Thursday, 20 August 2009

Day 819 - Andong

We left a day late from Gyeongju, not that we are in any sort of rush whilst we are here in South Korea, it was just that Christine was not feeling well, she qas running a slight fever. I appreciated a day of complete rest, it is just a shame that it was at Christine's expense. I suspected another day would have done her good but she wasn't going to have any of it, she insisted on leaving, so leave we did. On the way out we stopped at several places to try and get some CR2032 batteries, you could get them everywhere in Japan, but here they are more like gold dust. We eventually found some, where else in Korea would you expect to find them, it was obvious really?.Tesco. We made our way out of town on the busy route 7, then turned off onto the also busy route 28. This was a cyclist's nightmare, you enter a busy dual carriageway in the fast lane, fast irritable drivers from the side, fast irritable drivers from behind, hands or horns, but what did they expect us to do? We eventually got across safely, of course we did otherwise I wouldn't be here writing this. We were soon off onto a little side road heading for the folk village of Yangdong. We parked the bikes and started walking and were immediately confronted by a television crew that wanted to interview us, "Can we ask you a few questions about the village?" they asked us, "We haven't even seen it yet?" we replied and told them they could ask us questions later. I suspect they homed in on us as we were the only foreigners around. The village was established in the 15th Century and consisted of about 150 houses from mansions to traditional wooden houses (photo). It is still lived apart from the houses of historical importance and all can be visited, so long as you pay a little respect to those living there. Every effort has been made to leave it as it was, so there are no restaurants, just a couple of traditional cafes. It was fairly spread out, it was taking its toll on Christine, so we ended up finding a nearby little store and sitting outside of a long rest. After a bit more walking we went in search of a campsite, and easily found a nice spot near a reservoir, though it was a bit of haul up with the bikes, it just about finished Christine off for the day. Things got worse, as I adjusted the tent there was a horrible crack, it could only have been a pole breaking. Thankfully a carry an emergency repair kit that contains a short sleeve which thankfully seems to be working.

I think we were both suffering a bit, we didn't get up until 10am the following morning, I slept pretty well the whole way through, even then getting up was a struggle. The plan was to just take it gently and see how far we got, no rush to get anywhere. We were entering apple land, gone was the rice, here it was orchards everywhere. By early afternoon we hadn't got far, though we had been over a small pass. We decided to find somewhere to camp and finish early, but when you plan that, it never happens. We covered another 20km before we found somewhere, it took an age checking out various spots which turned out to be unsuitable. In the end we chose the least bad spot, but it certainly wasn't a good spot. As we cooked we still didn't realise just how bad a place it was, then at 7pm there was a very loud bang, a gas gun that was about 150m away but still incredibly loud. It was going off every minute, each time it made Christine jump so much that she spilt soup over her. She doesn't like the slightest noise, so this wasn't going down well at all. The interval increased between the blasts, but in the dark we went in search of another place to camp. We located a site by another apple orchard, the gun was still loud but much better. As we packed away to move the blasts continued, each time Christine exclaiming a loud "Arrgghhhh!!!!!", "Have you been hit?" I called out, but sometimes my sense of humour just isn't appreciated. She also refused to believe that I could possibly sleep through it, but I slept though it all in our new spot.

We were away early the following morning, but not before people were already out and working in the orchard where we camped. We started with a climb, though Christine was feeling stronger and coped well. I had felt lethargic the previous day but felt back to normal, it felt great to be cycling. We turned off the main roads onto small roads that followed a river the whole time (photo), it was cycling at its best. Every now and then we were passing orchards, the apples looked great, a couple even found their way into one of my bags, they had been so close to the road that I didnŽ≠™ even have to get off the bike. Now doesn't that sound better than just saying I stole them? We stopped in a village for lunch. We didn't bother with a restaurant, it fact we haven't used one for a few days now, Christine had completely lost her appetite, sure evidence that she had not been well. In almost every village there is an open sided pavilion where the locals gather and chat, so we ate a snack there. Whilst we did so the guy across the road brought some iced coffee over, very welcome. Thankfully we had an afternoon on the flat, we were running as normal and made good progress, though for the second night running we had a lot of trouble finding a suitable spot to camp. We eventually went for a spot beside an orchard and a stream, the stream was great for a shower, the orchard was pretty useful too. We decided to sleep out in the open but gave up at around 10pm due to the flies and mosquitos, we slept in the tent inner only to keep them at bay. I woke up at around midnight, I felt absolutely terrible, I was sure I would throw up, though thankfully I didn't. It made for a long night, I had no idea how I would be able to cycle in the morning, I assumed I would have to try and get a lift to Andong which wasn't far away.

By morning I was feeling a lot better, I could at least cycle the 20 odd kilometres to town. It was hard work and slow going despite being on the flat. Once there I sat outside a motel while Christine searched out a suitable place for us to stay. Once unloaded I got into bed and stayed there the rest of the day.

Today I have been much better and I am up and about again. I suspect I just had the same as Christine, but I am a bloke, I had it much worse than her, or at least assumed it must have been.


dad said...

Perhaps your Garden of Eden experiences were withdrawn because you both ate forbidden fruit!!. So lay off the apples.

Cathy said...

Nine days!! That is all it took! I am completely flabbermeghasted :-)

Cathy said...

Especially when it was 2 years and 3 months in the making!!!! :-)