Friday, August 20, 2010


With enough energy to spare, I offer this:

Hwasun Beach. Perhaps my favorite beach in all of Jeju. Despite the shortcomings (electrical power plant to the east and dirty Olle Trail No. 10 winding its way through), the new water park for the tykes, the naturally cold lazy river running through, massive sandy area, and environmental landscape offer something different.

Camping on Hwasun. On arrival to Hwasun, the marine police came out on a boat and asked us each what were our names, just to be sure. As if they were about to confuse us with the other two foreigners swimming and kayaking around Jeju. At first, I was hesitant to tell them I was camping, feeling naked as a jay bird; they had no worries. They had no worries; I had no worries. I chose my spot next in front of the metal reinforced (if the North Koreans were to invade) box stealthily camouflaged.

Departing Hwasun. Early in the morning, a polite, young Coast Guard gentleman came out and asked me for some information for his log book. English speaking, better yet, English phone conversation skills, were a plus. He was joined by two other members before we got in the water. They all wished us luck and shook our hands.

I can only imagine what ... The crew inside the marine police or Coast Guard vessels are thinking when they watch us. My kayak was all over the place today, bouncing, turning in any direction it wanted. The wind was out whipping in all directions. They must get tense, when in choppy waters, Sherrin and I are obviously talking to each other, and not swimming and kayaking.

I'll make an open bet. No one else is ever going to swim around Jeju. Maybe the same goes for sea kayaking around the island. If someone does attempt to, the government will somehow put a stop to it, citing safety concerns and the extra use of government manpower.

Pacific Rim Park arrival. Here is what the sand looks like we landed on. No words needed.

Camping at the new jewel. Pictures below. The kind women at the Sangmo haenyeo pad allowed us to store most of our gear overnight.

Best laugh of the day. Walking the streets of Moseulpo, to find supplies, Sherrin and I witnessed a little boy, maybe three years old, with his pants pulled down, going tinkle on a tree in the sidewalk, on the main street, while his parents watched and there were tens of people around. One of my co-teachers said to me a while back: "Steve, we Koreans are marvelous people." INDEED!

What is Korea's national sport? True, it is taekwondo (or perhaps Starcraft). However, I would say smoking is a close second. I am sitting here at a PC bang, while this Korean young man is powering through cancer stick after cancer stick. If I could speak Korean, I would tell him to forget about inhaling, rip off the filter and start chewing. Go for it fella! The computer baseball game you are spending hours on can't be that stressful.

R.I.P. sunglasses. Upon yesterday's awful shallow-water landing and capsizing, my sunnies never surfaced. I now am sporting a 7,000-won pair of ocular gems from a local mart. My last pair were 1970s Ray-Ban from good friend and Virginia neighbor Pete, who received them from his dad, a certified pilot. For synchronicity's sake, I found out this same day, Pete moved down to Florida to care for his ailing dad.


1 comment:

  1. G'day!!
    Wow! Amazing!
    You're doing really good Work here in Jeju.
    Very Good idea to get attention of people to the enviorment problem in Jeju.
    I hope you finish well in safe.

    I heard about you from Mr.Kim(JW)
    I hope to see you someday to hear your story.