Road trip to Paju, Part 1

(Link to interactive map)

So, I am thinking that it would be easier to make this a two-part post as there are a lot of photographs and, well, because so. much. happened. yesterday.

I had originally planned on getting on the saddle at 6am… but of course that didn’t happen. After making coffee, cooking banana oatmeal, playing with Sigma, and trying to wrap my mind around what was to come, 6am came and went. I ended up leaving at 7am, which isn’t a terrible time– it was Saturday after all, and all of the lovely people of Korea were sleeping off Friday night’s soju and makgeolli. The roads were mostly free of traffic and I made my way out of Cheonan in fairly good time.

The first 15 miles were picturesque and relatively painless. I rode along Rt. 1; to my left were cars and trucks, to my right were rice fields and factories shrouded in fog. I passed by a metal packing plant and was impressed by the scene. I snapped a photo. Little did I know that this was a foreshadowing of events to come…

It stayed cool and foggy for the first two hours of my ride. But almost as soon as I hit the first major city outside of Cheonan, the fog burned off and was promptly replaced with smog and heavy traffic.

I came across these whale-themed scenes somewhere inside or outside of Osan… can’t quite remember (I’m a terrible person, I know). Of course I took pics because, you know, whales… 

Love motels were everywhere! haha… I saw four within a two-block radius. I’ve never gotten a chance to experience a “love motel”– but I await (anxiously) in anticipation for the day (ahem… night) that I do.

At some point I ended up stopping at an S-Oil gas station to check my tires and mileage… I loved how mi bicicleta was the same color as the building. This might be as close as I will ever get to being one-half of an adorable Korean couple wearing matching shirts, hats, and shoes.

Sometime soon after this point, my cell phone died and I had to swap batteries out. I was a little disappointed and a lot nervous– I was about a third of the way finished with my ride and was already down 1 battery! I took a mental note to not take as many pictures during the rest of the ride (this is what you get when you sell your DSLR for plane tickets to Korea and then you find yourself stuck using a smart phone for all of your technological needs).

Here is the first 1/3 (30.59 miles recorded) of the trip mapped out:

Now on to Part 2…

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