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An early favorite, Seogwipo's route is flawless[Jeju's Trails] Day 12 of a 1,200 km journey recording Jeju's hiking trails, oreum (volcanic cones) and Olle courses
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승인 2011.09.19  10:55:51
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▲ Photos by Steve Oberhauser

Contributor Steve Oberhauser has meticulously planned (and now will execute) an ambitious project to hike and write about all the main Jeju mountain trails, every oreum (volcanic cone) open to the public (about 150 of them), and assess every Olle trail, all in the span of about 50 days. Look for Steve’s reports over the coming weeks, and as always you can send your feedback to Steve and The Weekly on our Facebook page (Facebook.com/JejuWeekly). —Ed.

The Journey
These are the top 17 sites in sequential order for Day 12: Soesokkak, Olle Course No. 5 finish / Olle Course No. 6 start - Jejigi Oreum - Jejigi Oreum, peak - view of Seopseom, Olle reference point - small waterfall, Olle reference point - Sojeongbang Waterfall - Main Olle Trail Office - Jeongbang Waterfall - Big Blue 33, across from Seogwipo Elementary School - Lee Jung Seop Museum - Cheonjiyeon Waterfall - Saeyeon Bridge - Saeseom - Sammaebong, peak - Sammaebong, opposite base - close to Oeldolgae, Olle Course No. 6 finish / Olle Course No. 7 start - World Cup Stadium, Olle Course No. 7-1 start


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Spent
Jeongbang Waterfall admission fee -- 2,000
7-Eleven -- 6,200
Family Mart -- 4,000
PC room -- 1,000
Cheonjiyeon Waterfall admission fee -- 2,000
oranges -- 5,000
World Cup Stadium jimjilbang -- 20,000
Total -- 40,200 won

Consumed
1.5 liters Pocari Sweat, fried hard tack, 2 sandwiches, 1 bag potato chips, 10 oranges, 2 apples, 1 banana, 1 Vitamin C tablet, endless amounts of water

Thoughts from Day 12
Olle Course No. 6 puts the rest to shame. This is not said lightly. It has everything the other previous ones are lacking. And, I still haven’t completed the offshoot A Course or got to Oedolgae due to the course closure. There are three other courses (Nos. 9, Gotjawal’s 14-1, and Chujado’s 18-1) that may compete for different reasons. Olle Course No. 6 boasts two oreums (Jejigi Oreum and Sammaebong), three waterfalls (Sojeongbang, Jeongbang and Cheonjiyeon), the Lee Jung Seop Museum, Saeyeon Bridge leading to Saeseom, and incredible, constant views all around of Seopseom, Munseom, Beomseom and Jigwido. There’s narrow, heavily wooded, seaside paths. And more. It’s clean for the duration and there’s no need to look back after finishing. A hiker sees everything from all perspectives. There’s probably a reason I heard this is the most popular course.

▲ Seopseom from the Seogwipo shore. Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Two oreums. Jejigi starts the course early. At 400 meters in trail length, it shoots up quickly from the beginning with thick wood lumber for stairs and a simple circle path at the top with varying viewpoints of different locations. Although a quick high riser, that feeling is mitigated because of the gradual ascent. Save some energy for the last peak. Sammaebong is a bit overwhelming. It rises without any steps, only a road path, to access KBS’ structure near the top. It keeps on going and going and going and going. Strange, the view from here must be incredible when the foliage is a bit down in the winter. Now, it’s overgrown at the top. Luckily, after finishing, so does Course No. 6.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Two teaser waterfalls. One is Sojeongbang Waterfall. Obviously the lesser known of the trail’s three. It sits below the main Olle Trail Office. A black mark, that must be noted, is the refuse piled high at the base. Perhaps before or after descent there could be a wastebasket? That one is free of charge. Jeongbang Waterfall is not. For a 2,000-won entrance fee it falls 23 meters into the sea. Although if it’s directly into the sea, that fact can be disputed. A lot of people were here. The surrounding area at top is filled with tourist stalls.

▲ Jeongbang Waterfall. Photo by Steve Oberhauser

A and B routes for this course. In order to complete an Olle thru-hike, there are seven breaks along the entire route. This is one of them. Course No. 6 splits at the Lee Jung Seop Museum in central Seogwipo. I took the coastal B route and will find the museum again to do the A route after finishing course No. 7-1 (This starts at World Cup Stadium and terminates at Oeldolgae. To get to the No. 7-1 start is another course break.).

Cheonjiyeon’s park is thorough. Even the trees and some plants are labeled. The bridge is architecturally artistic. Again, a lot of people here. Home of the big tropical eel, anguilla marmorate. A can’t miss, near the ticket booth, there’s a picture (maybe from the 1970s or early 1980s) of a local, young woman holding a big fat eel catch and it extends the length of her body. In that respect, my how things have changed. The whole area is complete, since there is more than a waterfall and a take-a-picture spot.

Saeyeon Bridge leads to Saeseom. The recently created bridge is the corner piece of Seogwipo Harbor. Saeseom means “Sod Island,” according to the sign, as the green was grown to tie Jeju’s traditional thatched roofs. Not really a part of Course No. 6, there is an Olle sign encouraging to take an hour and come back and enjoy it. Good advice.

A second look at Cheonjiyeon. Is this the best of Seogwipo’s falls? Cheonjiyeon can be seen again (from afar) at Namseong-ri Community Center Park. This view came out of nowhere in a great, open expanse park. There were seniors playing some game I have not seen, a cross between golf and croquet, yet, it was not “gateball,” lacked wickets and the balls were orange with big dimples.

High marks for this course. What a blending of natural scenery and landscape with man-made wonders throughout the city. This route has a bit of everything Olle advertises, with culture and history. It has had the most English signs and information along the way, too. There seemed to be a bit more pride amongst the citizens where Olle snakes through the area.

Closure for part of Olle No. 7? There’s a sign that reads: “Jeju Olle Course No. 7 is closed temporarily for repair works due to [heavy] damage by the typhoon.” There’s no indication how much of the course is closed. I guess I will find out Tuesday.

A lone rest day at World Cup Stadium. It’s been 12 straight days of activity. Day 13 is a rest day. On Monday, I think in exactly 14 days, the 15 course segments left to cover, weather permitting, can be completed with no time breaks until Jeju City. Chujado is the very last course.

Date
Sept. 17, 2011
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