Day 2 was straight forward navigation wise.
Memorable moments include:
– being on the side of the road around Gangcheon (Changnamgogae) (p.25), stationary and half clipped in waiting for Pieter to pee, seeing a huge truck hurtling toward us Final Destination style, me jumping into the ditch with my bike, only to find that the driver was merely avoiding a speed bump, not asleep or out of control. That was a scary moment for me.
– stopping for lunch around Binae/ Jocheon (p.27) where the pajeon, mandu, rice cakes, acorn jelly salad and makgeoli tasted amazing and the owner showed us his chicks.
– Chungju (p.30). When you come into Chungju the bike path is at the very beginning of town so keep your eyes open otherwise you’ll miss Chungju Dam CC. “Miss” like a hole in the head because it is the worst hill on the whole 5 day route in my opinion. It’s really really really steep. Super awesome downhills on the way back to Chungju proper though! Chungju Dam marks the end of the Hangang trail- they sure make you work for your completion stickers. Once you’re back in town, the bike trail follows the river all the way to Chungju Tangeumdae CC, which marks the start of the Saejae Bicycle Path. IF YOU SCREW UP ON NAVIGATION HERE YOU WILL END UP GOING THROUGH A HIGHWAY TUNNEL FILLED WITH SPEEDING CARS, TRUCKS, DEAFENING FAN AND CAR HORN SOUNDS! Don’t get lost like we did last year (and some others did this year!!). Stay safe and keep on the proper Saejae Bike Path. There were a few crappy sections of the bike path including where they were rebuilding a small bridge, which meant we had to cycle over a very uneven dirt track next to it. Be careful if you’re on a road bike with thin tyres. For the most part it is a very beautiful route.
Before you get to Suanbo (p.35) there will be a hill but it’s not a killer. We pulled into Suanbo around 20:30, well after sunset. This town, best known for its hot springs, is completely lit up at night and a welcome sight after a long day’s riding. We could have finished sooner but wanted to end the day by soaking our muscles at the jimjjilbang. You can pay from 70, 000 won upwards for a private room at 수안보온천랜드 (Suanbo Oncheon Land) OR you can pay 10,000 won like we did to stay in the jimjjilbang. It was very quiet here but it could have been darker- none of this matters when you’ve been cycling all day. We had amazing dolsot bibimbap (돌솥 비빔밥) from across the road for 10,000 won.
Day 2 summary: 171km, 12.5 hours door to door.
Fact of the day: there are many salmosa (mamushi) snakes in Korea. I counted 5 dead ones and 3 live ones slithering across the road in front of us.