Ibike Korea People-to-People Program

 

   
   

Photo essay: Goryeong to Hoeyang

   

Goryeong to Hoeyang (36mi, 60km) Scenic miles down a river and along a lake shore.
Points of Interest: Chicken farms, Confucian Academy, tourist recreation areas, Hapcheon reservoir

  While the Gaya Mountains are particularly tranquil, the surround rural area is pretty sedate as well.  After descending from the mountains we continued on through an assortment of picturesque agricultural valleys.
  Expressway toll booth Rice farms, HapcheonIt is a bit of a shock to come upon the toll booth at the entrance to the expressway, but it passed quick.  And, I am always happy to see vehicles heading off in a different direction and leave the country roads to the bicyclists.
  havesting rice, KoreaI am already struck by the esthetics of everything in Korea; the farms, mountains, villages, temples, bridges, etc, and then you come across rice bundled and drying in the field, waiting to be threshed.  Even this seems to be done with esthetic purpose, intent and flair.
  This hard working couple is using their iron donkey to help them thresh their rice (left).  We shared the experience with a camera crew from Korean MBC television (right), who is doing a feature story on the all aspects of bicycling in Korea.
  Every time I take another farmland picture I ask myself, "Why do I need another farmland picture?"  Answer: Because it is so beautiful it deserves to be acknowledged and honored with another picture.  These picture don't do justice to the beauty of the land.
  Hamcheon Lake and distant hills, Korea Park on Hapcheon Lake, Bongsan, Korea floating solar voltaic installation, Hapcheon Lake, KoreaBesides being a beautiful and relatively traffic-free ride, Hapcheon Lake has periodic points of interest: Outside of Bongsan is a new park [2011] that would lend itself well to picnicking.  Further down the lake is what appears to be a floating solar voltaic installation. While not unique it is of very limited application [2011].  The theory is by floating the panels it is easier to keep them point directly at the sun and the water serves to keep them cool enough to operate efficiently.
  monument is made with rubber tires The base of this monument is made with rubber tires.  It is a reminder of how little garbage or anything related to solid waste disposal (i.e. garbage trucks, land fills) we saw.  Besides this use of old tires, we saw non-motorized trails made with rubber asphalt. For a variety of reason not much garbage is being created, and things that have exhausted their primary use are efficiently being transferred to second uses.  In Japanese Buddhism this would be part of the concept of "mottainai" -- done at a national level.  I have heard of a Korean concept of "salim", but it seems to be a little different and mostly applied to women and their ability to bring and keep "life" in so many things.
  Road side facilities, Hapcheon Lake Road side facilities, Hapcheon LakeWhile these picture could seem a little high school locker-roomish, they reflect on how accommodating the country is at so many different levels.  This facilities were along the road, probably 20 km (12 miles) from a town in any direction -- perhaps it is the center of some kind of recreational activity that is unseen to us.
  farmer hauling beans with a traditional "A" frame back pack A farmer hauling beans with a traditional "A" frame back pack.
  Okgye Seowon, hapcheon Okgye Seowon, Hapcheon Okgye Seowon, hapcheonOkgye Seowon (a shine or a lecture hall) was originally built in 1725, by local Confusians to conserve the books "Gyengmongyogyeol" and "Haedongyeonwonrok" written by Yolgok Yi I.  The shine holds ritual ceremonies for a number of Masters.
  Family grave site, hapcheon Family grave site, hapcheonGraves tend to be isolated or in small family groups.  Typically they sit on a cleared bench part way up a hillside.  The mound is the grave, which is usually accompanied by an engraved stele.  Wealthier people will also have a variety of statuary.
  Hapcheon Lake, Hoeyang, Korea There is an inverse relationship in bicycle touring in difficulty or speed of a ride and the number of pictures I take.  If the road is too steep or rough I tend not to take many pictures, and after I struggle up a hill and am about to go flying down the other side I seem to be reluctant to slow my new found progress to take a picture.  But when the route is flat, the pace is leisurely, the scenery like eye-candy and there is no traffic to it is easy to maneuver into ideal locations for photos, I take a lot more pictures.
  Cherry trees along road, Hapcheon Lake, Korea This section of road is lined with cherry trees.  It must be gorgeous in April.  It is a typical rural highway.  Even with the wide lane, there is usually also a paved space outside the edge-line. In this section the paved shoulder is narrower than most.
  Hapcheon Lake, Hoeyang, Korea Oh, another beautiful scene to catch on film (or storage media).  What more can you say about mile after mile of beautiful, scenic, gorgeous, nearly vehicle-free cycling. The spirit grows with every curve and new vista.
  Hapcheon Dam, Hapcheon Lake, Hoeyang, Korea Hapcheon Dam, Hapcheon Lake, Hoeyang, KoreaNice road, no traffic, plenty of time to look and another interesting scene to capture.  Hapcheon dam is in the distance.
  Hapcheon Lake, Hoeyang, Korea Hapcheon Lake, Hoeyang, KoreaA room with a view:  Our modest hotel at the south end of Hapcheon reservoir had rooms with views to retire for -- it was sad when the sunset, but delightful to see again the next morning.
  Carp fish stew, Korea Eating carp fish stew, Hoeyang, KoreaTo be honest we weren't always sure exactly what we would get when we ordered at restaurants, but my Korean friends tell me they face the same situation.  So meals are often a bit of an adventure, but we were never disappoint and to the contrary, we were often thrill with what we received.  The dish shown here is a stew with meat, vegetables and mushrooms in a tasty sauce.  Most meals are also accompanied by rice and 3-12 side dishes.
     
 

Goryeong Jinju

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