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Tuesday, September 29. Gangjeong Goryeongbo to Jaesong, Busan. About 200 kms.
The bike path is lit by green lights for a few kilometers. Sometimes I pass bikers going the other way. Then is just me, my bike, the moon, the river and the eerie Korean countryside. Hours later I reach Yangsan and buy water at the first vending machine I find. The city looks abandoned except for predatory taxis. I leave the river path and head towards Nopo at the northern end of Busan. Near PNU I get on the Oncheoncheon creek bike path. Elly meets me in Dongrae with a cupcake and candles to celebrate. I keep biking southeast to Suyong and cross the river at Gwajeong gyo. I arrive in Jaesong at 2 or 2:30am the night of my fourth day.
Monday, September 28. Sangjubo to Gangjeong Goryeongbo. ~100km.
Unfinished bridge pillar or brutalist Jangseung.
The breakfast of songpyeon that Elly packed for me.
Remote control cars in Gumi.
The Nakdong from Gangjeong Goryeongbo.
September 27. Chungju to Sangjubo following the Saejae bike path.
Budai in the shade. Danhosa temple, Chungju. Apples along the path. Tigers in the grass. Campers by the river.
The Nakdong under the Chuseok moon.
Saturday, September 26. Seoul to Chunju along the Namhangang bike path.
I take the night Mugunghwa train to Seoul. I arrive at 4:30 am and begin biking south towards the Han. I pass the high walls of the American military base, and the Dragon Hill neighborhood.
A Haetae 獬豸near Hangang Bridge.
As I cross the bridge, I hear a siren and look back. A small convoy of emergency vehicles enter the bridge behind me. They drive slowly. I dismount my bike and walk to the edge of the bridge. The water below is an empty field of darkness framed by a constellation of hovering window lights kept on by an army of hardworking Koreans.
From around an island, an emergency response speedboat floats quickly in my direction. It scans the water with a searchlight. They seem to be looking for someone.
I travel east. The sun begins to uncover the city.
Twenty seven bridges cross the Han in Seoul.
Up ahead the unfinished Lotte World Tower rises in the morning haze.
Kilometers beyond the capital, camouflaged creatures meet me at the banks of the Han.
A city on the Han.
Gun emplacements guarding the waterway against possible northern aggression.
Lunch time. A cat and bikers outside a cafe near Paldang Bridge 八堂大橋.
Plenty of small roadkill along the path.
Railroad tunnels turned into bike tunnels.
Camels in the Korean wilderness.
Trees with tiny purple pumpkins.
Jangseung 長承 and Sotdae at Ipobo weir.
The day ends at Chungju Tangeumdae, about 120 km from Paldang Bridge.
The Nakdong bike path near Daegu at the end of my third day.
Pheasant restaurants in Suanbo.