No matter how cheap the chockopie, strawberries and ice cream in Busan were, but that hostel in which we lived four days before Jeju, it cost one and a half times more expensive and this time we decided not to stay here. And since getting out of Busan is a whole complicated, we immediately took bus tickets to Gyeongju, where old traditional Korean houses were preserved. But when we arrived in Gyeongju for a bus station, for some reason we decided not to leave, thinking that the driver would stop somewhere else. So we left another fifty kilometers to another city called Pohang.
We thought that the driver would demand a difference, but he just smiled at us and we left.
– So … Well, where are we?
– I do not know, Pohang any!
– Well, what to do here?
– Let’s see 🙂
I think this is the beauty of long journeys – when you find yourself in a place that even five minutes ago did not even know. And still, even when your plans change a little, you are always glad to have passed a good part of the way for free!
When we have nowhere to sleep, we go to the park or to the beach. This time our road to the sea ran through the whole Pohang and took the rest of the day. But during this time we managed to make out this city. It’s pretty lively, there are a lot of motels and there are a lot of sculptures. I would call this city a museum or at least an exhibition gallery. It seemed to me that there must necessarily be an art university and that all these numerous sculptures are the work of graduates whose creative skills are simply off scale! All these sculptures in the parks, in the harbor and on the beach make this city very interesting.
Nightlife on the beach is boiling. People train, eat dinner, walk, roll on rollers and longs, at every step local singers and musicians act – the atmosphere of the holiday or even, I would say, the festival. And then there is a chic night view of the port, which, like the Eiffel Tower, shines all over the lights. We tried to wait, when on the beach it becomes calmer, but at midnight we decided to go to a nearby park. Found a secluded place in one of the offshoots of the park paths. But only managed to put the tent, as there was one very strange enamored couple, and the guys at this hour seemed to rehearse the poses from the romantic scenes right before us. I should scare them away. I can not believe that we can not be seen.
While Nastya was cleaning face, I woke up from a loud crunch in the bushes near the tent. At first I thought it was an animal, but as it turned out – just a curious Korean, who instead of going down the hill on the sidewalk or at least along the path, made his way through the thickets to come closer to us and look into the tent. Ten minutes later, one of the people who walk back saw us and abruptly changed the trajectory. Now he was heading towards us. And in ten minutes the same thing the cyclist did. But we did not hurry up to get ready and escape from prying eyes, on the contrary, we were even a little amused, as well as the fact that people who came to the park for a walk, just go around in circles, gloves and yes, many walk back.
We left the city, and with full confidence I extended my hand in front of the passing car. The driver drove another twenty meters and stopped.
– This is a miracle! From the first time caught!
The driver – a guy of thirty-five holds three salons of Thai massage. Two in Pohang and one in Gyeongju A in his spare time likes to drive on his Harley’e. He says: “Ay Laik Rusia, ay laik rusia bir”. I thought that he likes Russian beer. And it turned out he had seen enough videos on youtube about how in Russia bears drink vodka and play balalaikas. It would seem – stereotypes, but he showed me a couple of videos and it looks like it is.
– Where are you going? – said to us Google-translator of his phone when he bought us ice-cold coffee.
– I thought so. I’ll take you, it’s not far.
He drove us directly to the entrance to the national park, paying for the entry. We thanked him, once again bowed and went to buy tickets. For the entrance to the Naionsan National Park, we paid about a hundred rubles and left our backpacks to the guards.
Immediately after the checkpoint, passing through the bright painted gates, you get into the Buddhist temple complex, where it is quiet, calm and very beautiful. All these carved roofs, cunning golden Buddhas, huge drums, bright garlands of paper lanterns, statues of dragons and animals are so in harmony with each other and with the surrounding nature as a whole that you begin to understand Buddhism from the inside as monks strive to achieve harmony and happiness. But our happiness – the sky is blue and bubbling streams of water, flowing from the sacred and very picturesque mountains of South Korea, to which we and rushed, forgetting about water and food.
Our reserves of energy and forces were sufficient only up to the seventh waterfall, to which we had to overcome about five kilometers or seven mountain trails. The eighth waterfall was at a decent distance, not to mention the rest. From the last forces climbing the path to the observation deck, we remembered the volcano and the cave. It was a shame to go again from the distance on the finish way. But on a journey it is most important to keep a good mood, not to drive yourself and be not hungry. Therefore, we firmly decided not to let the famine spoil the impressions of these seven waterfalls. In addition, behind Shiraito, and ahead of us waiting Ban Gioc, each of which in size and magnitude is more than these twelve in total.
The sixth and seventh waterfalls are the largest and most picturesque. First you pass through the suspension bridge over one and immediately after the turn you fall under another, and around you are majestic rocks and mountain peaks with spreading trees. This place reminded us of our native Arshan, only waterfalls are twelve times bigger 🙂 And we also decided that it is not very popular among foreigners, because among the whole mass of tourists, “Euroid” on the trail we met only once. It seems that only local people go here.
Sweaty and dirty, we dreamed of finding hot springs, which, judging by the map, were very close, but instead stumbled upon a camping site where the place under the tent was worth as a hotel room. They prompted where to look for the cherished sources, but we still did not find anything and went to stop before the track. Especially without trying, we just drove along the road on the boards with an outstretched hand and a finger up. And when they passed by the parked car, the girl-driver offered to let us down. She went from work to Pohang, asked us about our trip, where we are going at the moment and kindly offered to provide information on the issues that interest us. But we were only interested in the sauna and where to spend the night. So we again came to Pohang.
She landed us near a sports complex, where two floors were occupied by a public bathhouse. The price was biting, but the desire to warm up was overcome by a greedy toad. We agreed to meet in twenty or thirty minutes in the lobby, but something I was so carried away about, that Nastya waited for me another forty minutes. And, frankly, I did not want to leave. Freshened we walked to the beach as on another planet and it was no longer important that this night we would sleep again in a tent in the same park in the same place.
Returning to Pohang, it was clear to us that the second time to stop we will not go – it’s stupid. So, as though it would not be desirable, but it is necessary to go by bus. After a bit of work, we took the ice cream and went to the station. The map led us to some “Bermuda Triangle”. It was a crossroad with two branches, between which there should be a long-distance bus station, but it is not here, we went around all around several times, but there is no hint, not one bus, nothing. But there is “Top-March”, where six hundred grams of cornflakes and juice cost two hundred rubles.
– Without panic, there is a railway station nearby, will we go there?
– “Come on, what else can we do?” 🙂
We came, we were tired, hysterical laughter began. It’s empty here! That is, there is a viaduct and a road on which there used to be roads, but now they are not there, just like the station. This is the second mythical object. Is the business in Pohang so bad that they have already dismantled the railroad? It was necessary again to go on skate through the whole city to the bus station, where they came from Busan. Further, the logic of our actions was simply gorgeous. Absolutely no matter where to go, the main thing to leave and preferably in the direction of Seoul. They occupied the ticket terminal and spent half an hour simply sorting out all the cities, calculating the most profitable option. We decided to go to Daegu. Strangely enough, it is marked on the map, it seems there is developed paraplanning, but when there is no money – half the marks are useless.
– Give two tickets to Daegu?
– Here you are!
– When is our bus?
Not even surprising! It only means that we are on the right track! We grabbed backpacks and ran to the bus. And on arrival in Daegu, we realized that this is a very sporting city, because all the parks are completely filled with gymnastic figures and simulators. And we fell asleep this night under the endless clatter of clubs about golf balls.
The third mythical object of South Korea was the bus station in Daegu, which at least existed, but seems to have long been abandoned. But he looked so vintage that I decided to turn it into a skate spot and shoot a couple of tricks on skateboard on his background.
We are in Cheonan and already very close to Seoul. Evening. We have not yet left the bus, but we have already noticed how much foreign youth is here and how different this South Korean city differs from the rest. He somehow modern or something. We left things at the bus station and left empty dark streets through the city floor to spend the night in the sauna. We would not be surprised if it did not already exist, but it was much worse, only women were allowed into it. Nastya went to wash, and I again had to wait at the reception with a mug of coffee and a new series of “Silicon Valley”.
We rolled on skateboards all night and the first bus left for Seoul, not even suspecting that it was already possible to take the train to the metro.