cycling across Korea day 5: Mungyeong to Gumi

recovery day – hot spring and hot soups

It rained pretty much all day yesterday so I decided to take a rest and relaxation day. Thankfully I was in a town famous for its hot springs, so I spent the better part of the day relaxing in the hot spring. Normally Korean hot springs are a bit awkward for this Americanized prude. I’m just not used to being naked around a bunch of other naked dudes. But I figured since I’m in an area where I don’t know anybody, and I figured since I’m in a rural area it would mostly be wrinkly old dudes, I decided I’d be ok. It was pretty relaxing. There are pools of various temperatures, from freezing cold to scalding hot, along with both dry and steam saunas. For lunch I had gom-tang. Lately it seems there’s been a lot of hype around the healing properties of bone broth. Koreans have been eating that stuff for centuries, the milky color of a good gom-tang comes from simmering beef bones for hours. There wasn’t much else to do in town — it’s a pretty small town, so I just sort of wandered around for a bit before retreating to my hotel room. But it was nice to just be out of the saddle for a day.

roads are still wet

I decided to get an early start the next morning to try and crank out some serious mileage and make up for my rest day. When I left it was pretty overcast and the ground was still wet.

sun breaking through the clouds

But by mid morning the sun broke through the clouds. The ground was drying up and it was starting to warm up. Cycling through this part of Korea was really nice, and I was feeling pretty good after my rest day.

riding along the Nakdong river

My ride started a few days ago in Seoul along the Han river. At some point, the path switched to following the Nakdong river. I think the Nakdong river is the river that flows through Busan, so I guess you can say that I’m on the final stretch of my journey. Though I think I still have a few days of riding left…

blue skies

By mid afternoon the sun was fully out and I was riding under blue skies again. It was actually quite a beautiful day.

day’s ride

I was finally able to crank out some serious mileage today, doing more than metric century mileage for the first time on my trip. There wasn’t a lot of elevation gain today, so the miles came easier, plus I was well rested. I’m feeling pretty good, and Busan feels within reach.

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