atsman (atsman) wrote,

Going South

I'm hanging around in Gwangju (Kwangju, according to the abandoned McCune-Reischauer romanization system). The Korean nation is celebrating its national holiday, chuseok 추석, on Tuesday, and we signed out for five days. As I've never traveled south on my bicycle, I decided to go to Jeonju 전주 (80 km away from Daejeon) and from that end to Gwangju 광주 (another 100 km).

I left my place in Seonhwa-dong, central Daejeon, at 9:00 in the morning. Had some workout when climbing up the Baetijae pass 배티재 (349 m above sea level) and a bit later at the Malgoljae pass. Had a cup of instant coffee on Baetijae and enjoyed magnificent view of the most spectacular Daedunsan Mt.

The weather was beautiful, I was in great shape, and my speed ranged between 35 and 63 km p/h, but surprisingly when I reached Jeonju three hours and five minutes later my computer display showed the average speed of 24.9 km only! Obviously, I'm bad in math. I never get right the numbers.

I was having my Jeonju dolsot bibimbab 전주돌솣비빔밥 when the whole area of central Korea was suddenly attacked by a minor typhoon, or a major shower. I was in no way going to suffer from typhoon. I headed for the intercity bus terminal and was lucky to take a bus, one of the daily six, which in an hour and a half took me and my bicycle to Gwangju.

The two cities are different.

Jeonju is a huge village, both physically and mentally. For example, my bus ticket had no indication of seat and time of departure. I went back to the ticket office and showed the ticket to the ajuma 아주마, and she blankly looked at me, barked "Two-ten" and then barked "Next" to the next client.

As to Gwangju, there's something wrong about it, I don't get it. It's big and it's cheap at the same time. 200 g of samgyeobsal 삼겹살, grilled pork, Korean style BBQ, is 5,000 won, while in Dajeon I pay 7,000 for 150 g, draft beer is 2,000 and it's 3,000 in Daejeon, pool is 6,000 (7,000-10,000 in Dajeon), and, finally, a decent motel is just 20 thousand won (40 thousand elsewhere in Korea). Anyway, big or cheap, I liked it.

Hopefully see you tomorrow.
Tags: Кванчжу, Корея с седла велосипеда, Чончжу, велопробег, транскорейский

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