I don’t know, I reckon every day of this walk was amazing in its own way, even the hot ones, the long ones, and the long, hot ones. Even that first half-day with the garbage-strewn beach, even the pain-wracked ones near the end — and the ones like Day 5 where I had to stay on my toes for hours to avoid becoming roadkill…
I was alive, I was free — it’s hard to articulate it beyond that. I’ve been on a buzz ever since I completed this walk. I wake up feeling almost smugly satisfied; I have a new optimism about my life here and the future.
It’s quite sickening, actually…
I woke at 3:30 with light rain falling on my face.
Damn it, I really needed sleep. By the time I’d woozily packed everything but the groundsheet, the rain had gone and I lay back with my head on my pack, nodded off, and was woken by footsteps and an old farm woman staring down at me as she passed.
I saw I was only 20 miles from Pohang. An easy day.
I walked half of it along Rt 14, climbing steadily over a range…
..dodging 25.5-ton dump trucks loaded with gravel screaming to and from the highway construction.
It was nerve-wracking as verges were tight, weedy or non-existent — and those trucks FLY. But I felt great, very strong despite my four hours of sleep.
Pohang is a big port city famed for the presence of the state-owned POSCO steel works, one of the world’s largest. I could smell POSCO long before I arrived, a rotten-egg odor that hangs beguilingly over the town. It took an hour to walk past the plant.
Cicadas were dropping dead all over the footpath.
I got a hotel room for 40 bucks, washed and napped, and went out to enjoy the spectacular lights of the steelworks sparkling along the breezy river.
Hey, no TV for five days, remember?
I’m very tired now and must sleep. Tomorrow I think I’ll hit Rt 7 and slice my way coastward a lot further north. I really liked that lovely farmland of the last couple of days…
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote