Yongmeori Coast, Seogwipo and surronding areas
Seogwipo Travel Blog› entry 301 of 658 › view all entries
People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip:
I had been planning to hire a motorbike on Tuesday, ever since i arrived on the island, so i was disappointed that the man listed in Lousy Planet said that he had none available. I therefore walked to the ferry terminal to ask at their information counter, if they knew anyone else that could provide the service. They gave me another number, which nobody answered and their only other alternative was to hire a car. Their prices began ridiculously high, i think it was 55,000won ($55) per 6 hours and there was no way i was parting with that sort of cash.
I left the terminal feeling defeated, until a taxi driver approached me and asked if i wanted a lift. I said 'no', then he said 'motorbike', and i began to nod furiously.
The people in the motorbike rental shop were nice enough, but they simply weren't going to hire me a bike. They didn't speak English, but had a sheet of paper written in English, saying they only rented bikes to people with a Korean license. I was now feeling really disappointed that i was back to square one. The taxi driver said 'car, car', but i shook my head, i just couldn't afford this option. But then he said '40,000, 24 hour' and once again i began nodding my head like a deranged fool.
He drove us out to the airport and within 10 minutes a man had turned up to meet us. The taxi driver waved bye bye and never asked for anything. I guess he scored a commission, but whatever he earned he thoroughly deserved and this was just another instance of how great the Korean people were that i had encountered in the country.
I was driven in a very nice car back to the rental office, where i signed some papers, and got shown to the car that we had just been in. I was surprised to be getting such a new model for the money that i was paying and kept thinking that there must be a catch in all of this. Nothing became apparent, so i drove off shortly afterwards.
My only concern with the whole transaction was that nobody in their office spoke any English, so when he had gestured to certain things, i was never really sure what he meant, so politely smiled and figured I'd fathom out any problems, if and when they arose.
I drove in an anti clockwise direction around the island and my one attempt at making a short cut across the island and along some country lanes, ended up with me getting terribly lost and confused, so i made my way back to the ocean road and followed that instead. Whilst been lost in the centre of the island, i noticed that my petrol level was on one bar, so i really needed to top up as soon as possible.
Back on the main road i came across a garage and pulled in, opened the gas flap and couldn't understand why the lady wouldn't put anything in. She kept saying no, and began to say a name, which made me realise that the car only ran on a certain type of petrol... bollocks. I pointed at the gage, she pointed down the road and showed on a map what looked to be somewhere very far away, i was screwed.
I continued along the road and stopped at three other gas stations, all of which said the same name, pointed in the same direction, but at least their time estimates were decreasing the more i travelled, so i knew there was somewhere in the region to fill up. Soon i came to the turn off for where i wanted to visit and i decided that it made no difference if i stopped or not, it wasn't going to change my petrol level. This was rather naive, as the site was quite a few kilometres from the main road, I was just digging myself into a deeper hole, but i have a skill at doing that!
I still hadn't eaten all day and it was 13.00 by the time i got out of the car at Sanbangsan mountain. I wasn't particularly interested in the mountain itself, even though it was rather pretty, i was actually there to see the Yongmeori coastline, which was accessible down a small path.
I spent 20 minutes by the cliffs and can't say that i was overly impressed, maybe I'm becoming a bit insensitive to some things having seen so much, at least thats how it feels sometimes. Like a junky, I'm always looking for that next fix to be better than the last one, or at least equal!
At the end of the coastal walk, i went into the ship, after all, i had the ticket, so why not. It was reasonably interesting to read about the Dutch captain, Hamel and his crew crashing on Jeju-do in 1653 and been held in Korea for many years, before eventually escaping to Japan. From here, they were finally put back into Dutch hands in Indonesia.
I started the car again and now there were no bars left on my fuel gage and i decided to just drive and wait for the inevitable. As it turned out, i somehow managed to make it to the gas station, running on fumes, and was so relieved. I stuck 25,000won ($25) in the tank and this got me another 3 bars to play with.
My next stop came in the south west of the island, when i turned off the road to go and look at Cheonjeyeon Pokpo, an impressive 3 tiered waterfall. I went down to the base of the cascade, before walking back up to the car park and then moving around the scenic area to a large bridge, which spanned a gorge. The bridge was adorned with sculptures of 7 nymphs and from up here, I received a birds eye view of the waterfall, which was pretty neat.
I hadn't seen a football stadium in at least 72 hours, so my withdrawal symptoms got the better of me and i headed to the Seogwipo World Cup Stadium next. The arena is an architectural gem and is said to be one of the prettiest stadiums in the World - well at least thats what the FIFA president Sepp Blatter said when he viewed it, and i must admit that it was rather breathtaking. The roof of the main stand was beautiful and from the outside it looked like it could be some sort of intergalactic craft!
Back to nature and on to Cheonjiyeon Pokpo, a 22m high waterfall that had a scenic path leading to it. The fall wasn't actually that impressive here, but the food vendors were. Some battered sausage and potato snacks on a stick, with a splodge of tomato sauce were excellent, or was it just that i hadn't eaten all day? Maybe a bit of both.
The weather was pretty dreary, so i was happy to be back in the car and heading around to Oedolgae Rock, which is also called Lonely Rock, I'll let you figure out for yourselves how it got its name ;) I enjoyed walking around here as there were also some scenic outlying islands and it was free!
Last stop of the day was Jeongbang Pokpo, which is said to be the only waterfall in Asia that flows directly into the sea. At 23m it was pretty enough, although there were large crowds of people, making the most of the fading light. I'd enjoyed my trip around the coast so far, although due to nerves with the petrol, starving myself for half the day and been in a constant rush to see more, i feel like i tried to do too much in too short a time and possibly didn't appreciate everything i was taking in as much as i could have.