Tandem Biking in Naminara Republic

Ch'unch'on Travel Blog

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Kim-bop picnic lunch

Arum and I got up early today since we were supposed to leave at 5:30 to head out into the countryside.  Apparently the threat of rain and debate from the previous night caused plans to be changed.  Instead of wherever we were going to go to we spent the day going to an island with Jihye.  For breakfast, we had some kim-bop (like Korean sushi but without the raw fish), which we also packed for lunch.  Around 10, we got a ride to the train and took the train into Seoul.  Then, we took the Seoul metro around the city.  We got off the metro and ran to the KorRail train that took us to the NE of Seoul to our destination.  About an hour later, we got off the train and took a taxi to the boat for the island.

Naminara Book Festival 2006

The island is the Nami Island, which a couple of months ago declared its 'independence' and established a new 'nation' called the Naminara Republic.  Our boat tickets were our 'visas.'  Basically it is an island that a lot of Koreans go to in order to enjoy nature.  It is in the middle of a lake and the boat ride over is quick.  On the island, we had our packed lunch at a picnic table in the woods, which was nice.

After lunch, we walked around the island and visited the Nambook festival where thousands of books that were donated by countries around the world were on display.  There were a lot of decorations like columns made out of piling a ton of books on top of each other.  I found Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the books donated by the UK.

Ostriches

Next, we rented some bikes to tour the island for 1.5 hours.  Arum didn't want to get a tandem bike but I knew it would be twice as much fun.  At first, it was hard since Arum was constantly scared and would make it difficult to ride.  We got used to it though and Arum was glad we got the tandem instead of two boring regular bikes.  It helped when I raised and tightened the front seat so the back handlebars wouldn't turn the front seat and the person in back wouldn't hit their knees on the handlebars.  Arum didn't like the front so I had to be in front and do all of the steering and control.  We did a couple laps around the island and went on almost all of the trails.

Jihye's legs hurt after the bike riding so she rested while Arum and I walked around a little bit.

Jihye, Arum, and Steve while biking
  We saw some big ostriches in a pen, funny-looking birds.  If they extended their necks, the ostriches were taller than me.  After a little bit, we walked back to the other side of the island and took the boat back.  We had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water.  We had some spicy chicken (similar to Buffalo chicken) that you cook yourself on your table.  It was good and I was happy that there were no bones to get in my way.

We took a taxi to the bus station and then waited around for a while before our bus actually came.  The bus took us to some city and we had to wait a little bit for the parents to arrive in the car.  We spent the time getting some free samples at the Lotte Mart.  Once back at the apartment, I had a green tea ice cream bar, it was pretty good but not as strong as the green tea ice cream yesterday that tasted just like the drink.

 

Steve

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Kim-bop picnic lunch
Kim-bop picnic lunch
Naminara Book Festival 2006
Naminara Book Festival 2006
Ostriches
Ostriches
Jihye, Arum, and Steve while biking
Jihye, Arum, and Steve while biking
Tandem biking is twice the fun
Tandem biking is twice the fun
View of lake from island
View of lake from island
Line of Trees in Naminara Republic
Line of Trees in Naminara Republic
Arum and Chef Steve with the apron
Arum and Chef Steve with the apron
Ch'unch'on
photo by: ZachSexton