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Dongmun Market is at the center of Olle crossroads[Jeju's Trails] Day 25 of a 1,200 km journey recording Jeju's hiking trails, oreum (volcanic cones) and Olle courses
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승인 2011.10.03  16:11:30
페이스북 트위터

▲ Photo 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 18 sites in sequential order for Day 25: Hangpaduri - Olle reference point - Olle reference point - Hyanglimsa (temple) - Gwangryeong, Olle Course No. 16 finish / Olle Course No. 17 start - Olle reference point - Olle reference point - Oedo Woldae - Iho Beach - Dodubong, peak - Dodubong, opposite base / Jangansa - Eouyoung, seaside - Yongduam Rock - bridge over Yongyeon, locks of love - Gwandeokjeong - Ohyeondan (altar) - Across from Dongmun Market, Olle Course No. 17 finish / Olle Course No. 18 start - Samyang Black Sand Beach

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mart -- 7,680
Family Mart -- 2,800
tang -- 4,000
hof -- 27,000
Total -- 41,480 won

a lot of pig intestines, Korean side dishes, snacks, soju and beer; various fruits, 6 bananas, 2 sandwiches, 1 cup noodles, 1 package choco Diget, 1 apple, bread, 3 cans Chilsung cider, 2 Vitamin C tablets, endless amounts of water

Thoughts from Day 25
Logistics. Here’s a quick rundown of the four concluding days on the Olle trails. On Saturday (Day 24), I went from Hallim to Hangpaduri, and finished Course No. 15 and more than half of No. 16. On Sunday (Day 25), I awoke from outside of Hangpaduri’s gate and went to Dongmun Market, which translates to completing Nos. 16 and 17. After a PC room visit, I walked to Samyang for dinner, drinks and a debriefing with a Korean friend, ended up in a PC room and wrote until I couldn’t write anymore. Monday morning (Day 26), I found the Samyang sauna to sleep for a few hours, walked to Jocheon for the start of No. 19 and found a PC room to finish writing this. The afternoon is for finishing Olle’s newest course. It was not a route when I walked this once barren, non-Olle area less than four weeks ago. Monday night, I will walk from the end of the course (Gimnyeong) to Jeju City, find a PC room, sauna and make it to the Jeju City ferry terminal by 8 a.m., Tuesday morning, to catch the 9:30 a.m., sea journey to Chujado (Day 27) with special guests to end Olle’s adventure on Jeju’s remotest island. Resurface back in Jeju City sometime Wednesday afternoon. Sleep.

Course No. 16. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Remember that expression? That sums up Course No. 16. I have found the bottomfeeder in all of the 24 Olle courses. The reason has to do with urban development. Three of the worst courses, in my opinion, are at the in-between, transitional areas between the city and countryside: to the west and east of Jeju City, and to the east of Seogwipo.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Course No. 17. This course surpassed all expectations I had for it. I did not find complete peace, love, and healing - certainly not my intention - on the Olle trails; however I fell in love with No. 17. Love at first site. It can’t compete with Seogwipo’s course. Yet, this course makes a great run through the center of the island’s most populous city. Starting at Gwangryeong, it goes through Oedo, Iho Beach, Dodubong, Yongduam and the historic city sites of Gwangdeokjeong and Ohyeondan before ending at the heartbeat of Jeju’s market life at Dongmun. Plenty more attractions were along the way.

Oedo. If a foreigner lifer has a point to prove (and I’m not sure what that point is), Oedo is the place to live in Jeju City. It screams chicness, urbaneness, trendiness and coolness all wrapped up in the Moonlight Plain. According to the sign, where the Dogeun and Oedo rivers unite, a view has been cherished for the last 500 years. Hackberry trees and pine trees overhang Oedo River and “the terrain is half-moon shaped in this area and when the bright moon rises it creates a stunning harmonious scene together with the fields and moonlight dancing on the water.” For the rest of the story, get out there and find this spot and the sign.

Attuned to what the locals are saying. I remember as a five-year-old child going to the zoo and watching the monkeys. I’m positive I told my neighborhood friends,” Look at the monkey! Look at the monkey eat bananas!” In Korea, and especially on the Olle trails, I have come to expect the mantra: “Look at the foreigner,” said loudly by Koreans as if I do not understand. I now have heard it all on Course No. 17. With no shame, as loud as can be, I heard a suited Korean man say in Korean to an accompanied woman, not less than a few meters away from me,” Look at the foreigner! Look at the foreigner do the Olle trail!” Entertainment, for them - and me.

Pack it in, pack it out. I saw a couple dispose of their “toast” wrappers over the side of an embankment along the coast near Eouyoung. I wish I could have asked them, “Why are you walking an Olle trail?”

Dodubong. If I had a Sherpa guide along for this expedition, I would have pushed for a folding chair and some ice at all times. On top of Dodubong, I would have sat down, leaned back, and watched the planes land at Jeju International Airport for hours. At Dodu Harbor, a great artistic fish bridge crosses over the water. In addition, clean bathrooms and a large rest area are at the base of Dodubong. On the backside, the Olle trail goes the way of passing the Buddhist temple, Jangansa.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Yongduam. There’s a first time for everything. I find the Asian region talks about rock shapes and figures all too often. Here is the same. For those who don’t know, and there’s plenty written in-depth in English about this: “Yongduam is a rock formation in the shape of a dragon’s head. The shape was formed when lava became solid as it flowed out of a volcano 2 million years ago. The rock is 10 meters in height and 30 meters in diameter.” For the full story, check out the accompanying on-site mythological sign or any Jeju Weekly story about this place. What I found to be most interesting was the Korean Harley-Davidson motorcycle club roaring through. Finally, it was great to see some real Hogs on the island.

Locks of love. I need to reference one of my favorite Jeju Weekly articles at “Lovers latch on to Yongduam.” Tired and down when crossing the bridge, my energy automatically and positively refreshed; it took less than a second, when I saw the locks to go from about a 12.5 percent energy level to a full 100 percent. Ah, yes. The locks of love! The deepest Jeju crevasse can only begin to express the unending love those locks represent. Powerful. Akin to the locks, I have found a similar liking for the call of the tripod, with cute Korean couples at different points that pass through the Olle trails. Picture taking is all the time, but a Korean couple with a tripod, that means they are in a whole different league. That’s a tripod couple.

Dongmun Market. If I had to choose one place that represents Jeju, Dongmun Market is it. Good choice, Olle team, for designing the course to terminate at the best everyday market on the island. I’ve had many interesting conversations with Koreans over the years about this place. Most people have memories, and most now prefer to shop at the big chain stores for food. Another dying tradition that may be revived as government action is always being talked about to improve this area. Those ideas are worth fulfilling.

Oct. 2, 2011

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
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