For the first two hours of today’s ride I steadily climb switch backs. It’s hard work but the views make the effort worthwhile. The higher I climb the less rice I saw. Farm buildings sit between fields of vegetables, including some huge white radishes. And kim chee wouldn’t be your national dish if you didn’t grow a lot of cabbage. By the smell of the cabbage it is ready for harvest. Everywhere I looked my eyes feasted on autumn colours breaking through the green. And endless mountain ranges cut by deep valleys running off into the distance.
At around lunchtime, right when I was starting to daydream about eating a big juicy steak with chips (not going to happen here in Korea), I came to a little market. I still don’t know what it was about but I did manage to buy some chicken on a stick and some other random meat stuffed with something white. I have no idea what I ate but it was mashissosoyo (delicious – I am trying to learn some Korean words).
Belly filled it was time to hit the final climb of the day. A long 5.5km at an almost constant 7% gradient with some 9% pinches that took me up to a pass at 1,013m (3,300 feet). Had someone told me that this was going to be here I would not have come this way, and look what I would have missed then.
I head downhill for over 15km and back into rice country. A farmer has hung their rice harvest on the roadside guardrail to dry. I suspect I will see more of this as I travel further south and deeper into the harvest season.
At around 2:30pm I spot this cute building next to a small shop. I’m not in a town but I think the sign says that this is accommodation. A closer look at the website on the sign shows the word ‘pension’ in the website address so I take a punt at organising my first Korean accommodation that I didn’t book through an English-language website. A bit of ‘lost in translation’ later and I hand over KRW60,000 ($AU/US60) for a fantastic large apartment with an incredible view from the balcony.