Beachin' It

Bogildo Magic

 

I knew two things about Bogildo Island before pulling up to it on an old Korean ferry: it was covered in pine trees, and compared to the other West Sea Islands Norbert Paxton wrote of in the Rough Guide, it was a ”well-kept secret.”


The Pacific, a Book, and So Much Blue

After the falls,

the beach.

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Going South (and west, and north, and back)

Back home to my Busan pad after an eight-day vacay into the south of South Korea…land of islands, mountains (okay, this whole country is covered in mountains), volcanoes, trees so lush they appear to burst from the countryside, flat-stone, black-rock, and gold-sand beaches, caves and waterfalls, too much rice, and permed ajummas renting floor mats to stretch out on for the night.  


Island Hop

 

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It’s nearing 3 a.m. here in Busan, and my bags, books, and beach mat are almost fully packed.  Five months after landing in Korea, and immediately embarking on a full-time, Monday-Friday gig teaching short-vowel sounds to tykes– the week-long summer vacay has arrived.  About a month ago I splurged on The Rough Guide to Korea (I highly recommend) and have enjoyed every second getting lost in its maps, descriptions, and region-by-region highlights.  In the end, deciding how best to spend eight days cruising around the country wasn’t hard–I’m an island girl at heart.

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Mud Day

The first night we kept it pretty clean…

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but it still went late, and a few beers were downed the next afternoon before we even discovered the grounds.  The girls and I entered in a trio of cheap white tanks we’d bought in Nampodong the weekend before…

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until we spotted the Mud Prison, an obvious place to start the festivities.

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Mud Bed

Officially back from two days away at Mud Fest, Korea’s annual festival held on Daecheon Beach and devoted to, well, mud.  Shenanigans included 40 foreigners discovering a microphone on the Friday night bus trip up and breaking into (among other tunes) a rendition of “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations.  The Mudslide, Mud Prison, and Mud Pit had Leah, Dianna, Bryan and myself caked in grey by early afternoon Saturday.  In an effort to preserve my Canon, mud pics are on the disposal, to be developed asap.

Meanwhile, we couldn’t resist getting our new friend Branden from Michigan to snap a few shots of us in our weekend living quarters…upon arrival, we discovered the booked-for-four hotel room provided one bed only. 

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Swimming with Shirts: Songjeong Revealed

With the Boryeong Mud Fest quickly approaching, I’m on the hunt for a bathing suit here in Busan.  I’ve spotted a couple shops that sell them in the Seomyeon underground mall, though a recent jaunt to Songjeong Beach revealed that the Korean girls don’t usually, well, reveal much.

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Neither do the guys!  (Except for that one exhibitionist on the left.) 

This group did, however, spend the bulk of their beach time sneaking up on each other in boisterous raids, grabbing wrists and ankles, and tossing the fully-clothed target into the sea. One of the most entertaining people-watching sessions I’ve experienced here so far.

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