If it was nice and sunny with a clear blue sky, we were going to be headed up to the top of Mount Hallasan. No visit to Jeju Island is complete without a hiking trip to the top of the highest peak in South Korea.
And if the mountain looked too cloudy, we would do a hike along the coast.
It looks like we'll have to return to Jeju someday to complete our trip! The coastline had a nice clear sky, but the mountain was covered in cloud, so we decided on a hike along the coastal section #7 of the Olle Trail.
The Olle Trail is a mostly coastal foot path that goes completely around Jeju Island. It's approximately 422 kms (262 miles) of total trail length, and is broken into 21 main routes, with a number of sub-routes as well. Each route is between 12 and 20 kms in length.
We left from our hotel at just before 10:00am and we did a fair hike just to get to the start of the trail. In fact, we did some exploring, and then we did the final bit of trail #6 as well!
First stop along the way...
Jeju mandarin oranges have got to be the sweetest and most delicious in the world! Yummy! The smaller ones are 5,000 won ($5.50) per kilo and they are a little sweeter than the larger ones on the right. But we're quite happy with the larger ones.
Looking at the city of Seogwipo. Our hotel is circled in red. We're on the top floor! This photo was taken while crossing the bridge in the next photo.
This walking bridge leads to a small island that itself has a 1 km walking path. Of course we had to do that before starting our hike!
Kevin. Does he look like a tourist? Yep.
This little island has a lot of big spiders!
Check out the colors on this one!
We finished our little tour around the walking path, and headed back across the foot bridge to get ourselves to the start of trail #7. At the beginning (and of course end) of each section, there are public bathroom facilities. And we saw at least three more bathroom facilities along the trail itself.
This is something the Koreans have right, especially compared to North America.
I mean, what society wouldn't want an abundance of clean, free, public washroom facilities? Seriously. You tell me, is there anybody reading this today who doesn't agree? Every last one of you has been in a situation where you need to "go" and as a last resort you use a public bathroom. Because you know it's going to be terrible, right? And even worse, sometimes you actually have to pay to use it!
Well, not so in Korea.
We have yet to use a public washroom in Korea that is not in more than acceptable condition. And they are free, and they are everywhere (within reason!).
And even better, Ruth tells me that there are little urinals in the women's washroom, which totally makes sense. I mean, don't mothers run into the women's washroom when they have a little boy with them and daddy's not around? And some even have little tiny child sized toilets with a sink at child level.
What a civilized idea!
So...those of you who think that Canada and the U.S. are civilized societies? Wrong! Civilized societies provide an abundance of clean and free public washroom facilities for it's people to use!
There. Rant over.
On with the hike...
This is the direction we're headed.
We passed a lot of mandarin orange orchards. Most private residences that have room to have a yard don't use it as a yard. they use it to grow mandarin oranges!
I love this photo.
Came across these guys harvesting some mandarins. They had a neat system of bringing the crates down the hill.
We decided to take a side trip up a 180 meter (590 feet) high hill. Lush greenery, and bright yellow flowers. It was really pretty.
So, we arrive at the top of the hill, huffing and puffing a little bit. And what do we find? Exercise equipment! I mentioned once before that we have seen this stuff all over Korea.
Want to get your people into a little healthier condition? What better way than to supply them with free exercise equipment?! We have also seen this at some locations in Mexico. I'm sure it exists in Canada and the U.S., but we haven't seen it there yet. Here, we see at least two or three installations every day. It's in pretty much every park space you can find.
At the top of the hill there was a bit of a view. That's the FIFA World Cup stadium that was used for a few matches when South Korea hosted the 2002 World Cup.
Looking back at the bridge we started at.
Ruth: "Take the picture already!" Too funny.
Kevin, showing off the clear blue water.
Some of the lava rock makes some interesting formations!
Kevin, and the scenery.
Ruth (gritting teeth): "Take the picture already, so I can get away from the edge!"
There's a display (Why? Not sure.) with a popular Korean television show and Ruth went and played the lead character.
The trail is well marked.
Just follow the blue and red ribbons.
This was an entrance to private property. Love their statue!
Statue of female diver.
Another statue of female diver.
We passed by a small caravan park.
We've seen the odd trailer in people's yards, but have yet to see a motorhome. These trailers look like they are permanent installations.
Neat little harbor.
Near the end of route #7.
And that was it. We were exhausted. By this point it was around 5:00pm and we had probably done about 18 kms (11 miles). Really pretty scenery on this part of the island. Makes us want to come back here some day and spend a month hiking the entire circumference of the island. The routes are set up so that a lot of inns and guest houses are located at the beginning (and end) of each section, so logistically it would be easy to do!
Tomorrow? We're getting up early for another travel day. Stay tuned!