cycling across Korea day 8: Yangsan to Busan

just about 2 hours left!

I woke up this morning and opened up the Naver Maps app to see how much riding I had left. It looks like just under 2 hours left until the finish.

pretty much the entire day looked like this – buildings on the left, river on the right

Busan is a pretty big city, and Yangsan is essentially a suburb of Busan, so pretty much the whole two hours of riding looked like this, with buildings on the left and the river on my right.

both sides are developed

When you get into Busan pretty much both sides of the river have row after row of big apartment buildings.

the end

The ride officially ends on an island in the middle of the river estuary. Here I picked up the last stamp for the cross country portion of the passport. There’s also an arch here similar to the arch at the start of the ride.

closed for lunch so I went to eat lunch

There’s a tourist information desk here but it was closed for lunch when I arrived. Luckily there was a small convenience store nearby where I had my last convenience store lunch box of the trip. These things sustained me for the last week — they seriously made the ride doable. When I did my last big cycling tour in America I had to survive on peanut m&m’s and gel shots.

certificate and medal

After lunch I returned to the tourist information desk and handed over my cycling passport for inspection. The guy at the desk verified that I had all the stamps, then printed out a certificate for me. There was an option to buy a medal, and I’m a sucker for those sorts of things so of course I bought the medal.

on the Busan subway

And so my cross country ride was finished. I rode to the nearest subway station and hopped on the subway. Luckily I finished on a Sunday so the subway wasn’t very crowded and there was plenty of room for my bicycle. I got off at the closest subway station to my cousin’s house, and biked the last mile or so to his house.

It was a pretty anticlimactic end to my journey. They say it’s about the journey, not about the destination, and in this case it really was about the journey. I have to say Korea makes this journey very doable. The bicycling infrastructure, especially near the big cities of Seoul and Busan was some of the best I’ve ever seen. There’s still more riding to do in Korea for me — there are other routes besides the cross country route in the cycling passport, so I hope to return someday and finish filling out all the stamps in the passport. Until then, thanks and goodbye Korea, it’s been fun.

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