We were on the home stretch with 95km and only two hills remaining. After this, the route is flat all the way to the Nakdonggang Certification Centre. We started from Namji (p.40) and rode in the misty morning for a while. We really lucked out with the weather- our only hot day was Day 4. Day 5 was cloudy and cool all day- perfect cycling weather. We finished our day around 15:00!
My favourite part of the morning ride was Yudeung-ri, in Changwon-si (p.45). The village houses and walls have all been decorated with bike and farm themed murals- I found it a very welcoming sight! After Yudeung-ri you will have a steep hill to wake you up and another smaller but noticeable hill just before you enter the outskirts of Yangsan.
Note: there is one section where all the signs tell you to cross over a bridge (the Susandaegyo if I remember correctly) and I remember we were confused by it in 2013 too. Last year we ended up following a Korean over the bridge and had to do a huge hill. This time, we rode along the river, ignoring at least 5 official 4 River signs saying TURN BACK, MAKE A U-TURN!!!! and guess what? We were fine. Yeah, we still had to do a hill but it was MUCH smaller than the alternate route.
After this it’s sweet cruising at a great pace until you enter the outskirts of Busan. The bike path will be MUCH busier here so beware of pedestrians, dogs, kids on bicycles and rollerblades.
Once you get to the Nakdonggang Hagutduk CC you have a few things to do. First, celebrate, high five and hug each other! It feels so good to finish. Take lots of photos, pose with the Koreans who will no doubt ask you to and THEN make your way to the Certification Center Building. You need to fill in a form with your details and present your passport at the desk for processing. They gave us silver route completion stickers for the Hangang, Namhangang, Saejae and Nakdonggang (even though we left out Andong! Apparently they give you the sticker even if you have one stamp missing), as well as the golden Cross Country Road sticker. I got my completion medal 2 weeks after completing the journey, which is pretty impressive.
Once you’ve done your admin and had a beer or lunch, head to Sinpyeong Subway Station (Line 1- orange). This will take you all the way to Nopo Station which is also the bus terminal for many cities, including Pohang. I’ll refer you to Marie Eksteen’s great blog for further transport details.
I hope you have found my blog entries useful when you plan your journey. Get on it! You will not regret this trip of a lifetime 🙂
Day 5 summary: 95km total, 7 hours total time including lunch.
Fact of the day: I burnt over 13,000 calories on this trip!
TOTAL trip mileage: 705 (starting from Waterpia Jimjjilbang in Incheon to Nakdonggang CC).
If you’d like to see someone else’s photos of our trip, go to Andrew’s flickr albums:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/119431543@N07/sets/72157645142176773/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/119431543@N07/sets/72157645087705961/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/119431543@N07/sets/72157645047340816/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/119431543@N07/sets/72157645090125232/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/119431543@N07/sets/72157645100754264/
You may also find his strava route useful (although the phone lost reception on Day 4 in the hills): http://www.strava.com/activities/149321638