Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Morning Walk Along Seogwipo Harbour After A Rainy Birthday in Jeju Island

My morning walk along the Seogwipo Harbour
 I arrived Jeju on a pouring rain!
And that messed out my Jeju Solitary Birthday plans and stayed most of the time in Jeju Hiking Inn.  Amidst the gloomy day, I kept the spirit high and believed that tomorrow would be fine.... No! It would be much wonderful, much better!

And I have my full trust in God that  it would be an amazing post-birthday experience!

March 17, 2013 - Celebrating my Birthday in Jeju Island
 With a bubble bath, a shot of Soju and funny Korean variety show, "Runningman" (which I don't understand what they're saying actually but the actions are funny though),  I concluded my birthday in Jeju Island with that simple perks that fate or chances in life gave me.  The fact that I was there matters to me the most at that moment.

A warm bubble bath with Soju and some good music

..and the night passed by and I can say my most peaceful sleep all throughout my 10-day solitary trip to South Korea.

With the beam of daylight passing through the window, I woke up the morning after more hopeful.  The sun was coming out and I was sure the rain would definitely go away.  I hurriedly fixed myself and headed out of my room for my early breakfast in the island.  Jeju Hiking Inn has a rooftop with the best view of Saeyeongyo Bridge in Seogwipo Harbour.  I've wanted to have my breakfast there and enjoy my morning coffee with such wonderful view to see.

At the rooftop of Jeju Hiking Inn with my breakfast of cup noodles, coffee and crackers with the magnificient view of Seogwipo Harbour.
 Though a bit chilly with the morning dew of the night's rain and the ocean's wind brushing my hair, I stayed for awhile at the rooftop and savored my first Korean cup noodles and the free coffee from the pantry of the Inn.  It was relaxing to feel the calmness of the nature around me.  It was all EXCLUSIVE for me.  Where would I enjoy such calmness and serenity that brings out the joy in a person - this is how life should be spent!

After awhile, I thought of walking from the Inn to the Bridge.  It's not enought that I saw it from afar - I should see it much nearer, have a walk along the shore and probably touch the water of the ocean.

I quickly changed to a more suitable wear with my camera and tripod and KRW 10,000 (in case I'd badly need it) and then went out and looked for the signs to the harbour.  I walked down from the Inn, kept turning right at the intersections and kept on looking at the bridge as my landmark.   Along the way, my plans changed as I saw signs directing to Cheonjiyeon Falls.  There were few people on the road, mostly old men who were having their morning walk.  It was just around seven in the morning and the street down the harbour was free of any cars and tourist buses yet.  I freely walked on my own - felt like a local who know the place that well.

The signs to Cheonjiyeon falls
  After walking for about 20 minutes (it was faster as I was going down), I reached the falls which Korean Tourism Org site described as the "God's pond".  The falls is quite small, not that high compared to those that I've seen seen in the Philippines but the construction of cemented road, the landscape that complimented the nature around the falls such as the streams, the trees, and the flowers make it more accessible to the tourists.  Korea's tradition and culture are more evident with the presence of hareubang, a statue that is commonly seen in Jeju Island which the folks believed as the gods offering both protection and fertility and if placed outside the gate means giving protection against demons.

Me time in Cheonjiyeon Falls

I had enough time roaming around the place and was walking back when flock of tourists arrived.  It was a relief or else, I'd be having a hard time getting my shots clean with my tripod (and I'd be a bit shy to be posing and jumping with unwanted spectators).

I was preparing a timed-shot with the hareubangs when this kid voluntarily joined himself for a photo-op.
 From the Falls, I followed the road going to the bridge.  Along the way were arrays of stalls, coffeeshops and restaurants.  There were  stalls selling souvenir items, street food like the grilled dried squid, traditional restaurant serving seafood menu from the fresh catch from the sea and many more.  I stopped at Seogwipo Tourist Office to get some assistance on the directions going to Udo Island, which I scheduled to visit the next day.   My research online from blogs and KTO were not enough that I had to make sure I can get there and the best people to ask are the locals themselves.

After getting what I wanted from the tourist booth, I took the road to the bridge.  It was a nice walkway with the sight of fish boats, ferries and some big ships that flocked the harbour.  I saw some people started getting busy while I walked at my own pace watching them.
the sight of the Saeyeongyo Bridge from the harbour

As I walked to the entrance of the vast and open parking space facing the Seogwipo Submarine, I saw the ocean and heard the sound of the waves.  It's my sanctuary!  I walked towards the edge of the platform and then carefully went down and walked along the stones which was known as the "Shell" in Seogwipo Harbour to just be near the water.  The waves were so strong but I wanted to play with them.

at the Shell of Seogwipo Harbour

I stayed there longer than Cheonjiyeon Falls - just sitting and watching the vast ocean in front of me.  The horizon was so wide that my eyes couldn't stay in just one direction.  It was so endless that the hue of blue skies seem like colliding with the fierce waves of blue water but still creating a balance of calmness and bravery.  It was such a magnificient sight! A perfect painting of nature!  
I was with my sanctuary - the OCEAN

People (local and tourists) started to arrive to either take a glimpse of the ocean and quick photo-op while some just went up to the bridge.  It was too beautiful and relaxing to walk away but I need to move on so I can catch-up with my itinerary for the day.
For a time, I felt ecstatic, excited and blessed! This is the best birthday gift ever and I got it from God! I wished to see the snow and the ocean and I got them all.

When people kept on coming , I decided to leave and walked towards Saeyeongyo Bridge.  The bridge is actually a pedestrian, the longest built in the Southern part of South Korea, that connects the Seogwipo Port and Birds Island. 

the peak of Saegyeongyo Bridge
Climbing up the bridge was difficult with the strong breeze of the wind bouncing back from the ocean at the peak of the bridge but I managed to cross over. At the other end before the trail to the Bird's Island, there's a resting place with four or five wooden bunks/tables (which is known of a Korean's unique architecture commonly built in front of their houses - usually Hanok houses) scattered in every corner.  This is also known in my native language as "papag". For Koreans, it serves either as their resting area for small conversations or chitchat or a table to cook and eat.

The place was somewhat filled with group of ahjjussis and ahjjumma (old man or woman) doing their morning stretching and exercise while some were sitting at the wooden table /bunk.  The music that came from the megaphone that was nailed at the tip of one of the posts seemed like popular to the oldies as they either hummed or sang along with it. I assumed it was a folk song because of the rhythm and melody of the instruments.

at the resting area of Saegyeongyong Bridge

When the sun started to come out shyly, I started to get up and walked back to the arrays of traditional restaurants near the falls with one thing in my mind - I should try the Abalone Soup cooked in a pot, Jeju's famous cuisine.

My original plan to have a "tour around the world" in Soingook Theme Park for my birthday did not happen but the post-celebration can never be underrated.  Full of trust that everything will be alright, I think I had pulled the law of attraction to its fullest - this is The Secret where everything is possible and nothing is impossible! 

When you believe firmly of the things to come true, it will surely come to reality.  Sometimes, not in our specified time, but in His Time!

Additional Travel Info:

Here's KTO link for the travel information of:

Saeyeongyo Bridge

Cheongjiyeon Falls

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