Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Me jumping off a bridge on Ulluengdo island

Ullungdo Island Trip

My long weekend finally came to an end and I'm back to teaching once again. It was really good to get out of the big city for a weekend with the Adventure Korea group. Amanda, Maria and I got on the bus at 11:30pm on Friday night with a bottle of Soju to split between us to help us sleep. Unfortunately it didn't work and by the time we arrived on the East coast to watch the sunrise we had only had about 30 minutes of uncomfortable, interrupted sleep. It was a cloudy morning and the red sun only shined through the clouds for a couple minutes but nonetheless it was a beautiful view from the cliffs overlooking the beach. From there we caught a 2 1/2 hour ferry bound for Ullungdo on very choppy waters. (On the map Ullungdo is the island in the upper right corner) Luckily for me I was one of the very few who didn't get sick and I even got an extra hour of sleep.
A couple weeks ago a hurricane hit Ullungdo island and we saw some of the damage that was caused before we landed. Ullungdo is known for it's seafood, especially the squid which you can see hanging all over the island on clotheslines. It is also known for it's pumpkin which I tried in several forms throughout the weekend: pumpkin taffy, pumpkin tea, pumpkin pizza (my favorite), pumpkin bread, cookies, cakes and doughnuts.
The first day we walked around the island and sampled some medicinal mineral water and then caught a cable car to the highest point where we hiked to a couple different lookout points.
One of my favorite things we did was jump off a bridge and swim around part of the island. The water was emerald green, very clear and the perfect temperature. I was a little nervous about swimming in the same body of water with jelly fish that were 3 ft in diameter and 4 ft long but at least I could see several feet through the water. It was quite a change from the brown lakes in Kansas I'm used to.