Our last day of adventuring was to take us to Yeosu, a coastal city about 40 minutes from Suncheon. After a practically private bus ride there, we took a local bus to Hyang-Il-Am, a temple situated on the top of Geumoam mountain. Once again, it was a beautiful, sunny day and my jacket spent the day couped up in my bag, whilst my jumper was around my waist, 90’s style. A ten minute walk and quite a few stairs later and we were looking out across the ocean, with the temple behind us. The hoards of tourists reminded me of my time on the templestay in Bulguksa, causing the place to lose its serenity and feeling of spirituality. I felt almost guilty for being there amongst the throng of noisy people. They were even filming for a Korean TV drama!
We wandered back and headed towards Odongdo, an island connected to the mainland by bridge. We hiked its shady trails through the trees that cover the majority of the island, stopping every now and then to take in the views. It wasn’t long before the sun was setting again and, unexpectedly, we were blessed with yet another beautiful sunset over the mountains behind the city. Two sunsets in two days, wow! We had been lucky! After eating plenty of Korean food for the last few days, we decided it was time for a change and Yirak took me to a place she had eaten at on her previous trip here. It served marinated shrimps over rice, and it was simply delicious. Just the change I needed. We were heading for the bus back, as I spotted a baseball batting cage across the road. Always wanting to try it, we went over and had a go. Out of 20 balls flying at me at 100km an hour, I managed to hit 3… Not bad for a first try I suppose, but plenty of room for improvement!
We headed back to Suncheon and enjoyed a few board games before hitting the hay for our last sleep of the holiday. Monday saw me returning to Gwangju to take the KTX train back to Seoul (don’t ask me why I didn’t just get the KTX from Sucheon… Not very well planned at all!). After continual busy days, I decided to take it slow and enjoy my book and mooch around the shops. I was returning to Seoul refreshed (but of course, still not that excited about returning to work) and delighted to have explored more of Korea. Suncheon and its surrounding areas have shown me the natural beauty of this country that really does stand in stark contrast to the concrete jungle of Seoul. It certainly isn’t called the ecological capital of Korea without reason! With plenty of its secrets still left unvisited, I definitely want to return again some day!