• Day17

    In Search of a Horse

    September 16, 2019 in South Korea ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    My walk this morning takes me past the covered bridge. Yes! There is a covered bridge. I have only ever seen the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and am only aware of the covered bridges in the US so I am keen to see it. I arrive early enough to capture it as a silhouette against the eastern sky.

    Today we decide to go further afield. Our host has given us a couple of suggestions so we head out with our maps and sat nav to find them. The first is described on the map as Holy Ground. We head up the valley for about 10 kilometres and after parking, set out on foot through gently ascending gardens alongside a running stream. We are about to turn back as my legs are starting to protest when we spot a small bridge ahead through the trees. Only a little further on there is a pavilion set against the forest backdrop. Such a tranquil place.

    The next spot on the map our host had said is beautiful. Her lack of English and my lack of Korean had limited the description to this solitary comment so we thought we'd check it out since it was nearby. We had no idea what we were looking for apart from "three-storey pagoda" and once again were about to turn back when I spot a sign directing towards exactly that. We turn into a very narrow street in a village that quickly takes us out the other side along an impossibly narrower road. At this point we are having serious doubta but there is simply nowhere to turn around. We are committed. It is only a few kilometres of nailbiting road, worrying whther our wheelbase is narrow enough not to land one side or other into a pond. We seriously scrape one side of the car along some fallen branches. At the end of the road we find thankfully a muddy, grassy patch large enough to turn the car around. As for the pagoda, there must be some cultural or relious significance that is completely lost on us. I have seen more impressive examples in garden centres. On our way back out I get out of the car to attempt to move the dead branches out of the way. These are evil branches with thorns along their length and in between the thorns is covered in small prickles. With Richard's help we shilft the branches enough to get the car through.

    Our next destination is an ancient village about half an hour away. Described as historically significant we envisioned something picturesque and huddled together. We found a large spread out site of mainly thatched and mud daub cottages intermingled with the now familiar hanok style dwellings. The heat of the the day combined with our lack of information or a guide of any kind led to our jaded interest. We stopped for cool drinks before I went off to take some photos but we found it difficult to muster much enthusiasm.

    We return to the same place as yesterday for the same lunch because we loved it so much then Richard heads off for a sieasta and I go in search of a horse. I walk up into the retail district and find nothing before stumbling on a small gift shop where the only items I find are a key ring and a fridge magnet. I am disappointed as it is such a spectacular horse and would be a wonderful addition to my other horses!

    Later in the afternoon we return to the bridge to see it in the glow of sunset. Across the road is a nice spot to have a couple of beers.
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