07 Andong-Sangjubo (71km)

I thought today would be an easy downhill ride but it turned out tougher than I thought.

It was very cold but pretty when we left in the morning! Being slightly higher in the mountains, Andong was a bit cooler and you could appreciate the Korean waterway engineering that managed river flow and prevented flooding when beginning from the highlands.

It felt like a misty mountain path. I thought it was going to be mostly flat.

But we did have to ascend a bit.

There were tons of apple trees and Ethan stopped to pluck another two!

By now we’re quite high up and enjoyed a good view of the countryside.

We passed into some very rural roads and then I realized we were on the wrong side of the river. Though we were following the path I wanted to bring Ethan to Hahoe, the oldest village in Korea and a UNESCO Heritage site. My Garmin said go this way then “board ferry!”

I knew that in some rural places a small boat operator will ferry people across the small river that separated us from Hahoe so we decided to try. Almost there, we saw the promising signs of a few tour buses. Ethan said, “This one is the same as my Korea bus at home Dad!” so we stopped for a picture.

We locked our bikes to a tree and explored. A sandy path and a deserted “beach” did not look like it led to a ferry landing point, so I was getting a little worried.

However we soon spotted a boat coming from the other side!

It really was a tiny rickety boat!

The “jetty” was even more rickety!

What an adventure to ride our bikes across Korea, looking for the oldest town, then taking an old boat to visit it!

Yes, we were very thankful to be able to visit Hahoe…

It was a very pretty town, immaculately Leo.

Some people still lived here!

Ethan asked whether bringing electricity know the town would damage the old heritage buildings.

Ethan found a cafe that was many hundreds of years old!

“Look Dad, the Sor is just the right size for me!” I explained that people were shorter in those days due to not so good nutrition. Ethan “That means Moses was the same height as me!”

We found a super huge swing that Ethan almost went upside down on!

Finally we walked back to the boat, took the return ferry trip and climbed back on our bikes.

At a NongHyup shop, I stopped to see if they had Mylar emergency blankets to give me a bit more insulation under my mattress when we camped. In this tiny town, the bank and the shop were together in one store. The guys were very friendly, and asked Ethan about this cross-country cycling trip. When they didn’t have a foil blanket and found out we were camping they went to to the back and gave Ethan a “NongHyup” company jacket with a fleece lining! Thanks guys!

Lunch was a short distance away, with pork bone and vegetable soup to warm our souls.

We then hit the road laid down some miles.

The plan was to make it to a park, cook dinner and camp there.

We passed many persimmon trees that were growing wild as it was the season, and picked a few.

The mountains were backdrops to golden fields that were ripening for harvest.

Ethan was having a great ride and thoroughly enjoying himself.

At times, the river is silent and glassy.

The path led up a steep hill. One part was 20%, so steep that Ethan had trouble pushing his bike up! He made it most of the way and I went back and helped him a little.

We had almost made it to our intended destination when we passed an auto camp site that was closed, apparently for renovations. The facilities were all still there for simple users like ourselves and the location was jus too good!

Great toilets, a wooden deck, riverside views, benches, tables and WiFi for free! Ethan even found a special box with power sockets to recharge our devices.

That night I cooked “Stew under the Stars” and we had a great dinner together. We had a good P2P discussion in the tent, Ethan slept soundly while I wrapped myself in my extra fleece jacket!

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