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Anyone for Barbecued Goat?

goat road

Hi, all.

It’s hot. End of weather report. And as you can see, they don’t allow trumpet playing here, which is another downer.

I’m tapping this in the shelter and squalor of a former beachfront house that has been abandoned, ruined and completely degraded, though not necessarily in that order. It’s an utter hovel apparently used by uncouth fishermen and maybe wild boars.

But a fragment of extant roof provides shade and the lack of front wall permits the entrance of soothing breezes and the sound of breaking waves. It also enjoys nice views of the nuclear plant I passed earlier. I’ve been hiding from the sun and even napped sitting upright, leaning back on an overturned armchair. I think things are crawling into my pack.

My trip is going well and since this morning I have been in uncharted territory. Started at 5:00 from Haeundae yesterday; it was like hell with inner tubes. The ultimate performance-enhancing duo of latte and cheesecake sped me north to Songjeong Beach, which is normally pleasant but yesterday was the filthiest beach I’ve ever seen.

I was alternately laughing in astonishment, muttering “You…PEOPLE!” with increasing fury, and taking pictures in full view of all the crap that people had dumped right where they sat, hoping to shame them.

Further north, as the sun went down I was stymied by another army base which I tried to sneak round via the rocks but retreated before the searchlights came on or I fell to my death. Backtracked to the road which cost me an hour. Grrr.

But my luck soon improved when I met a local real estate agent called Chang who offered his fishing-village office to bathe and sleep. Trail magic on the first day, an excellent omen.

Started at six today, stopped briefly at three superheated beaches where the sound of crackling skin was tangible; swam at one amid schools of inquisitive plastic flotsam that nibbled, nudged and nuzzled my torso and legs to my, well, disgust. (I think there was some jetsam in there as well. I bloody hate jetsam.)

Anyway, time for an ocean bath and then I’ll hit the road and do a few hours into the evening. I hope to make Ulsan tomorrow and perhaps get a room even better than this one.

Until then…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

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14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carl #

    Hahaha, that’s what I like to see…some vitriol coming out of the old Goat! Well, my man, if you ever felt like an outcast and isolated in a foreign land, just consider.. what kind of country has roadsigns that deny Miles Davis?

    August 4, 2012
    • I’m gonna crank up ‘Kind of Blue’ and see what happens! Stay tuned for more vitriol tomorrow. I’m night-hiking now and the darkness hides everything vitriol- worthy!

      August 4, 2012
  2. What’s going on over there? Are trumpets so popular and clearly out of control that they’ve got to be banned in some places? What about trombones? Are they acceptable?! In between honing your tan, hopefully you can help me out with an answer!

    August 4, 2012
    • I don’t know, Greg, another impenetrable mystery of the Orient! I wish they’d ban jackass MCs at nighttime beach parties!

      August 4, 2012
  3. Alice #

    Although my skin crawls at the description of your shelter, I wonder if places laced with chemicals and disinfectants really are the same underneath.

    August 5, 2012
    • Alice, words couldn’t do that place justice. Generations of fishermen seem to have used the place as a dump. I did consider staying the night there but even by my standards it was grim!

      August 5, 2012
  4. True Goat territory here — the nuclear plant, the army base, the beach detritus, the righteous indignation. Excellent!

    August 5, 2012
    • Thanks, SW, though it occurs to me I forgot my favourite motif, the Snickers bar — and I’ve had four on this trip! I think that’ll be all though — they’re no good in a summer backpack. Actually I don’t have much appetite for anything except water and coffee.

      August 5, 2012
  5. That’s clearly the weirdest sign…is there a history of trumpet abuse?

    August 5, 2012
    • Well, it’s another one for my collection of weird street sign photos. I assume it means no truck horns, though telling a Korean driver to lay off the horn is a loser’s game!

      August 5, 2012
  6. There is a little one-horse town in Alabama that I travel through occasionally that has a large “No Milk Trucks” sign at the city limits. I have no idea what kind of terrible milk truck incident they have experienced, must’ve been bad though. Night hiking sounds cooler, a bit scary though, be safe!

    August 6, 2012
    • All those rattling milk bottles scaring the chickens?

      Night-hiking is the only sane way to do this. If they had real paths I’d be in North Korea by now!

      August 6, 2012
  7. Oh my. You make it sound so appealing. I am going to consider the network of footpaths in this country with renewed appreciation.

    August 7, 2012

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