A Surprising Start

I woke like a startled deer when my dear tapped me lightly, “It’s 5.25am!” Slow to finish deadlines, I had just 3.5 hours sleep and plenty of adrenaline to kiss the girls and pack the boy off to the airport.

Ethan had more sleep than me and he was excited and chirpy to be off on our grand adventure.

After our flight we figured out how to take the train to Geomam station and walked 10 min, rolling our bike boxes, to the apartment I booked on Agoda 2 months ago.

The sun had just set and it was dark by the time we arrived. Though “Binny’s Guesthouse” had excellent reviews I was a bit worried that he hadn’t been responding to my messages. So I was surprised, but not totally shocked, when the apartment was answered by a Korean family who said that the Guesthouse was no more and they were the new tenants.

I politely insisted on help, showing them my young 12 year old, and saying we were friendly cyclists. First they advised me that there were motels a short drive away, next he offered to drive me as my bike boxes were too big for a taxi. Gamsahabnida!

It was a huge relief to not have to explain to Renata that I made her son homeless before we began the trip. The motel room cost me just $50, came decorated in London wallpaper and had plenty of space to assemble my bikes.

With Google Translate the lady at the front desk also said I could leave a bag here until I returned on my final night. She then baulked at the sight of the two huge bike boxes but I assured here they would fold up small. The next morning they were packed up neatly and there was no problem! Koreans are very friendly and helpful!

In high spirits, Ethan and I walked to find dinner. We passed many interesting shops with unfamiliar looking food, showing you that the Korean food we have in Singapore is about a minuscule slice of this country’s gastronomic fare – similar to Japanese food in Singapore 20 years ago. We settled on something safe – a grilled chicken specialty restaurant that was doing roaring business and had a grand meal for $11/pax.

After completing bike assembly and packing the bikes I was tired! We had a thankful sleep, looking forward to finding the start point tomorrow.

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