Island Adventure

Trip Start Aug 25, 2012
Trip End Feb 25, 2013

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Flag of Korea Rep.  , Chungcheongnam-do,
Saturday, November 3, 2012

The plan for this weekend was to visit my buddy Nicola in Boryeong, which is down the coast from Shin Pyeong. After a series of bus rides I finally got to Boryeong late in the morning on Saturday. Nicola met me at the bus station and we were off for our adventure. Because the city is so close to the coast we decided to check out one of islands that are so close. We hopped on an inner city bus and found the ferry terminal. We scooted inside and got a ticket at the last minute. The two of us bolted out of the terminal toward the ferry where the workers were beckoning for us to go faster.
Just in time we slid up the ramp and within moments the ferry pulled away from the dock. 
The ferry ride didn't last too long, but it was smooth sailing all the way. There appeared to be a lot of families there and so we were both hopeful about what would be found on the island. The ferry pulled up to a dock in an area that looked decidedly industrial. The gate was lowered and people stared to vacate. Hmm... okay.
Nicola and I wandered off the boat, looking at the buildings for some sign of something that looked like a restaurant or a shop. Nothing really. Okay, we had a couple of hours before the next ferry would go back so we might as well walk around a bit.
We got ourselves oriented on the main street and started to walk away from the coast to see what could be found. After only a minute a van stopped, the sliding side door opened, and we were beckoned inside. We peered into the dim interior and found that there were three men and two older women in the van. We looked at the Koreans in the van, looked at each other, shrugged and climbed in. 
The passengers of the van were typical Korean fair; middle aged, well dressed, and polite. The driver was a bit of a different situation altogether. He was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt with a light jacket over the top, a straw cowboy hat, and broken sun glasses that only had one lens left. We made small talk in broken English as we were driven to... who knows where. I explained that I am from Chicago (no one knows Madison) and Nicola told them that she was from South Africa, which got enthusiastic thumbs up all around.
Eventually the van stopped at what appeared to be a big house and what I assume was a sort of bed and breakfast. The passengers all got out of the van and disappeared into the house, but Nicola and I weren't really sure what we were supposed to do. Our friendly driver brought us to a fish tank near the back door of the house and proudly plucked a live octopus from the water and placed it in Nicola's hands. We grinned and squealed until he removed it and placed it back into its tank. 
Nicola and I decided to explore the outside of the place a bit and so we wandered around the perimeter of the house and found that behind it there was a nice little garden with a path down to a beach. We meandered down to the beach and soon shed our shoes to walk in the sand and the surf. We took our time, collecting shells and goofing off before we decided to go back up to the house.
We took the trail back up and soon found our friendly driver grilling fish on the back porch of the house. We joined him and he offered us fish but we declined. We had bigger ideas. Nicola did her best to explain to him that we wanted to eat the octopus that we had handled before, but that we didn't want it to be cooked. After expressing what we wanted we sat on plastic lawn chairs, wondering what we would get ourselves into next. 
Five minutes later and our gracious host was back with a tray of beer bottles, condiments, and squirming octopus tentacles. Our eyes widened as our plate was served to us and we braced ourselves for the meal that was about to come. Nicola decided that I would go first so I got my chopsticks and picked up a wiggling tentacle. I placed it into my mouth and chewed quickly. Honestly, it didn't really taste like all that much. Nicola went next and we both decided it wasn't all that bad. So we chowed down, laughing at each other as we struggled to pry the clinging tentacles off of their plate. Soon, our food was mostly gone and we were winding down from our thrilling lunch.
We decided to go for a walk, but I think our host thought we were trying to duck out on the bill. I handed him some cash and he loaded us back up into his van. We did our best with chatting on our trip and for everything our driver said, Nicola made sweeping assumptions about what he was trying to say. The three of us laughed loudly at the ridiculousness of our situation as our driver wove us across the island. This time, he brought us to the other ferry port, which didn't really make any difference to us.
We said our good-byes and Nicola and I decided to explore for a bit before our ferry arrived. We wandered about, chatting about nothing in particular as we studied the nearby shore. Soon enough the ferry arrived and we got our tickets and got on board. We were both eager to get back to the mainland. After all of our adventures we were pretty hungry and Nicola had the brilliant idea that we would order pizza and watch a movie.
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Carlo on

Ahh, the best adventures begin with an anonymous van ride! :lol:

Mom on

You're much braver than I am - from taking the crazy ride to your adventurous (to say the least) lunch. I'm so proud of you. Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences with us.

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