Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jeju Island, where we were the first to the airport

While Grant and Adrienne were visiting, we made a 2 1/2 day trek to Jeju Island, since I'd never been there before and it seemed like the perfect time to visit. We got up very early in the morning and took a cab to the airport, since the trains don't run until 5:30 and our flight was at 6:30. We got to the airport about 4:50 AM and, as you can see from the picture to the left, the airport lights were not on yet and we were the only people there. We could have slept another 45 minutes, because the desk didn't even open until 5:30! Apparently, Gimpo Airport is so small, they push things to the last second.

To the left is Grant perfectly exhibiting the effect of waking up before 4AM.

We arrived on Jeju Island, took a bus to our hostel, checked in and headed out exploring. Our first stop was Sangumburi Crater.

The first thing we saw was this very accurate bathroom sign.
Then we walked to the crater. The crater itself has a circumference of 2 kilometers. It is the crater of an extinct volcano. It's 100 meters deep and 350 meters across. 400 plant and animal species live inside the crater.

We saw no animals, which tends to happen when I am somewhere that is supposed to have a lot of biodiversity. (The other time was at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, which is the 2nd most biodiverse place on Earth, besides the Amazon, and I saw 1 snake and some fish. And a butterfly.). Apparently, animals hide from me when they see me coming.

We were there just before flowers started blossoming and grass was returning to its natural green state, so it was slightly less beautiful than it would have been a couple weeks later, but there were still some beautiful views to be had!

There is part of the crater.

There is another part of the crater.
There is Grant looking at me looking at him looking at the crater.
Here is Adrienne blocking Grant with her hair.
There is a sign, which the person was unable to complete due to falling in the crater so it just says, "Dange" then he's falling.
Adrienne on a random swing.
The view away from the crater.
The sibs.
Adrienne and Grant dramatically looking into the distance.
Adrienne and I.
Adrienne and I from a slightly different angle.
 Adrienne and I not prepared for this picture.
Grant and I unprepared.

Grant and I prepared.

Grant sticking his fingers in my ear and trying to give me a wet willy.

Adrienne leaping in front of my camera, as usual

...She's so thrilled about interrupting my pictures.

The edge of the crater.
Adrienne interrupting.
Adrienne interrupting my picture, as well as Grant's hair interrupting my picture.

This picture makes me laugh a lot.
I am clearly preparing for them to take unexpected pictures.
So much leaping and annoyance.

Adrienne whipping her hair back and forth.

Here is an elk.
Grant picking Adrienne's nose.

After our visit to the crater, we missed the hourly bus by approximately 20 seconds based on the amount of time we waited for the next bus to come. People had told me having a car in Jeju is necessary. It was in those moments hanging around on the side of the road for 59 minutes and 40 seconds that made me realize why that was true. Unfortunately, I didn't have an international license and Grant wasn't able to get one before he came to Korea.

We caught a ferry to Udo island, or Oo Island since "do" means "island" in Korean. It is called Udo because Oo means "cow" and the island is vaguely shaped like a cow.

Grant wanted to rent 4 wheelers but I was the murderer of fun by insisting there wasn't time. He didn't agree, though later he agreed.

Udo island is a lava plateau.

Here Grant and Adrienne are on the ferry with the Korean flag conveniently showing what country they are in.
Grant being uncooperative.
Slightly more cooperative.
And we're both smiling! Surprise! Unfortunately the flag was not being cooperative.
Blue steel.

Close up of Adrienne's face.
Welcome to Beautiful Udo!
We took a bus up to a hill, which we then climbed.

Grant and Adrienne midway up the hill. It was a little windy.
Grant calling upon his wind powers.
And by a little windy, it was quite windy and made our hair a bit unmanageable.

Here is a horse's buttocks.

A horse photobombing my picture.

Caution! Falling off!

I think it's too late if that's your warning.
The lovely view.

This picture kind of shows how steep this part of the hike was. But only a little bit.

Another lovely view.

Grant and Adrienne posing dramatically.

Grant being inappropriate.
My favorite part of this is Grant cutting out half of Adrienne but including the very enthusiastic Korean woman.

This picture also makes me laugh.

Oh Grant...

I am trying to corral Grant's inappropriate finger.
The lovely view again.
That small hill to the right is a burial mound.

There's the burial mound.
There is an adorable baby horse who decided it was time for a nap.

We then took the bus to a couple other locations.. Grant went sprinting to the cave just because, despite risks of missing the bus and then missing the last ferry.

The photobombing will never end.

We drove by some very beautiful beaches on our way around Udo island. The water was beautiful!

Afterwards, we headed to Seongsan Ilchubong, a large rock, which I will write about in the next blog. Until then, enjoy the photos!

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