Around Korea in 5 days- Day 2 Samcheok 삼척to Seoul서울

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Day two I wake up to leftover pizza for breakfast. I already have a plan for the morning. I have heard about a place called Penis Park. I have seen some pictures and figure it will be a good place to film. I realize I should have checked the location online the night before. I head to the bus station to get a tourist map. I wonder if it will be on the map. I find the station and the park is actually featured on the map. It is 30kms back down the coast. I hate going backwards on trips but for the Penis Park I will make an exception. The park ends up being on the ocean. There are not a lot of people around as it is a Tuesday. I wonder what the purpose of the park is and to be honest I still do. The park exceeds my expectation. I had seen photos but it was far better in person. It also gives me my first chance to experiment trying to film something with a more cinematic style.  I get a lot of filming done and head back on the road. Today I am headed to Seoul.

Day two I wake up to leftover pizza for breakfast. I already have a plan for the morning. I have heard about a place called Penis Park. I have seen some pictures and figure it will be a good place to film. I realize I should have checked the location online the night before. I head to the bus station to get a tourist map. I wonder if it will be on the map. I find the station and the park is actually featured on the map. It is 30kms back down the coast. I hate going backwards on trips but for the Penis Park I will make an exception. The park ends up being on the ocean. There are not a lot of people around as it is a Tuesday. I wonder what the purpose of the park is and to be honest I still do. The park exceeds my expectation. I had seen photos but it was far better in person. It also gives me my first chance to experiment trying to film something with a more cinematic style.  I get a lot of filming done and head back on the road. Today I am headed to Seoul. I will cut through the northern part of South Korea. As I head west toward Seoul I am greeted by mountains. The next few hours will be a slow ride through winding steep roads. The 125 labors up the hills and I have to keep my focus on as there are many steep descents and not much room for error. I am enjoying the road. My cornering is spot on. The scenery is amazing. I pass by a sign for the grand canyon of Korea. I want to go but the riding is slow and I don’t want to fall behind. I decide to keep riding. I stop a couple times to film the scenery along the way. Around one I stop for lunch in a small town. I have a quick lunch of ramen at a family mart. They have some tables to sit at in the convenience store. After a lunch I grab a coffee and sit in the coffee shop and watch outside. There is a traditional market outside. People too have stopped for lunch. Workers are sitting on boxes and crates eating together. I finish my coffee and head back on the road. A little whilelater I find a Buddhist temple. I stop and check it out. It is one of the more beautiful ones I have seen. It is set against the backdrop of the mountains. It is a beautiful sunny day. I get some great footage. I head back on the road. I stop one more time for some scenery footage. I go to shoot the footage but am having a problem with my camera. It has a flash drive but it says there is a file error and it won’t let me record any more footage. Now I am a little worried. What if I can’t film anymore? The camera also takes SD cards I pop one in and it records to it. Good news except it will only take 30 minutes of footage. I have to be really careful for the rest of the day. I can pickup up a bigger SD card in Seoul.  Around 3:30 I am less than 100kms to Seoul. The next town I hit was Hwaebg-seong. I figured I would take my time there and get some dinner. I found the bus station but unusually there was no tourist map. Next I hit up the city hall. They are very friendly and eventually they find a map and a couple people come down to help me. There actually is not much to see in town most of the stuff is at least 30 minutes out of town.  All of a sudden my extra time is disappearing. I head out to find a calligraphy museum. About half an hour later I see a group of brown tourist signs; I pull off the road and stop by them. No calligraphy museum but there is a sign for as Culture Park. I decide to try and find that as it is now 4:30 and sometimes the museums close by 5pm. Most museums close by six but in the country they will close by five. I find the place a few minutes later. I walk through a gate. It is a small area with two buildings off to my right. I walk up to the first one and the lights are off, I try to open the door but it is locked. A man comes out from a building by the gate. He smiles and goes back into the building and then comes out with a set of keys. He comes over and opens the museum and switches on some lights. I walk in and am greeted by the security alarm. The man runs back to his office and turns off the alarm and makes a phone call. I wish I was filming. It would have been good footage. Occasionally I have been asked not to film so rather than ask and get shut down. I will usually wait till I am alone in the museum and start to film. My camera is still packed away. The museum is small. It does have some interesting displays and I make the best of the filming. It is okay as I don’t have a lot of memory to spare. I leave and thank the man at the museum. I spend some time outside after trying to film an intro for the segment. One thing I learned after my fifth trip. Is to film my intros to segments last, that way I can know what I am introducing. After I finally get an intro that is okay I pack up and head to Seoul. About an hour later I am around 40km outside of Seoul. The traffic has changed quite a bit. So far on the trip the traffic has been light. Now it is aggressive and fast. I feel a little uncomfortable on the road and definitely underpowered on my 125cc bike. I decide to take one short break before I ride into Seoul. I pull into a rest stop with some restaurants. I stretch and set up my camera to shoot a short segment of my break. The one restaurant has a couple of small dogs that come out to greet me. After a ten minute break I get back on the road. I am excited and a little worried. I wonder if I will be able to find my way through Seoul. I fear that it could take a long time to get through Seoul. I am excited as I am, about to ride through the second biggest city in the world. I can remember how it felt to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. I realize that I am pretty fortunate to be here. It is starting to get dark and the traffic is heavy. I am on the number six highway. I decide to stay on it till hopefully I recognize something.  I start to hit city area. The traffic is really busy. About twenty minutes later I pass Namdaemun. It is then I realized I made it, I am riding through Seoul! Namdaemun is a historic gate at the beginning of downtown Seoul. In 2008 it was heavily damaged by fire. It was set on fire by a disgruntled man. It looks to be greatly restored now and is lit up beautifully by purple light. I ride through downtown. The traffic is lighter. I come across a sign for Sinchon. Sinchon is usually the area where I stay in Seoul. It has lots of hotels and good restaurants. Ten minutes later I hit the Sinchon intersection and know exactly where I am. I pull off in to the hotel section. I find a room for only 20,000. It isn’t pretty but it will do for sleep. I am surprised that I had not seen this place before. I decide to grab a burrito for dinner. There is a good burrito shop close by. After that I hit the sauna. My body could use a good soak in a hot bath after a good day of riding. I also need to get a memory card. It is ends up being an easy task as I am able to get an 8gig one for 30,000 on the street. Being in Seoul was perfect timing. I am able to back up my files and get my camera working again. Also now I have an extra memory card in case of any future problems. I go to bed wondering if my exit out of Seoul will be as easy as my entrance.      



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