Saturday, 1 September 2012

Heading down to Geoje

Got up early today as my next location, Geoje was within 30 km and that would mean that I had an entire day to explore the place. Geoje was a place that my friend Sally had said I should visit, primarily due to its proximity to the coast. Cycling past a Tom Tom's coffee place, I realised that it was excellent weather to bike down, clear skies and such a short distance to my end point. Cycling past a bridge, I realised I was looking at the mountain I had been up the day before at TongYeong, as shown on a display board along the way.

Cycling along, I reached Geoje is a very short while, perhaps an hour plus and cycled in to a place that I had learnt offered the best options to view, the tourist information centre. Collecting my brochures and getting some advice, it was time to explore.

Entering the city area, I chanced up the historic park of Geoje POW camp and this definitely interested me. This place had many exhibits and images taken during the way, including even where the prisoners were kept. I had learnt a little of the historic battles fought in Jinju thanks to my two friends and that piqued my interest to visit this park.

Usually I would find a place to stay and then leave my bike in the room but this time was a change of plans. Luckily, the staff were kind to me and locked up my bike and belongings in a plastic box meant to store prams and other items. There was quite a crowd on that day and I definitely got the occasional stare walking in wearing cycling shorts and a camelbak.

The camp had been build to hold prisoners during the Korean war and had held inmates from China and Korea. Upon the end of the war, the camp had not been destroyed but converted to a park so as to remember the 170,000 prisoners held there as well as let us see the remains of the war, including tanks, trucks and relics. It was definitely an eye opening walk through.

Leaving the place, it was time to find a place to stay for the night. Visiting increasingly populated areas meant that it was difficult to find a place to pitch a tent and stay and I realised that many motels afforded decent stay rates of about 30,000 won. Checking in to such a motel, it was time to relax and unwind. Having been at Jinju for a few days, I had rested well and it was time to slowly pick up the pace. Walking around after a shower, it was time to walk around a little and grab a bite before heading back for an early night.

Time to explore Geoje a bit more tomorrow.

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