A lot’s happened since the last post, so this’ll be broken into 2. First up – rafting and such and such in INJE.
Inje’s located in the far north-east corner of Korea, although we actually stayed in the beach side town of Seokcho. Between the two towns is a large and beautiful national park, amongst Korea’s best: Seoraksan National Park. We took the overnight bus, along with Blaise & Nayoung, from Busan to Seokcho, and thanks to some Dramamine managed to actually get a half-decent amount of sleep. We arrived around 5:30 am, and were met at the bus station by Sunny.
We stayed at an excellent hotel, more of a conference center actually, with nice big rooms, a jjimjilbang AND swimming pool in the basement, and trampolines outside! Sunny’s whole family was there, so we finally got to meet her father, and we also met her aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins. Our first stop was the downstairs jjimjilbang, which felt very soothing so early in the morning. Despite our exhaustion we didn’t sleep, just relaxed, and prepared ourselves (ha) for the raw squid & lettuce wrap breakfast prepared by Sunny’s mother and aunt. It was tasty, as tasty as chewy raw squid can be in at 8am on a dreary Saturday morning… :-).
We then headed into the national park, and hiked up around 800 meters to a high-point called Ulsan Rock. The climb was steep, and a bit slick since it had started to drizzle – but there was a helpful staircase for the worst parts… although the metal steps were actually harder to navigate than the rocks because of the rain. Koreans love their hiking – and Sunny’s parents are no different – they beat us to the top of the rock by at least 15 minutes!
The rain started to pick up, as we descended back down the path, past a small temple and a massive Buddha statue. We then headed to Inje to go rafting. By then the rain was pretty much pouring, but thankfully it was rather warm, and obviously being soaked while rafting isn’t all that unusual. Rafting was only $25, though none too challenging. Fortunately it was a lot of fun, the guide was good despite the river being packed with other rafts, and there were a few rapids and one big dropoff. It lasted about 2 hours, with the final stop being some freezing cold water coming down from a mountain that Liz adamantly refused (to no avail 🙂 to sit in.
Back to the hotel we went, thoroughly soaked, for a delicious dinner of pork lettuce wraps. We had a fun night at the hotel, culminating in some trampoline usage once the rain finally stopped around midnight.
The next morning we returned the culinary favor American-style by making our somewhat infamous spicy-tuna sandwiches. Let us know when we’re at your house – we’ll make ’em for you, too. Even the old Korean men, traditional food fans if there ever were any, ate the sandwiches, though we’re sure the would’ve preferred more raw squid if they had the choice!
The rest of our day was spent on an 8-hour bus ride back to Busan, we’ll spare you those details because it was simply too amazing to fairly describe.
So that was almost 3 weeks ago now, all our adventures with Anderson’s parents will be posted very, very soon.