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Cactuses, white sand and views of Biyangdo punctuate the island's northwest coast[Jeju's Trails] Day 23 of a 1,200 km journey recording Jeju's hiking trails, oreum (volcanic cones) and Olle courses
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승인 2011.10.01  15:55:17
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
▲ Photos by Steve Oberhauser

For a complete list of Steve's Hike Jeju articles please click here and as always you can send your feedback to Steve and The Weekly on our Facebook page. —Ed.

The Journey
These are the top 13 sites in sequential order for Day 23: Jeoji Community Center, Olle Course No. 13 finish / Olle Course No. 14 start - Nanum Herb - Olle reference point - Sunken path - cactus fields - Olle reference point - seaside, Olle reference point - seaside path - Geumneung Port - Geumneung Beach - Hyeopjae Beach - Ongpo Port - Hallim Port and Biyangdo ferry terminal, Olle Course No. 14 finish / Olle Course No. 15 start

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mart -- 7,200
Hallim sauna -- 4,000
fruit stand -- 8,500
GS25 -- 7,400
PC room -- 15,000
Total -- 42,100 won

3 liters Pocari Sweat, a lot of hard tack, 1 can fish (gongchi), 3 gimbaps, 2 bags potato chips, 2 apples, 4 small hot coffees, 3 cans Orange Fanta, endless amounts of water

Thoughts from Day 23
Course No. 14. The top two reasons to go are for the cacti and beaches. Cactus farms explode like weeds out of rock and soil cracks around the path. The duo of Geumneung and Hyeopjae beaches with Biyangdo as a backdrop is a nice closer, a few kilometers short of the course’s end at bustling Hallim Port and its city where all is available. Albeit, the putty that holds these sites together in the form of other attractions is not a strong enough bond to give the trail remarkable status.

How far is it?
I can count on both hands the amount of people I have seen pass me who are doing an Olle course backward over the last four weeks. During the middle of Course No. 14, a young woman had no idea how long it was to Jeoji Oreum (my start, her finish). I broke out my map and hand-written kilometer notes. When I told this hiker, who was carrying nothing, she had about eight kilometers left and at least three hours of walking over rough and troublesome terrain, she started to pout, and probably endured. Enough said.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Natural Monument No. 429. This little area along the coastline south of the two beaches in Wollyeong has a pristine boardwalk. It only lasts for about 10 minutes. Further north is certainly not worth the look, unless a person wants to analyze thousands of pieces of washed up sea debris. The focus is on the cactus in Wollyeong where National Monument 429 blossoms. The sign reads villagers planted them along stone and house walls to prevent snakes and rats from entering. Medicinally, they reduce inflammation and fever. Also, no one knows why the cactuses (cactus or cacti) are here on Jeju. It is postulated, a seed could have floated along the Kuroshio Current or more likely a person brought the seed and distributed it on the island.

Geumneung and Hyeopjae beaches.
These are what they are. Beautiful in all seasons. Shallow waters in compacted white sand spread generously with more sand than people space. Geumneung is much smaller to the south, but Course No. 14 goes along the coast on approach and there are several spots to enjoy before actually hitting the beach. The course also goes the way of the connection path between the two beaches.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Hallim’s colors. Port towns are usually raucous with behavior. Hallim is no exception. There’s a bit of a non-local flare as more and more jobs in the fishing industry are not done by Koreans, rather gone to darker-skinned migrants doing the dirty, dangerous and difficult occupations. Hallim is three shakes vibrant, two shakes grit, and one shake surprise. At the end of Course No. 14 sits the ferry terminal for Biyangdo. For 4,000 won roundtrip, a passenger can leave Hallim daily at 9 a.m., for a 14-minute ride to Biyangdo. The boat next departs the island at 3:16 p.m. On Saturday, there is an additional departure from Hallim at noon. A marvelously clean ferry terminal, probably since it sees little use.

Sling bag contents. I’ve never been a gear guy. This is it, for the public record. The last of what I am carrying for the Olle trip revealed. I have gone through my green bag, and the towel. The third item I am carrying, and most important, is a sling bag. It used to hold a tent, and has Camptown written on the outside in orange letters. Inside this bag are many things such as a smaller clean clothes bag, holding two small towels and disposable men’s innerwear and socks. All other loose clothes in the sling bag are swimming trunks, T-shirt, short-sleeved collared shirt, and Miller Lite pajama pants. Next, I have a pink plastic bag and water bottle, two safety kits, two hygiene kits, an umbrella and a wallet. Everything together, the two bags and towel, weigh maybe seven kilograms or about 15 pounds.

Inside the pink plastic bag and water bottle. The pink plastic bag holds five things: an emergency wind-up light source, compass-mirror-dry storage device, Aquatabs (water purification tablets), all-in-one spoon, fork, knife, and bottle opener tool, and last, a whistle-compass-flashlight combination device. Inside the water bottle is two ponchos, one emergency heat blanket, waterproof matches, flashlight, extra AAA batteries, and a small fold-out gadget with a knife, scissors and nail filer.

Inside the two safety kits. Basic, what you can imagine. Spare set of contacts, plastic gloves, Band-Aids in all shapes and sizes, anti-septic ointment and tweezers, different gauze and wraps, tape, insect and spider bite ointment, various alcohol sterilization packs, anti-snake venom (just kidding on the last one).

Inside the hygiene kits. Various soaps and shampoo, lotion, deodorant, bug spray, bug lotion, about 20 anti-septic towelettes, dental floss, contact lens case, contact cleaners, glasses, glasses case, glasses cleaner, cotton swabs, and toilet paper.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

The rest. Friday is a rest day. The weather is ominous and it looks like a visit to Biyangdo will not be possible. I will give a full report on the dying state of saunas and tangs outside Jeju’s two major cities, soon, where I spend a lot of my off time. So, four days remain with five courses to cover. Course Nos. 15, 16 and 17 (finish at Dongmun Market in Jeju City) together on Saturday and Sunday; Monday will be the newest Olle Course, No. 19 from Jocheon to Gimnyeong (with long connection walks both ways); and finally, Tuesday, Chujado’s undulating course along with special appearances by Jeju Weekly co-workers. Finish Part 1 of Hike Jeju.

Sept. 29, 2011
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