April 22, 2017
We checked out of the JBis hotel at 9:30 and headed towards the river and the cycleway towards the Ara Waterway. Seoul has some great street art, we don’t think this is one of them.
What a difference two weeks makes. When we cycled towards Seoul, it was raining and cold, the cherry blossoms were only just budding and the spring flowers were only just poking their heads through the cold ground. Just over two weeks later and the cherry blossoms have almost finished, the tulips are in full bloom and the pansies are planted in their boxes and look lovely.
Today is Saturday and there were lots of people on their bikes and walking. There were people on rental bikes and others on high-end road bikes weaving their way through the slower riders. The speed limit is 20 kph and we broke the rules on a couple of occasions. Some of the roadies in teams were definitely going faster than 20, but everyone was staying to their side of the line including the walkers who had their own area to walk.
There was even mobile bike shops set up along the route.
It was a beautiful day and a great ride to finish our time in South Korea, we both agreed that we will miss this amazing country. Ralf suggested we get our visa extended and carry-on cycling, I was tempted. However, I have already emailed the greenhouse to let them know we are heading home and I can start work again. Our budget would allow us to stay out longer, even with the extra cost of a new camera and phone, we are under budget and have money left over. Well that can go towards the next trip, I am not sure where that is going to be. Chris, my colleague suggested Central America, but I think it will probably be back to Europe for a late summer, early fall ride along the rivers – Rhine and Danube. We will see and so will you.
We arrived at the Ara Waterway and took photos of the Start line. I bought a new map of the routes, as the one we were given with the passport has disintegrated. I am going to get it laminated, ready for the next time we come to Korea and do another of their amazing cycle routes.
On our first time passed the Big Blue cyclist we noticed the 3-D painting it was raining, and we couldn’t sit in the boat. Passing by it today, we were able to “sit” in the boat.
We had a quick lunch and then headed back to the Big blue cyclist to get back on the train to Incheon and our hotel for the next two days.
We got of the train at what we thought was our station and didn’t recognize anything! Yep we had screwed up again. We had got on the right train going in the right direction but got off one stop earlier than we should have. We were going to cycle to the hotel, but most of the roads are major highways and do not have shoulders or allow cyclists on the road!
Back on the train and one more stop, yes we recognize everything. The receptionist at the hotel recognized us and we are in the same room as before. The boxes are waiting for Ralf to break down the bikes and pack them (tomorrow).
I have been craving a pizza for about a week now. While we were in Seoul we noticed that the Lotte Market sold giant sized hot-pizzas, we were hoping that the Lotte market near our hotel did the same and it did. If you have ever been really really craving for something and then you get the chance to eat it, you have to be very careful not to inhale the food. The pizza was huge, 45 cms (18 inches) around. We managed to eat most of it, we left two large slices for lunch tomorrow.
Apart from one minor screw-up with the train – Note to self if you are going to come back to the same hotel make sure you know the name of the station. Not that it was the first stop after the bridge, because that first stop might change on a week-end. On a week-end the train stops at every stop on the route.