Namhae Weekend

What a wild two weeks. Last weekend, Nicole and I visited Sado Island and walked amongst the dinosaurs. This weekend we visited Namhae, South Korea, a more populous beach location about two hours from our home in Gwangyang. There were a ton of other people, foreigners and Koreans, at Namhae that weekend. We all visited as part of a birthday celebration for several teachers in the Yeosu, Gwangyang, Suncheon area. Our friend Nick, who recently moved to our old city of Gwangju, came out with my cousin Nate to stay at the beach as well. Our friend Brendan recently purchased a car by the name of “Walter White Car” so he drove us all out to Namhae for the weekend. It was nice to travel by car and not have to take a bus.

Namhae was a ton of fun, but prohibitively cold for some reason, perhaps the ominous fog lurking in the distance. We spent the better part of the day hanging out on the beach catching up with old friends and making new friends. For dinner a group of us went to a local seafood restaurant where we got to cook our food right at the table, a common style of dining in South Korea. That night there was singing, dancing, and smores on the beach. The next day, I said goodbye to my cousin Nate and everyone else at Namhae and hopped in Walter White Car and returned to Gwangyang.

Dinosaurs on Sado Island, South Korea

Last weekend Nicole and I visited Sado Island with a bunch of friends. It’s a small island a few hours by ferry from Yeosu. Saturday morning Nicole and I packed up our things and took a bus to a cab to a ferry and two hours later we showed up on scenic Sado Island. The island is tiny. It takes maybe 30 minutes to walk all the way around the island. There are perhaps 40 people there, most of them seemingly over the age of 70. When we arrived on the island we also arrived on the only road on the island. Sado road. It’s about 1000 feet and it doesn’t really go anywhere. There was one car on the island, why? I don’t know.

The island is famous for its dinosaur footprints, fossils, and beautiful scenery. Scattered all over the island there are giant fiberglass dinosaurs. Walking around the island was like walking through Jurassic Park on pause. A great experience. We stayed at a minbok, a small guesthouse room where you sleep on blankets on the ground. The last time Nicole and I did that was nearly two years ago on Oedaldo. The proprietor of the minbok, an old woman who looked like she actually lived amongst the dinosaurs, met us at the concrete wall where the ferry dropped us off. She had a two-wheeled cart from the middle ages and offered to carry all of our luggage on it. We politely declined but she ignored us and put our bags in anyways. Off we went slowly following a woman old enough that she might have followed Moses through the deserts of Egypt. She led us to her minbok and gestured us towards our rooms. We unpacked and explored the island a bit. Half of our group was staying at the minbok and the other half was camping on the beach.

That night we met up with the rest of our group on the beach and cooked up some food on their campfire. There was only one store on the island and it was only open when the guy who owned it felt like opening it, so we brought all our food and supplies for the weekend and stocked up on bottled water when the owner decided he felt like opening the store.

Our whole trip was only two days, Saturday and Sunday but it was a blast. We hiked, cooked out on the beach and got to climb along the rocky shore of the island. I definitely recommend this island. It’s one of the most beautiful islands I’ve visited in Korea and one of the quietest as well. I plan to return there at some point before leaving Korea in August.