05 Mungyeong-Gyeongcheondae (55km)

Today was to be more relaxed with an excursion to Korea’s famous “Rail Bike” attraction and a visit to an abandoned station with rail cars that had been converted to a motel!

One of the rail bike stations was in this same town we had stayed in last night, so we didn’t try it here. Instead we cycled onward to look for another rail bike further south.

We still explored the rail bike station as it was beautiful. Ethan loved the old station and the grounds.

This old station at Mungyeong was beautifully restored and very picturesque.

Ethan was so thankful I brought him to places like this.

We biked onward, enjoying the ever beautiful scenery including wooden cycling paths that extended over the river.

Mountains flanked our wake as we rolled by.

At this bridge we met a group of cyclists doing a bike tour with a young Korean guide. They were suitably impressed that young Ethan was going all the way to Busan without a local guide!

We enjoyed riding with them for a bit, then we continued while they stopped for a commentary.

The fields turned a golden colour which I think was the appearance of ripening barley.

Old train tracks followed us along. Ethan’s excitement grew in anticipation of the Rail Bike and all he could say was, “Train Train…”

We reached the stamping booth and a family of cats greeted us. They were starving so we fed them some bread snacks and thought of how Talia would have loved to see them.

Unfortunately the train hotel had not been in use for a long time, and worse was the fact that the rail bikes were not operating from this station either! Ethan was very disappointed and so was I, but I explained we could back track 2.5km as a previous station may be running the rail bikes.

It was so worthwhile to go back! I was so thankful we found a Rail Bike station in operation. Then I was worried after looking for it for so long that the rail bikes would be boring but they were truly excellent!

Tunnels were decorated with LED lights much to Ethan’s glee!

The best part was that these large 4 seater vehicles are electric and you have your own brakes. So it’s really like driving your own train! This was the closest Ethan has come to driving his own train and it is quite reasonably priced too!

We headed off after enjoying a coffee and a waffle. The memories of the Rail Bike warmed our hearts!

Soon we successfully reached the next certification booth and stamped our passports.

A Korean gentleman inquired about Ethan’s adventures and gave his thumbs up after seeing Ethan’s Seoul-Busan sign. It’s wonderfully encouraging meeting fellow cyclists along the way who love to see a young pre-teen enjoying his long distance ride!

We camped in Gyeongcheondae, which is one of the most picturesque parts of the entire Han River. Near the main entrance we used a large platform for the tent and it had incredible free facilities! There was an ultra modern bathroom for our use – with HOT water and hot air to dry your backside which Ethan loved!

Dinner was mac & cheese and sausages which Ethan declared, “This was the meal I have been waiting for!” But it wasn’t enough for hungry cyclists so I also fried up some Spam which we ate with rice! It was a delicious camping meal!

Warm in our tents, Ethan wrote me a “Caring Daddy Award”. I am very happy with my achievement to receive this coveted award!

ISTDY CARING AWARD 👍daddy has shown care to me , especially when I got cold last night . He really cares about be 24/7, even now, he is looking for my lost warm pants. I really love ❤ him and a believe he deserves it.

That night we listened to P2P and talked about our faith. Ethan understood about not just having Jesus as a friend but putting him in first place in his life as his Lord. I told him part of growing from a child to man is making his own personal commitment to follow Jesus not just because Mum and Dad say he must come to church. He wanted to do this and be sure so he made a personal commitment to following Jesus as his Lord that night!

I knew Ethan’s faith and understanding was growing so I took out from my bag a special surprise. Ethan’s eyes grew wide in anticipation. This was to be his first Holy Communion! I explained again, especially how from now on he would be in the main worship service with us and he would participate in Holy Communion.

I blessed the bread and cup, gave thanks and we ate and drank together. To say this was a special time after traveling across the country on bikes, talking about life and faith, and camping outdoors is an understatement. I am supremely thankful to Jesus for this magnificent milestone and precious time with my son!

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