Slow, drifting mountains,
Rising through the low sea mist
Neath quiet starlight
We woke up to a sad breakfast of cold, leftover soup and some tasty gyouza. We were ready to be rid of the pension we were staying in, with its strange uneven floor and lack of a trashcan. We packed our bags and stepped carefully past the box outside our door that we’d used as a trashcan; in the heat that was beginning, it already smelled like the fish head we’d chucked in there.
We got a response from our friend in Jeju-si, indicating he’d like to meet up, so we settled into a cafe to await details. Some hours passed, and we watched the tide come in, tourists swarming over it armed with cameras and floaties. We read more of our books, played some games, pretended that we were getting prepared to re-enter real life, and sipped tasty drinks. Eventually we got tired of waiting and hopped on a bus to Jeju-si.
The bus luckily dropped us off in an area we knew, so we ran our few errands. This involved a stop at the market for some Udo peanut Makali, a stop at the Olle stamp box to get our official start 18 stamp, and a leisurely stroll through the sweltering heat to get to the ferry terminal.
We boarded the ferry to Mokpo, and we were somewhat amused by our accommodations. In economy, we had a room that we shared with about 2 dozen other people with rattan floors where some were sleeping, others playing cards. We wandered the ship for a bit and found karaoke rooms, a large arcade, a 7-11 (can’t escape ‘em!), and some charming views. As the sun set, we watched scattered volcanic islands slip by, wreathed in a mist rising off the sea.
The ship eventually pulled into Mokpo, where we saw a single glittering tower amid a fairly low and drab-looking town. Naturally, we decided to head that way. It didn’t take long to get there, and we discovered it was a hotel, so we checked in for the night, then wandered out for what was probably the best bibimbap we’ve had on our trip.
Back in our hotel room, we realized that the hotel was having an identity crisis between being a family-friendly tourist hotel, a seedy sex hotel, and an online gaming parlor. A large gaming-optimized computer featured prominently in the room layout. The toiletries bag contained condoms and massage lotion. And yet the place was clean and bright, with great reviews on TripAdvisor. Anyway, time to play some games and head to sleep.