Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Perfect Weekend

What makes a perfect weekend? Is such a thing even possible? Well I'm not sure but what I can tell you is that I had a close to perfect weekend this week and I thought I'd brag about...I mean share it...with you guys ;)

We travel a lot here over the weekends. Jecheon is only big enough to keep you entertained in small doses, and the need to break free strikes often. I'm grateful for this as it forces me to see as much of Korea as possible - and although we tend to frequent Seoul a little too often (the shopping, need I say more?) this weekend was beautifully different. In celebration of a special lady's birthday (no matter how much she said it wasn't for her) we (and by we I mean Esti, she did all the legwork) decided to spend Saturday and Sunday on Jawol Island. Here's how it went :)

We caught the 7.35am bus to Incheon, where we had some lunch before boarding an hour long ferry to the little island. It was amazing! I love being on the water and Su and I sat outside on the back of the boat soaking up the sun and fresh air. We were a little concerned about weather as although it's been as hot as hell here, it's also been overcast and threatening to rain. But this weekend saw clear skies the whole time, we could not have been luckier! We finally got to the island and were blown away! So picturesque and secluded, felt like we had the island pretty much to ourselves. Our pension (Oakfield Village) was up on the hill and we had the top rooms, which although heated up like ovens, provided us with lush views of the sea and beaches. We could not wait to get into the sea so changed, left our bags behind and hit the beach. As I've mentioned (can anyone tell I'm struggling with the summer??) it was too hot to function so we were lucky to find a shaded gazebo to leave everything under and we spent the rest of the day alternating between sea, beach and shade. The tides there were incredible - when we got there the tide was moving out and we literally had to walk for miles before we were even knee deep (waist deep for me) in the water. Koreans are not huge swimmers though so the lifeguards made sure we never ventured too far - the minute we felt like we could actually swim, we were told to come in. But never mind, we still made great use of the watermelon ball and frisbee we bought. Was so much fun just messing around in the cool, calm waters. There were no waves and I felt more like I was in the Vaal Dam then in the sea.

Unfortunately, on the way out to waist level waters, we hit a few rocky patches and some injuries followed. Although I cut my foot enough to make me uncomfortable but not seriously, Cola did a good job of shredding her foot on some shell covered rocks and was promptly taken to the local hospital but lifeguards in skimpy speedos (and lemme tell you they were TINY...the speedos...). On a quad bike. We weren't there but it sounds like quite the experience, and she came back with a bandaged foot covered in a surgical glove. This caused many laughs and really only she could do something like that. The story goes she told Estelle she wanted "a glove, but like for your foot" and Estelle's very logical response was "So a sock?". But no no, Nics meant an actual glove. Chop. This meant she wasn't allowed in the water so she had to make do with building sandcastles. *There are photos to follow at the end of the blog...for some reason I'm having troubles uploading them so it's easier this way.

We eventually tired of the sand and so head to the pension to clean up and get some food. The options were limited, being a tiny island and all, but we hit the luck with delicious  rotisserie chickens and samgyupsal which turned out to be RIBS!! Beautiful pork ribs!! YUM! We knocked all that back with the standard beer and soju mixes and then went to shoot some fireworks on the beach. It was the most awesome day and by 11pm we were all knackered and decided to turn in. The next morning we were going to wake up to watch the sunrise (again I use the term 'we' lightly...I had no intention of being up unless someone physically forced me up) but the weather wasn't ideal that early so we all got to sleep in. Once up and about we made our way to the beach for brunch and more sunshine - although this time Su was the only one really brave enough to soak up those powerful rays. All too soon it was time to shower and change and head back to the dock to catch our ferry home. Su, Nics and I stood on the back of the boat and really enjoyed the ride back - felt so rested and like we'd had an actual holiday! Getting home from there was an drivers tried to rip us off and then ignored us; all the buses to Jecheon from Incheon were sold out; the buses to Chunju and Wonju were sold out. We booked a train which we then didn't make, took buses that were an hour when we expected 30minutes and eventually, thankfully, got standing tickets on the 10pm train from Seoul to Jecheon. We used our elbows when boarding though and managed to snag us some carpet so we sat the whole way home. Winning!! We got home at around 12pm, all exhausted but happy. It truly was the most amazing weekend getaway.

A HUGE thank you to Esti for organising it all. It took numerous phone calls and Korean translation and research to sort it out and I know I speak for all of us when I say we really appreciate your efforts.

And to the birthday girl Su, the loveliest 25 year old I know...생일 축하!! I hope your weekend away was as close to perfect as they come <3

The beach

The foot glove

The sandcastle

The pension from the beach

Sunset on an island

Ferry ride

The lovely birthday girl <3

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