Tag Archives: goeje-do

Tents, Fires, and Cherry Coke.

25 Sep

I have some free time at work this week, as my students have midterm exams, and then we all have Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving). Bad for them, great for me, as it means I have nothing to do but teach some review lessons and prepare for the next lesson I have to teach in two weeks time. Which means YOU get a blog update! Exciting, right?

Essentially I’m a woman who enjoys quiet, simple pleasures. I’m never happier than when I’m knitting with a feline friend, or curled up with a book and some Cadbury’s (oh Cadbury’s, how it pains me to be so far from your sweet delights), or lying in the sun listening to the wind or the waves.

It was with a fervent desire to unwind and cut myself off from my computer and the time-suck that is the internet, that I took myself and two friends off to Goeje island for a camping trip last weekend.

Gojura beach in August

Goeje is a smallish island, about an hour by bus from Busan (catch the bus in Sinpyeong, across the road from exit 1. Buy tickets from the woman in the hut for 5,700 won). Shipyards and rock formations seem to be the major selling point of this place, where Koreans seem to speak less English than you generally experience in Busan. This was our second trip to the island, and our first time staying the night.

We stopped in at our local Kimbap Chonguk to devour a hearty lunch and clear them out of kimbap before jumping in a taxi to Gojura beach – a pleasant stretch of sand and rocks with a lovely, empty view and a relaxed attitude to campers.

Kimbap dinner – om nom nom! Photo by Jayna Brede.

Our borrowed four man tent. Successfully pitched thanks to a combination of experience, lateral thinking and teamwork. Note the expertly tied knots – thanks Dad for all that sailing training!

The worst tent EVER, but in weather this fine, who cares?

After teaching the gang how to tie a bowline, we chilled out on the beach for a bit in the sunshine. Now, Busan is full of beaches. I only have to spend 20 minutes on a bus to be sprawled out on Songdo beach, listening to the waves and devouring kimbap. What’s extra special about Gojura beach is how quiet it is – even during high season there was no blaring K-pop music, or lifeguards on jet skis patrolling the roped off swimming area. It’s a laid back kind of beach, and it feels wonderful.

Alex and I get busy chilling. Photo by Jayna Brede.

Alex and I had just watched Resident Evil 4 the night before (in preparation for seeing Resident Evil 5 on Sunday) so we had survival after the inevitable zombie apocalypse on the brain. Clearly, even without electricity, we had to survive the apocalypse in style. Who wants warm Cherry Coke?

There, chilled by the sea and safely anchored by a big stick. Ray Mears would be so proud.

As the sun went down, we decided it was time to collect some firewood and start building our fire. This was my first time building a fire in the open like this, but thankfully fire expert and pyromaniac Jayna was on hand to give instruction and approve my use of the pokey stick.

Jayna – Queen of the Fire.

It was kind of a high, and it wasn’t long before I was yelling about “The Monarchy of Fire”, and cackling as I stoked the flames. Oh dear. Later we heated up some beef kimbap in the embers, which was a stroke of genius as it turns out that barbequed kimbap is completely delicious. All we were missing was marshmallows to toast!

Trainee fire starters. Photo by Jayna Brede.

The best part about camping on a beach, is waking up to a stunning sea view and a morning paddle/beach-comb.

Alex and I admire the view. Photo by Jayna Brede

We lingered on the beach in the morning just long enough for my poor nose to burn, and then we headed off back to the main bus terminal, and back to Busan for a shower and a nap before more zombies.

Relaxing weekend – accomplished.

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