Let the adventures begin!


Ryan and I stumbled off the plane after 17 hours of flying and somehow found the quirky little motel we had booked in the heart of Seoul.  The next morning we headed out early to meet with Seoul Joe, who had arranged for two rental motorcycles for our trip.  Seoul Joe was very cool and rode up on a gleaming white Harley, music blasting, high handlebars, cowboy boots and sunglasses.  He took us out for a delicious lunch and recounted some of his motorcycle adventures.  We sat there amazed as he told us how he rode from eastern Russia to Europe on his Harley!


Arranging motorcycles for the trip was by far the hardest part of our pre-trip planning.  I started making calls and sending emails back in December 2012.  Because of insurance and liability issues in Korea, it’s almost impossible for foreigners to rent motorcycles.  Finding Seoul Joe was a stroke of good luck!  His connection with a shop near Seoul helped us secure a couple bikes.  Well almost, all that was available was one 250cc motorcycles and one 250cc scooter.  We were a little disappointed not to have two motorcycles but were thankful for what we got.  We decided to take turns on both machines and use the opportunity to compare the advantages and disadvantages between the scooter and the bike.


Friday morning we packed up and left Seoul.  Ryan caught on quick as we navigated the masses of traffic.  Seoul boasts the worlds second largest metropolitan area with a staggering population of 25.6 million.  Ten lane roads run through the city packed with cars and scooters.  It took us hours to escape the madness and we froze under overcast skies and a temperature around 8 degrees.


Out of the city but still frozen, we were enticed by a sign that read “hot springs.”  I envisioned rocky outdoor pools of naturally hot water but sadly it turned out to be an overpriced spa.  To make matters worse the battery on the scooter quit when we tried to start the bikes to leave.  Luckily I had packed a small length of wire with my tools and we jump started the scooter from the motorcycle and were off again.  We didn’t make it as far as we hoped on Friday but considering the cold and mechanical issues, we did the best we could.


Saturday we continued down the west coast of the Korean Peninsula and rode the Saemgeum Seal wall.  At 33 kilometers long it’s the world’s longest sea wall and creates 400 square kilometers of farmland and a freshwater reservoir.


Wind burnt and exhausted we stumbled upon a very unique cafe.  Shaped as a giant tea pot on a small hill with an incredible interior.  We felt like we had stepped into a dream.  The owner explained that it took seven years to build.


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We arrived in Gwangju in time for dinner on Saturday and spent the evening out on the town with friends.  I was so happy to be back in my old stomping grounds that I forgot how tired I was and we bar hopped and danced into the early morning hours

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Sunday was a nice rest day.  We slept in and Ryan made crapes before we made our way downtown for an interview with Gwangju News Magazine.


It’s been quite the adventure so far and we have so much ahead!  Tomorrow we’re going to explore a bamboo forest, sit down for a radio interview and try to find a bike shop to tune up a few things on the bikes.  Tuesday we catch a ferry to Jeju Island where we’ll be scuba diving, hiking the tallest mountain in South Korea and exploring the world renowned lava tubes! 



2 friends, 4 weeks, 1 epic motorcycle adventure across South Korea!