We were pleased to discover that the Korean chain, the Paris Baguette, is found in most reasonable-sized towns. Breakfast this morning was delicious whole-wheat fruit and nut bread with cream cheese, croissants and decent espresso. Not very Korean but a good start to the day! We did have Korean fare for lunch – a tasty dish of cold buckwheat noodles in a spicy red pepper dressing, with a boiled egg. This dish, “makguksu”, we later read, is the local specialty of Cheonseori Village, near Ipobo Weir, where we happened to go off the path in search of food. Paul was impressed when Lois went up to a military police officer to ask where we might find a “leseutolang” (레스토랑) (restaurant). (Lois only remembered this word, having learned it on the Air Canada Berlitz program, as it sounded to her like “sit down”!)
Before heading off in the morning, we visited Dumulmeori at the confluence of the Bukhanhang (north Han) and Namhangang (south Han). It is a calm and pretty spot with a 400 year old Zelkova tree on the bank. It also appears to be the place for couples’ photos, so we put on the two t-shirts that were gifts from Sunyoung, Shinyoung’s sister, and posed. The writing on the shirts reads “beautiful wife” and “handsome husband”!
It was a great ride again, mostly flat except for a short very steep up and down section and only brief stretches on side roads. We are gradually climbing, however, though it is not very apparent.
The weir at Ipobo is one of three on the Namhangang River which are all of architectural interest. The second at Yeoju, which we crossed, has features designed to look like cheugugi – the first rain gauge invented by King Sejong the Great. We should see the third tomorrow.
At one point, we heard load engine noises and saw between the path and river perhaps 150 armoured tanks (less than 10% of the army’s capacity).This was a bit unnerving, but the soldiers directing the tanks across our path were polite and smiling.
Our hotel (much nicer and cleaner than last night, at 1/2 the price) overlooks the river. On the opposite bank we can see the Silleuksa Temple, which we hope to visit tomorrow morning.