Our first trip outside of Gangjin

Trip Start May 18, 2006
Trip End May 30, 2007

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Well after our first full week of teaching, and for Mathew this included the same 20 lessons on the World Cup, we decided to throw caution to the wind and travel outside our little town. After going through our trusty lonely planet we decided on two small towns called Boseong and Yeosu, with a sidestop to Yulpo Beach.

Boseong- where green tea is made: http://www.boseong.go.kr/en/
We started our adventure early on Saturday morning by catching a bus to Boseong. A small town about 1h from Gangjin that's (only) claim to fame is that it makes 90% of Korea's green tea. So we made it to the plantation, and right away Mathew saw a food truck and got a yummy 'green tea icecream'. As the pics show the place was huge with tea plants as far as the eye could see, even better on this day the tea was being picked by old Korean ladies who must have very strong backs as they lug bags of tea around like porters i.e on their heads. We spent about an hour looking around and climbing mountains that where covered in tea plants; of interest this was the first place in Korea that seemed like, and was a genuine tourist attraction. After a great lunch of veges and green tea feed pig, we walked back to the bus stop to our next adventure: the nudie spas!

Yulpo Beach: Two Australians and a lot of nude Koreans
I think the heading says it all. We both decided to relax a bit and what better way than going to a nude spa where no one spoke English and swim around green tea infused water. While I did this in Budapest and was sorta okay with it, Nicole was a bit 'worried', after assuring her that it would be okay we went for it ;)

After getting off at our respective floors (the sexes were separated) I (Mathew) went straight in and was completely confused, there seemed to be a method of doing this and I didn't have a clue. After trying to ask the attendant I decided to 'go with the flow', which I did, straight pass the showers your supposed to use first, and into the tea bath butt naked.

Well it was great and it was true, my skin was very soft! After jumping in I decided to sorta 'look around' and sort out what I was supposed to do. This is very difficult when you are trying to not look like a pervert. I figured it out that you went from the coldest to hottest pools so that is what I did and finished it off with sauna and then a jump into a very cold pool.

I (Nicole) found the whole experience quite strange...but after you got over the whole idea - it was nice. There were 5 pools - cool fresh water, warm sea water, warm tea, cool tea and cool sea water..like matt I didn't know what order u were meant to do the baths in - everyone just seemed to be sitting around..The green tea ones were especially nice...and it did make my skin feel very soft...

Yeosu: I don't think this town is famous for anything
After looking around a bit we dropped our bags at a very cheap looking motel (not a love motel though) and started to explore the city. The first thing we found was an 'e-mart', which is a big shopping centre like Myers. But more importantly it had a McDonalds in it!!! After inhaling our first McDonalds for 5 weeks we went exploring

Our first stop was an island called Odongdo, which is connected to the main land by a 1km causeway. The island was very pretty with a lighthouse and pathways that allowed you to explore the whole island. However, rather than walking, we hopped into a small boat that had a huge engine on the back and went speeding around the island hoping our flimsy lifejackets would work if our crazy driver decided he would run the boat into the cliff.

The nest day we first explored Admiral Yui's ship, which protected Korea from those crazy Japanese invaders in the 15th century. As you can see by the pics the boat was covered by iron plates and therefore could not be boarded. After this we decided to end our trip with a bit of shopping but this ended in disaster, as not many shops were open. However, we found out that Yeosu is golf crazy as it has an 'Arnold Palmer shop, Arnold Palmer Jnr shop and a Jack Nicholson shop' next to each other. Obviously the next step after golf is making clothes.

Just before we were going to leave, we saw a huge temple and went up (another) set of stairs to explore. Well it was amazing; we found out that it was the largest single storey wooden structure in Korea.

After buying food i.e. spag, crackers and a red fighting fish called 'Kumho' from e-mart, we caught a bus home and began sorting out our lesson planes for next week, I will be doing 'hobbies' if anyone is interested.

Well that was the weekend; we are currently staying up to watch Japan and Croatia in the World Cup and hopefully the Australian and Brazil game. Go the Aussies!!!

Lastly, and of note, is that we have just found out that we are free for 4.5 weeks out of the 5 week school vacation in July/August. While we have to do a summer camp, we will be paid extra for this, about $400 each for three days 'work' and be put up for the nights! As for what we are doing, we are thinking of either exploring Korea or Japan, though we also have a 'six' week holiday in December which we need to find something to do!! Yes it is a hard life.

Well that's that see ya Matt and nicole

PS Please don't forget to email us at either nicole_elton@hotmail.com or axis.of.evil.tour.06@gmail.com to shot the breeze and keep in touch.
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