I wake invigorated by the fresh mountain air. After a short 800m (half mile) roll downhill to the park entry gate I return to the climb I had not quite completed yesterday. For the next 5km I ride up a steady climb surrounded by deep green mountain forest dotted by bright red and gold autumn leaves. Every time a strong gust of wind blows I am showered by leaves. I reach the first of many passes that I will cross through today. These do not have the height of those further north but they are still long hard-won climbs in a magnificent landscape. The road takes me from mountain pass to agricultural valley and back again. Over and over this motion and landscape is repeated. But it’s something of which I could never tire.
The road takes me to a wide river in a long deep valley. This will be the end of the real climbing for the day. There will still be some steep sharp hills but for the most part it becomes easier from here. The river is guarded by steep mountains with rocky outcrops and strange shapes. The water is clear and I can see the bottom even from high up on a bridge.
Before I know it I am rolling into Andong. After taking a room I upload some photos then wander through the nearby car-free sections of Andong to explore the sights and sounds. What I find is wonderful. There’s a lively culture with neon lights and happy people. Not far from my hotel is the food street where vendors sell everything including my favourite Korean food, the donut and also some of the big apples I have seen on the trees.