Camp Korea, part IV

Trip Start Jul 11, 2005
Trip End Apr 04, 2006

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Sunday, January 22, 2006

********************************** Update - September 2007 *************************************

As if 4 times wasn't enough, check out my latest, and 5th, visit to Korea (September 2007 - February 2008), all part of 'The Honeymoon'.

********************************** Update - September 2007 *************************************

Old men and far travellers may lie with authority

- Anonymous

So after my 2 and a bit month stay in Canada I found myself back, once again, in Korea. For those counting this is my 4th time here and, once again, as has been the case the previous 3 times, I'm here to participate in Camp Korea. Those familiar with my travels will be well familiar with Camp Korea, the bi-annual, month long English camp for Korean kids. It's been a big part of my travels over the past 3 years and has enabled me to extensively travel east Asia. But camp is not only a means to an end; I've thoroughly enjoyed each and every visit to teach in the camp and even if I didn't use it as a springboard for further exploration it'd be worth coming here just to experience the best of Korean hospitability and meet likeminded travellers. Yep, a social soiree is guaranteed each and every camp. If you want you can check out details and photos of my previous 3 visits to the bastion of learning that is Camp Korea the check out my visit in January 2004, August 2004, and, most recently, August 2005.

I'll be nice
Because my camp experiences have been well detailed previously I won't go into much detail here and now about the whole experience this time around; Camp Korea is a well oiled machine and not much changes from camp to camp. I'll only go so far as to say it was a 'tamer' camp than what I have become accustomed to on previous visits. But for good reason; I got the flu which knocked me off my feet for the best part of 5 days and I also contracted nasty eye and ear infections at various times during the 4 weeks. So in summing up camp for me this time around; I was bothered by some sort of sickness/ailment for a large chunk of the time and when I was 'up for it' I kept a low profile. Umm... all in all not very me. I know the other ELT's (English language teachers) at camp were wondering where 'Irish' Dave got his reputation for leading the charge to the nearest pub. For any of you guys reading this I apologise. I guess you caught me at a bad camp. Hey, with 4 of them under my belt I reckon I'm entitled to have an 'off' one. Anyway, it's doubtful I'll be back in Camp Korea again. If that be the case then that's okay; 4 camps is enough for anyone and many would say way too many. If there is one more in me then great. It always beats real work.

Getting to finish the trip with the Australian
In the grand scheme of things what coming back to Korea, unexpectedly, means is that I'll get to finish the trip I started when I left Ireland last July for Tokyo. If you're keeping up to date with my travels you know I interrupted that trip in Bangkok last September. Rather than head from Thailand to the Indian subcontinent (India & Nepal) and back to Korea, I decided to go to Canada. And although I'd have rather stayed there, having nothing to do from day to day gets very tiring, very quickly. So now that I find myself back in Korea I'll be taking the opportunity to follow through with the original plan of going home overland from Korea. And with another camp out of the way it's time to pay a visit to the capital of this great country, Seoul, to get organised. Just like the days following the end of the previous summer camp I'll have plenty of time to bum around the city. Whereas then I was waiting for Cal to sort out his stuff, this time I'll have to wait to acquire the necessary visa's for the upcoming trip (Chinese and Russian). Oh, and I've also picked up a passenger. Yep, Henk, an Australian and fellow Camp Korea junkie that I first met way back during my first Camp Korea experience, will be accompanying me on the trip to Europe. What is it with picking up travel buddies in camp? First Cal, now Henk. We're looking forward to starting the upcoming jaunt through China, Mongolia, Siberia, European Russia, the Baltic's and Eastern Europe. We'll have plenty, I hope, to report on in the coming weeks. But before that we still have to hang out in Seoul for a few days and get things sorted. No doubt I'll speak to you from there before we hit the road proper. Doubtful I'll have much news but see you there anyway
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