Wednesday 10 April, 2019
Day 3 / Ulsan to Pohang
[Missed Day 2? Read the previous post here]
Today is forecast a top of 12 degrees, currently 9 degrees as we check out of the hotel. I didn’t sleep too well as our room was so hot and stuffy but as soon as we step outside it’s cold and rainy.
Cheye is having a few issues with one of his wheels so we stop to fix it. It seems that he has bike problems on every cycle trip we have gone on but fortunately we sort the issue this time around, so we jump back on the bikes and carry on.
It ends up pouring the entire day with headwinds most of the way.
The day starts with a few cycle paths but none of them last very long and eventually we are dodging cars and trucks along busy roads that don’t have much of a shoulder.
Eventually we make it onto some back roads which are nicer to cycle on. A field of flowers brings a bit of brightness into an otherwise dull day.
We battle through the 75km to Pohang. It’s the most miserable day’s ride and the entire six hours I just want to get out of the cold.
I try to bargain with Cheye and suggest the option of stopping in a closer town but he says we must get to Pohang today. We don’t even plan to make any food stops, which makes me flip out because all I want to do is get out of the cold and eat something. We scoff down a few muesli bars during the ride but it’s not enough to keep me going.
Eventually I spot a 7-11 and stop in to get some noodles, which I wolf down in a hurry because I’m so hungry. The only place to sit down is just outside the shop and I’m so cold that I can’t even hold the chopsticks properly. I end up eating the noodles so quickly that I have the worst stomach pains for the next hour on the bike and just want this day to end already. It lasts the next 20km and it feels like the longest 20km of my life.
Eventually we make a wrong turn which makes me get off the bike for a second, and almost instantly the pain goes away. However my fingers are still numb and I can’t even grab my phone properly to check directions. We back track and cross to the other side of the river – it’s about another 8km into town.
We eventually find a Starbucks to sit down and grab a hot drink. I’m so relieved to be somewhere warm finally, something I’ve been longing for the past six hours. We book a motel online that’s just down the road and make our way there.
The place is 7 Hotel and it’s nice and warm similar to last nights place, which I know will eventually become too warm during the night but for now I welcome it.
After settling in, we head out for some food at the food court at the local intercity bus terminal. We order Dolsot Bibimbap, Dokpokki and Kimbap. The lady tells us to make sure we ‘mix mix’ our Bibimbap.
We then wander across the road to Homeplus Shopping Centre, finding ourselves in the grocery store and buying some supplies for the next day.
Back at the hotel room we alternate between burning up from the heat and cold from the air con. We also entertain ourselves with crazy Korean infomercials before calling it a night.
Distance Cycled: 75km Ulsan to Pohang, including a steep hill around 21% gradient (our Garmin ran out of battery after 27km so we didn’t capture the entire day)
Accommodation: The 7 Motel (45,000w)
Dinner: Pohang Intercity Bus Terminal
South Korean Travel Tip
Go cashless in South Korea! Unlike Japan where they use cash for almost everything, Korea is quite the opposite and everyone uses card. When I say card, this includes bank card, credit card, eftpos and something called T-Money cards which you top up and can be used for train fares in addition to purchases at shops.