Beach & Coastal Walking, Korea, Long-Distance Walking, Road Walking
Comments 6

And in Un-Breaking News…

..The bloody phone pulled a Lazarus and here I am, sitting in another park, in another seaside town, my wretched feet airing out and scaring the children while I tap. I was going to give you all a break, but thought I should use it before I (possibly) lose it again. Sorry!

It was a slow haul out of that last town, up to a roadside viewpoint called Dohwadong-San. Down below you could see the screeching madness of Rt 7, and I was amazed to think I’d spent a couple of days walking it. I was now, and remain, on a lovely quiet stretch of old road rebranded as the Romantic Road. It’s far less direct than 7, but undeniably safer and more picturesque.

Well, a couple of nice things happened up there. First, I glumly plugged the phone into the rest-room socket — and got the “charge me” icon. I suspect it’s dying, though, because two hours later it still wasn’t fully charged.

Meanwhile I met a couple of nice fellow travelers. A high school boy was going north on a bike, and a young woman was heading (naturally) south. We compared tales and I showed off my blisters and trail tattoos.

I descended, entering Gangwon Province, last one before the border. I was jubilant and wound up meeting two more walkers in Ho-San, nice guys from Seoul doing a weekend walk. But I had to leave them in my fragrant wake after our convenience-store dinner.

Man, that next section. Night-hiking alone puts you in some weird places. I did a couple of hard, fast hours on steep mountain roads, mostly headlamp-less, just following the white line, turning on the lamp for rare cars.

Over on the left, the droning advance of Rt 7 on its gargantuan limbs, headlights sweeping up over my road so that I kept spinning to face non-existent cars.

After six or seven miles my feet were begging for mercy. I entered a tiny fishing town called Shin-Nam, thinking some weird raptor was whistling in the night — it was fireworks going off in the harbour.

I climbed a hill in a harbour-side park, passing all these tall, dark sculptures. Found a little pavilion table under a wisteria-roof. Slept there in peace and dawn broke today over a multitude of huge wooden penises and sculpted male figures brandishing very impressive equipment.

I had just camped in “the only place in the area where the Korean phallic tradition continues…originally created to appease the soul of a dead virgin” (my guidebook). I hope she feels better now.

It was 18 miles here to the interesting fishing town of Samcheok. Along the way I did another stealth-charge outside a Family Mart, got myself lost and rained on and finally made the last descent into Samcheok:


I’m torn between doing more miles and finding a room here. Samcheok was a milestone I’d like to enjoy — plus it’s raining again.

I can reveal now, since it looks like I’m past the jinxing stage, and should make it, that my goal is Sokcho, last city before North Korea. I do have one more possible surprise to pull, though, time and contingencies permitting…

I’ll end with a country boogie I wrote coming into Samcheok. I was pissed off when I started it but buoyant when I finished, as I have all the music mapped out in my head and it sounds great there in my auditorium of one. It starts with the chorus:


Slack mappin’
Dog crappin’
Bad rappin’.

Toes bitchin’
Ass itchin’
Eyes twitchin’
Phone glitchin’
Plan switchin’.

Well I don’t know what’s up ahead
But it’s surely no bath and it’s surely no bed
I’m just walking this road up north
‘Neath the summer sun.

And there’s nothin’ much left behind
But a pretty bad job and a lot of bad times
But you’re gonna be the one —
If there is a one.


Well I’m walking this Romantic Road
The most un-romantic road that I ever knowed
Talkin’ to myself when I really wanna talk to you.

And I’m singing this stupid song
In the only stupid place that I belong
But you’re gonna be the one —
If there is a one.

(Just updated the WordPress app and now all my paragraphs disappear in “Preview”. I hope they’re all there for you — if not, I tried.)

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote


  1. Yep, paras looking’ good. I like the ditty. Might have to imagine a tune of my own so I can sing it all day and annoy the heck out of everyone 😉

    • Take it from me, Rachael, it’s awesome! Since losing my iPhone earphones my only music is my own. Luckily for me I’m a human jukebox!

  2. Alice says

    Love the post title, the Lazarus metaphor, and the boogie. Even when the road is not good for you, it is good for us 🙂

    • Thanks as always. I bitch a bit here and there but I absolutely love this life. If only someone would pay me to do it!

      That boogie is superb. If I could just get it from head space to stereo!

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