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Route 7 Revisited

crab

DAY 7. Hi, all. I’ll make this short to reward readers for sticking with my endless saga of asphalt, sunburn and depressingly little romance…

NEWS FLASH! I’d no sooner typed the above when an attractive young woman from one of the shops here just came out to my picnic table and said, “Excuse me, are you looking for somewhere to charge your phone?”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“We saw you walking around looking everywhere. And you were carrying this.” “This” being the iPhone cable. “You can come inside and charge it.”

“Really? Can I type while it’s charging? I have a public desperate for news of my various feats.”

“Excuse me?”

“Can I sit down and email?”

“Yes. Where are you walking?”

“Busan to ______.”

“Very far! How many days?”

“I started on Friday afternoon.”

“Almost one week.”

“Yes.” She led me behind a restaurant counter. It’s air conditioned in here; it will be hard to leave. “Yes, I’m… YOU SELL SUNGLASSES! I lost mine in the surf yesterday!”

“Which beach?”

“I don’t know, I’ve seen about a hundred.”

I plugged in; she brought me a chair.

“You’re an angel! Let me finish this and I’ll take a look at your sunglasses selection.”

And suddenly my short post has expanded prodigiously, no pun intended.

So…I went to bed last night under some trees, rather worried about today’s road-walk after the unpleasantness of the morning. But I had the best night’s sleep so far, woke to an explosive sunrise igniting the horizon and surf cracking and booming in the foreground.

Got going before 6:00 and DAMN — it was great. Busy as hell, but the verge was clearly defined and stayed that way all day as I passed hotels, “pensions”, and giant fiberglass snow crabs, the local specialty (the real ones, I mean):

20120809-151359.jpg

The sea sparkled on my right. I approached a motorcycle cop standing next to his machine, apprehension building; he smiled and waved. Half a dozen cyclists passed me, a very good sign, and once, a walker on the opposite side, heading south. I wondered if I looked as miserable as he did, I wondered if he was as happy as I felt.

I’ve walked 7 all day and the last few hours have been hellishly hot as the road left the coast and led me up and over a wretched series of exposed climbs. The traffic is constant but I just ignore it, thinking about ice-cream, women, and the oddness of life.

I am on course to do over 35 miles today, the longest day of my walking career. If I am to make my secret destination in time, I will need to do several 30-mile days — and I will do them willingly, because even with the heat and bouts of monotony I am having a blast.

Now, gotta see a woman about some shades…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ah I see, the old iPhone cable hanging out the front of the pants trick? That’s a new one, but I guess anything’s worth a go in these desperate times. Actually, it sounds like you’re looking more amorous with every sweating mile you knock off? At this rate there’ll be a, ‘Goat is going to live in Korea with a bevy of beauties’ post coming up…?!

    August 9, 2012
    • Don’t hold yer breath, Greg! I will say I do, er, look at the ladies a lot more on big walks. Regrettably most of the ones I’ve seen on this walk have been crook-backed elderly farm matrons. I’m sure they’re somebody’s type but not mine – yet.

      August 9, 2012
  2. Tim and Stephanie #

    Hi Goat, we’re enjoying reading about your trip.

    We are now in Inner Mongolia and far from any wifi, family marts, and love hotels, all of which we miss a lot! We are making up for it with bucket-loads of dumplings, and occasionally finding a hotel room with internet, and still pedalling slowly towards Beijing.

    Make sure you buy at least two pairs of sunglasses.

    All the best to Pole Megaton from Steph and Tim

    August 9, 2012
    • Hey cobbers! I owe you an email, so sorry! Inner freaking Mongolia – and people say I’M extreme! You two should have the blog – I’m just some loser traipsing down the road chatting up the occasional rest stop gal!

      Stay as safe as you can and I’ll email when or if this is ever done.

      Sincerely, Pole.

      August 9, 2012
  3. Oh dear — trail angels, new sunglasses, friendly policemen and morning glories. What’s happening? Things are going far too well. You need to do something about this at once, else you may slip irrevocably into a somnambulant state of contented ease. And that won’t do your writing any good at all. We want suffering, dammit, and we want it now!

    August 9, 2012
    • Well, SW, I hope you ghoulish trauma fans are happy that I’m limping now and it may be permanent!

      Still, I feel unaccountably cheerful. I’m losing you, I know. It was nice while it lasted…

      August 10, 2012
  4. You are meeting some very friendly and helpful locals on your trip. I am amazed that you are able to blog so profusely from an iPhone. The tiny keypad would drive me mad!

    August 10, 2012
    • It drives me mad too, Rachael; I’m always looking down to see the predictive text has turned my pathos into high farce. iPad would be the way to go if it was lighter and tougher!

      August 10, 2012

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