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Moving west out of Seogwipo, many things coming together on the path[Jeju's Trails] Day 14 of a 1,200 km journey recording Jeju's hiking trails, oreum (volcanic cones) and Olle courses
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승인 2011.09.21  17:16:54
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
▲ 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 ( —Ed.

The Journey
These are the top 19 sites in sequential order for Day 14: start of Olle Course No. 6 (segment A), Lee Jung Seop Museum - Seogwipo Market - Seogwipo park, spot 1 - Seogwipo park, spot 2 - Cheonjiyeon Falls overlook - close to Oeldolgae, Olle Course No. 6 finish / Olle Course No. 7 start - Oeldolgae overlook - path, Olle reference point - close to Seogwipo Girls’ High School - Sokgol - Beophwan Port - across from Seogeondo Islet - river and bridge, Olle reference point - bridge near Gangjeong - west of Gangjeong Harbor - Wolpyeong Port - palm tree forest - Olle Course No. 7 finish / Olle Course No. 8 start - sleeping spot, near Yakcheonsa

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PC room -- 13,000
Family Mart -- 4,000
Seogwipo sauna -- 4,000
Lee Jung Seop Museum admission fee -- 1,000
Family Mart 2,500
market -- 5,000
market -- 3,800
Total -- 33,300 won

1.5 liters Pocari Sweat, 2 sandwiches, 1 can of fish (gongchi), fried hard tack, 1 bag potato chips, 2 apples, endless amounts of water

Thoughts from Day 14
Lee Jung Seop Museum. The day started here. For a 1,000 won admission fee, visitors can look at works from one of Korea’s most renowned artists. The collection is a bit smaller than expected, but, I thought, all works were impressive and radiantly inspiring. I have met so many students and adults on the island who have no dreams. This is a good spot to reinvigorate or create some new ones. And thank you, Mr. Lee. I slept in your museum’s garden, on the comfortable bench beneath the large tree. I knew no one would mess with me, since I’m sure that bull of yours would have taken care of them.

Finished the last part of Course No. 6, segment A. This is the alternative course through the southside’s main city. It wends its way past the daily market and out again through the main park in Seogwipo. The flowers lining the central walkways inside the market were a nice touch. I find the area’s attractions here to be brighter than Jeju City’s various choices. Overall, Olle Course No. 6’s stock is rising, especially now with segment A inspected.

Fragmented Course No. 7. It’s seen better days. You’ve heard the expression, “ridden hard, put away wet,” for a horse. That description fits No. 7, as well. I’m not sure what typhoon did it, but several parts which run along the coastline are not passable and have detours up and around the area’s streets. In addition, the trail obviously has been changed as it goes through Gangjeong. It is true, No. 7. You’re not as good as you once were.

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

Gangjeong crossing. If you have not heard the news, there is a base being built for the Korean Navy in Gangjeong. The Olle course takes a modified way through the crossing and the protest camp and signs that are still present. For one thing, the area was peaceful. Not much noise from the 15 or so people still milling in the protest camp, or about the hundred or so police officers around the area patrolling, or the villagers farming and working. I saw a few glares from the boys in blue. For the record, I am not a day-late, international mercenary protester. The actual river crossing just east of the village was a highlight.

Oedolgae starts the day. The full story is worth the read, on several signs, especially about the part of General Choe Yeung dressing the rock as a giant military general in 1374. So terrified, the Mongol invaders committed suicide. The area is expansive to take in the site. I found this stretch to be Olle’s emerging capitalism base where most of these small vendors are selling exactly the same thing, primarily fruit, coffee, drinks and hats. This activity continues throughout Course No. 7.

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser

Sokgol. Several places around this path, freshwater and the sea come together. One such spot is Sokgol, according to the sign, “where a deep valley with plenty of water runs into the ocean. This is where the locals go for summer night out.” Luckily, it’s not summer and I imagine it’s better to experience the area in solitude. Another spot, east of Poonglim Resort, had a deep protected swimming hole with loads of firewood ready to be burned.

An island or islet? It depends on whether it is high or low tide. Seogeondo Islet can be walked to on a low tide or else a person has to admire it from Jeju’s shores. I had to admire. Literally, it means “Rotten Island.” Taken another way, when it is an island at high tide, it is an island. When low tide comes, the island-ness of it rots away or disintegrates. So, how about “Disintegrating Island”? A special thanks to a Mr. C for explaining that terminology.

Palm tree forest comes out of nowhere. This is a gold-star, hidden Olle destination. Just before entering Wolpyeong, a clean, flat walk through palm tree heaven presents itself. Experiencing is better than writing about it. Through the walk a sign appears that it is the “Gutdang (Palace of god) walking path.” Whatever it is, enjoy.

Retired near Yakcheonsa. I found a spot near a flowing river, Seongetnae. It flows out of a rock cave near the largest Buddhist temple in Asia. To hear the river again while sleeping is reviving.

Save the best story for last.
I awoke from Mr. Lee’s Museum garden about 5 a.m., and walked to a sauna (also not to get spotted sleeping outside where I was about to go four hours later), showered and tried to sleep in a reclining sauna chair before the museum opened. The problem was there was an older man sawing logs. He was snoring so loud and constant, he cut one stand of trees and moved to the next. I thought he was finished. Wrong, he changed from a Stihl to a Husqvarna model and mowed down a medium-sized forest. Korean male sauna behavior is incredible. All the efforts and noise to accomplish something so little, for instance, drying hair, is intense. Much more to come on these actions. And I know why there are no squirrels on Jeju. All have been swallowed. Think about hacking hairballs from a throat. ...

Sept. 20, 2011

▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
▲ Photo by Steve Oberhauser
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