
Suncheon, where I stayed last night, has the whole shabang.
The Suncheon bike routes go all around and in and out of the city. The southern route takes you to Suncheon bay, an expansive wetland speckled with necky birds, manicured hills and funky-ass smells.
I’ve taught myself how to read basic Korean and I’ve download some local navigation apps – I’m hoping the rest of my trip is going to look like this.
So many flowers! I don’t have any experience of anything else but May seems like a really beautiful time to be in Korea.
I’m feeling overwhelmed with the amount of friends I’ve made on this trip. I don’t mean people like Nicole, who I’ve spent several days with, but people like Jong-Jim, Joshua and Dicaprio who don’t really know me at all but fed me, housed me or helped me none the less. I’ve now got this ridiculously long list of emails that needs attention – some of them I need to send photos to or meet in Sydney and others promise more free accommodation and family.
I managed to convince Nicole to come with me to Jeju island. We’re waiting for the ferry now. Jeju is a giant volcano which comes complete with all the regular volcano side-kicks, beautifully fertile green things, epic scenery and really well grown produce, which I hope is getting excitably primed to party in my mouth. It’s Korea’s big attraction. Nicole is going to rent a bike and we’ll spend the next three days circumnavigating it.