Wednesday 17 April, 2019
Day 10 / Geojin to Sokcho
[Missed Day 9? Read the previous post here]
After completing our stretch along the East Coast of South Korea and getting the final stamp in our passport book the previous day we decide we’re going to spend the next few days exploring Sokcho and Seoraksan National Park. It’ll be a pretty cruisy day on the bike today, with less than 60km to our destination.
We set off back towards towards Sokcho but this time will be staying away from the centre of town and closer to the National Park. Along the way we see remains of the recent fires around the area, which we didn’t notice the first time we cycled past.
The trees are burnt and a few small buildings have been destroyed.
As we are cycling in the opposite direction this time (ie. south) everything feels a bit more difficult being on the non-coastal side of the road. The directions are a little more confusing as there are more roads to cross, and we are glad that we did the East Coast route in the South to North direction we decided.
Our first stop is at Square Root Cafe & Bakery after discovering it the previous day. As we park our bikes and wander in we spot a cute fluffy dog with its owners.
This place does amazing bread and I’m a bit saddened by the fact it will probably be the last time we go there as they are located in the middle of nowhere.
Cheye decides to order a black seed latte and goes as far as to say it’s the best coffee he’s ever had.
We order a cranberry twist, corn cream cheese roll and something called a ‘cheese party’, which is probably the best cheese bread I’ve ever had.
We continue on and eventually find our way back to Sokcho. We pass by the double decker bus we had seen the previous day, this time from a different angle.
In our final leg we make a turn off the main road and cycle another 10km or so towards the National Park to find our accommodation, The Red House. The final stretch is really pretty with lush trees and cherry blossoms blooming.
The Red House sits at the top of a hill and we arrive just after lunchtime. The owner is super nice and gives us loads of information about the area and the National Park.
We ask about dinner options for vegetarians and he circles two restaurants on the map, saying that he is also vegetarian and we’ll be able to order something there.
After settling in, I give my mum a call back in Australia to wish her happy birthday. We then head out for a walk and do a lap around the water.
The place is quiet like a ghost town due to being the off season.
The lack of people though makes it all the more serene and we come across a few novelty bum seats on the bridge.
It doesn’t seem like anything is open at this early stage for ‘first dinner’ so we get a few things from the local convenience shop and plan to head out a bit later.
A few hours later we head over to a cluster of restaurants near our accommodation but they all still appear to be closed. We walk into one place that looks like it’s open but as we enter, two men sitting at one of the tables make a cross sign with their arms telling us they’re closed. We decide to head to the other side of town and go to another one of the restaurants The Red House owner recommended. It’s completely empty when we find it but head in anyway.
We order bibimbap with wild vegetables, fried rice and potato pancake.
Apart from the shop owner, we are the only people on that side of town and it feels a bit eerie as the sun begins to set.
Afterwards we go next door and buy some supplies for our hike tomorrow. It’s now quite dark and chilly outside as we wander back to our room. I didn’t realise how many snacks we had bought until I unpacked everything. It’s gonna be a big day of hiking tomorrow!