At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Koreans have this right...

Our plans this morning depended on the weather.

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!

Guess who?

Kevin, and the scenery.

Ruth (gritting teeth): "Take the picture already, so I can get away from the edge!"

Nice photo.

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!

32 comments:

  1. I can totally see how the level of public toilet availability, along with the inclusion of toilet amenities could be a very useful matrix for measuring "being civilized". True.

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    1. It bugs us sometimes when you have to actually go looking for a public washroom and then when you finally find one, have it a mess.

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  2. We are catching up on your tour of Jeju Island (we were away for a few days). You are so right about the public washroom idea. Those in your blog look nice and clean. So much better than our job johnny's here! What an enjoyable hike - love all the rocks, greenery, foilage, scenery! Isn't it true though when you travel and you find a place you really like, you always wish for more time to explore? Thanks so much for sharing - love it!
    Connie & Barry in PA

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    1. It's funny but we have actually gone to a couple of places where there are actual squat toilets. That was a new concept for me, and even it was reasonably clean!

      The first section of that Olle Trail #7 was gorgeous!

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  3. We were so surprised by Korea..pleasantly! It was our second visit and our first outside of Seoul that opened our eyes!

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    1. It is a gorgeous country that is packed with amazing things to see. We really wish we had more time here!

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  4. the worst place I found in the US for lack of public washrooms was New York City. I couldnt get over it

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    1. Yep, we remembering it being hard to find a public toilet there as well and London, England is another hard spot to find one that is free and clean.

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  5. What is the weather like? It looks overcast a lot.

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    1. Other than last weekend when the edge of the typhoon went by the weather has been great. Most sunny skies with some clouds. It has been quite hazy at times which might make the pictures look a little more overcast then it really is. The temperature has been perfect, normally around 20-22C (68-71F).

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  6. I like hiking around water - not so many hills! I see by today's paper that you are getting cooler weather and possibly some showers! Temp. is 24 in Ottawa today!

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    1. Believe it or not, this section was classified as hard. There was quite a bit on incline to it at times. If you wanted to go down to the water you had to climb down quite a few steps and of course that meant you had to come back up them as well. There was also a section that was all rocky that made it a bit difficult for walking, you really had to watch your footing.

      The newspaper was wrong. The temperature was perfect and we had mostly sunny skies except for one big black cloud that hung over us for a short time.

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  7. as usual love your photos what a beautiful place. but I do have an issue with you...no more spider pictures..I still have goose bumps! never knew Korea was so beautiful and those oranges have my mouth watering especially now not feeling well...would love some of that fresh vitamin C

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    1. Thanks Donna, and we will try not to show you any more spider pictures, we'll try and find some snake ones instead! ;-)

      The mandarins are absolutely delicious here.

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  8. Replies
    1. Yep, we are really enjoying every aspect of our trip.

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    1. We'll have to post a picture of the "squat" toilets that I (Ruth) have come across a couple of times. That was a totally different concept for me.

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  10. Agreed! Went into a Valero station the other day. Two broken urinals, trash, filth and dirty black sinks. I don't understand it. I guess Americans spend more on military that basic sanitation.

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    1. Yep, gas stations usually have the worst toilets!

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  11. Loved the trail through the lush greenery! This looks like a beautiful place to visit - can't wait to see where you go next!

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    1. Jeju Island is in the sub tropics so it is very green and has quite a jungly feel to it.

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  12. So true about the availability of clean public toilets in NA ... we could learn from the Koreans. Great hike ... and so much wonderful scenery to enjoy along the way.

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    1. Totally agree about the facilities!

      It was a beautiful hike the scenery was amazing and it took us through several smaller communities which was nice.

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  13. Beautiful for hiking and just for looking at the great pix. As for the clean restroom facilities, I really do wonder at the differences in other cultures. And, you're right, we (North Americans) could vastly improve our facilities, if not for visitors, then surely for ourselves. every once in a while I'm pleasantly surprised to find a clean and stocked restroom in the most unlikely places.
    Be sure to read my posts about my daughter's conquering of the Grand Canyon. You two would probably like to do that hike someday - not in a single day, though!!!!!!!

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    1. We will check it out when we have some spare time, thanks Mary Pat. Kevin and I did hike to the bottom of the canyon and back out in January of 2006 but we didn't to the Rim to Rim and we didn't do it in one day either but we met an older gentlemen, who was in his 70's hiking to the bottom and back out in one day. He had been doing once a week for a long time. He was truly and inspiration.

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  14. Such a funny thing to be talking about on a blog but have to think the Koreans have it all over us with their public facilities! One of my major peeves are places that don't have "family style" restrooms. My DH is handicapped and I have to assist him, can get awkward taking him into the ladies room but you gotta do what you gotta do! When my kids were young, then grandkids,had no choice but to take then into the, guess what, the ladies again. A lot of males in my family have seen the inside of the ladies, LOL!!!
    Love the pictures you have posted, I didn't know anything about Korea till you and Ruth have blogged about it. Beautiful country.

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    1. As you said you have to do what you have to do. I have to admit in most shopping malls in the US and in Canada there are usually family toilets or ones for handicapped people but many restaurants don't have them.

      We are hoping that through our blog we can open people's eyes to other beautiful parts of the world and show that you can travel to them and around them without having a good understanding of the language. We are hoping that we can entice people to come and visit this gorgeous and friendly country. So glad that you are enjoying our travels.

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  15. Some more excellent scenery and a great hike you had.

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  16. Once upon a time I had to use the ladies restroom because the men's was being cleaned. I was astounded by the incredibly rude graffiti in the ladies rest room...

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    1. Somehow that just doesn't surprise me at all!

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